Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016!

I've clearly left this blog quite abandoned. I'm sorry about that. I have made it a goal of 2017 to post at least once a month here.

So much has happened since I left that I don't know if I can catch you up. So instead why don't I just round up 2016 as a whole?

Bare with me if you read this on facebook.

My grandmother used to make the most adorable things for us when we were children. My most vivid memories of her involve fiber dolls and Christmas ornaments. When she passed, being the first person I was personally close with to pass, I was deeply effected and continued to be for years. In 2015 I had come to grips with my emotions and decided to honor her memory by seeking to make the same yarny goodness she made. Knowing very little to absolutely nothing about the fiber world, I assumed she knit. Wasn't crochet some weird new world invention anyway? My father told stories of my grandmother sitting on knitting needles and such. It was knitting. Totally.

This Christmas after closer inspection of the things she made, she very clearly favored the crochet world. Whoops.

Anyway, so for Christmas in 2015 I asked for what was proudly marketed as a "Learn to Knit Kit! With everything you need!".

January of 2016, around the 25th to the 28th. I opened the kit. Inside were two plastic knitting needles, two balls of acrylic yarn, and a booklet of three patterns. It assumed I already knew how to cast on and what a purl was. Ha.

To youtube! I watched upward of 5 different tutorials. Hours later I had some very tight stitches on one plastic stick. Now what. In true Jack fashion, I tossed it in a box and ignored it. For a day or two. But there it sat glaring at me in all its red acrylic-ness. Whispering. "You want to make things! Yarn!"

So I picked it up and gave it a go. Listen, I don't remember how exactly I got it so wrong, and I don't have a picture of it anymore unfortunately. This finished project hours later was some kind of lumpy mesh disaster. I loved it. To the Internet! I posted it on a blogging platform. I figured it would probably get criticism the way the art community online or most communities are, or at best ignored. I forgot I posted it.

Then a day or two later, I was introduced to my first taste of the fiber community. There was an outpour of support for my little tangled mess. People said I did good for a first thing! They said it was cool! They urged me to keep going, that they couldn't wait to see where I ended up a year from now! I was moved beyond words.

Now, I'm not saying I was any good for like half a year. One time I got a skein of yarn and tugged on the end like a ball of yarn. It ended up a tangled mess.

But every time I got stuck or confused I went back to that unwavering support from the fiber community. They gently took my hand and told me about things like swifts, ball winders, fiber content, stitch markers.

And now we are coming up on a year in this weird fiber world.

I have knit: 35 things. Crocheted 1. Dyed 6 skeins of yarn. Spun my first hand spun yarn (note: not very well, but I did) Learned to loom knit. Learned to knit in the round on double pointed needles and circulars. I've made a shawl. I've learned to rip back and fix mistakes. I made a blanket. I made socks, I turned a freaking heel and did the kitchener!

And none, absolutely none of this is possible without a beautiful and completely loving and accepting fiber community. I've made friends I know without a doubt I will be friends with for all eternity (special mention: Logan, Tory, Sarah, Jessica. My fiber group is so special to me ). I've been a part of knit a longs. I've seen the community call to arms for charity, give away bits of happiness in times of great sadness. And I have felt this great tug at my heart so many times, that I never gave up thanks to this community.

This is a world where I know my grandmother fit in, in all her astounding silliness and kindness and love. And this is a world I am so happy I am a part of now.

So from the absolute bottom of my heart: thank you. Thank you to my friends, thank you to the random Internet fiber artists. Thank you to my family for never doubting me and for encouraging me and giving me the tools I needed. Thank you to the Fiber Friends group which started as something entirely different and morphed into people I will love and be friends with for the rest of my life. Thank you. This means so much to me. And it always will.

Next year: learn to make cables, knit my first sweater, and 12 hats over 12 months for warm up america.

In fact, I've named this year The Year of The Sweater, and a Flax Sweater by TinCanKnits is my last cast on for this year.

Pattern: Flax by TinCanKnits

I already have the ribbing done on the collar of it! 

I'll end this by rounding up my current wips. 

The flax sweater pictured above.

Skellington Shawl using Madeline Tosh Tosh DK Cosmic Wonder Dust and Expression Fiber Arts Rainbow Love Dewy DK.

A Basic Throw from a encore chunky pattern book using Lion Brand Scarfie.

Fresh Off The Needles:

Simple Yet Effective Cowl in some lovely Backyard Fiberworks yarn I got as a part of their advent giveaway on Instagram. This will be going to Logan! And will have matching mittens!

And a loom knit hat and scarf in Lion Brand Woolease for The Husbando.

Well, that's all for now friends. Have a safe new year! 

P.S. guess what? It turns out I've been purling wrong all year. But I can purl now!