Wow... making my list of FO for 2007 yesterday helped me to realize just how much I really did knit over this past year.
To finish up my blogging year, I thought I'd do Knit Lit’s Best of 2007 meme (discovered through Lolly.
1. your best FO of the year
The answer to this question actually suprises me a bit, but I think my favorite knit turns out to be clapotis. The alpaca that it is knit with has special meaning for me (purchased on our summer vacation to Maine with friends) and the final product is warm, soft, and very cozy. While I found it a bit boring to knit, I love both the idea of it and the finished item itself.
Running a close second has to be my first ever pair of socks though. I love these socks. Why haven't I knit more? (I know why, it seems like they take a long time... but you know what, compared to sweaters they don't!). I need to pull those Trekking socks off the WIP list and into more serious rotation. I love the idea of cushy wool socks to warm the feet and heart.
2. best FO of the year made by a blog you link to
There are so many, how can you pick just one? Margaux has knit so many really beautiful things this year ... maybe just on the basis of consistently producing amazing things my vote goes to her. Some of my favorites of her's include Cherry, Bella (retro redux shrug), Moulin Rouge (FiFi). What has she done that isn't beautiful though?
3. best yarn you tried
Hmm... I think that I'm going to put two yarns as a tie here. The first would be the Koigu KPM I used for the forest canopy shawl (which I seriously considered putting up into answer 1). I absolutely understand why poeple like this yarn... it's soft and the colors... just fabulous.
My second pick for this category has to be the alpaca used for clapotis. The yarn was purchased on the farm from Village Farm Alpacas -- 100% alpaca, Light Worsted Wt (2 oz/ 110 yds), spun in Waldoboro, Color: Fawn Like Rainey (one of the alpacas on their farm). It was definitely expensive, but I'm glad I made the splurge. For me, it's not just yarn, but a memory.
4. best new book/mag/pattern of 2007
This year I met Interweave Knits magazine and find it very inspirational. I also really like Fitted Knits by Stephanie Japel (although I'm a little less enamoured of it now that I've knit a few thing than I was when I simply was looking at the pictures... grin). Charlene Schurlach's Sensational Knitted Socks did not let me down in learning to knit socks and I think I'll use it again and again. I think I have to say, overall though, that the internet, websites, and blogs provided me with the "bests" this year. Even if the pattern eventually came from elsewhere, that's what helped me to find it first.
5. best new knitting technique or gadget you tried in 2007
The answer to this question is easy, Ravelry! This web site is a treasure trove. While I don't spend hours here like some do, I find it to be an amazing compendium of knowledge. I can see what an item looks like in various sizes, with different yarns, and as knit by many different people. I find that much better than just one picture by the designer. I also have been able to email people who have knit an item successfully to get advice or just to say "great job!". I think this one site will completely change how I decide what project I tackle. Yarn substitutions become much easier when you can see what others have tried successfully (and not so).
As a more conventional answer, I also learned how to knit socks both toe up and cuff down. Like both, but think I have a slight preference for cuff down. I may have to try a few more pairs to really make this decision though.
6. top 5 inspirations--what five things inspired you the most over the past year?
Wow... this isn't an easy question. The short answer would be blogs and ravelry, but that seems a bit like a cheat.
I suppose at a more spiritual levels I'd say most of my inspiration definitely comes from nature (which we are lucky to be surrounded with in great abundance here in Southern California). S and I love to go to the mountains, the desert, and the beach, all of which are easy trips from home. Even my morning walks with Sterling are inspirational though -- there is nothing like a quiet morning to reflect on the beauty of the world.
Going back to the simplistic though, when I think about what inspires me to knit, I do think it's seeing the great images and words that others have shared on their blogs.
I've discovered some really amazing blogs over the last month or so and these definitely inspire me: Tienne Knits, through the loops, neither hip nor funky, whitknits, coloursknits, Stash, Knit, Repeat, ... and another thing, a friend to knit with, bag n' trash - home of monster yarn, flint knits, nova made, the lint knitter, lolly knitting around, the potential of yarn, zebra knits, and cosmic pluto knits, as examples.
Then there are the old (to me) standbys: brooklyntweed, tentenknits, knitspot,
january one, the yarn harlot, and the panopticon, to name a few. And finally, there are lots, and lots, of other blogs I visit daily to just keep up with the goings on (see my side bar).
With all these great visuals and all this great work, who could not be inspired!?
7. designer who most amazed & inspired you throughout the year
Hmm... I don't have an answer to this one. I think I am most amazed by all of you -- taking a pattern written by someone and making it your own. Selecting your own yarns and colors, tailoring a pattern to your own needs... that to me is amazing and inspirational!
8. knitting resolutions for 2008--what's next for you and your blog?
Well I've just suprised myself. I've been thinking about this for several days now and my resolution had been simply to knit more sweaters and socks and to keep blogging.
This meme really has helped me to think about knitting, what inspires me, and what I love. I think I can come up with some better resolutions now. Those will come tomorrow though!
Happy new year's eve!