Playing favorites

I never finished my annual unsolicited list of gifts for knitters. So much has remained unfinished, but it’s been a really good year in knitting for me. I have pictures of 40 finished pieces, and a few secret pieces remain unphotographed. I’ve tried some of the best yarns I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, met some wonderful people, and gotten the opportunity to do some work for some yarn companies I adore. It’s hard to pick favorites out of all the good things this year has had to offer, but I’m going to do so anyway because lists have a certain satisfying quality that wraps up a year tidily and pleasingly, even if the quantifying is questionable.

The first knit of 2010.

My favorite thing I’ve made this year is easy, though I’m very happy with many things I made this year. Sunniva was such a long time in the planning and executing, and I had such a slog in getting it done, but in the end, I made it on my own terms and it turned out as I wanted it to. I know it’s not to everyone’s taste, but it was such a joy to me to be able to take a pet idea from start to finish, and I had so much help and support on the way from a myriad of talented knitting friends. Interestingly (to me), my favorite of the two Sunnivas is the purple one, which I wear quite often, while Ravelry seems to prefer the yellow one that looks like my original sketch. Sunniva is also the pattern that has broken me of my vow of making two versions of everything. I still think I’ll do it with some of my patterns, but making two versions of everything is exhausting!

My favorite thing I knit this year that was not of my own design was this pair of Child’s First Sock in Shell Pattern, my first finished pair of sock weight socks. I can’t say I’ve learned to love knitting handmade socks, but I do love owning handmade socks. The yarn, Little Red Bicycle Hipster Sock, has held up well despite my overly frequent wearings of this pair, and the color, Cthulhu, is AMAZING. The socks are finally starting to pill and full in places, so I may kill them yet, but they are my favorite socks and I adore them. I bought a new skein of Hipster Sock (in a magnificently gory red, Sharkweek) to make myself socks again next year. Pattern selection is underway, as I do not think the color suits my favorite sock pattern.

I wanted to pick a favorite yarn for the year, but that turns out to be pretty well impossible. I’ve worked with so many yarns I loved for so many different reasons this year, and I don’t really have a favorite so much as a vast horde of favorites. A dozen notables spring to mind, and that’s counting only the yarns I actually used, when there are more I purchased and haven’t yet gotten to use that are just sitting around blowing my mind. I’m not even going to try to pick, but if you’d like to nose around in my stash, here’s a link to the photos I’ve taken of yarn.

Perhaps the most worn of the items I’ve made this year are my Veyla mitts. I keep them in my purse, and when my hands frequently become cold, I pop them out and put them on. They’re knit in Malabrigo Sock, which is holding up nicely despite its softness. These mitts go with almost everything I own, and match nicely with some shoes I bought myself this year.

I’m knitting on a bunch of really exciting new patterns as we enter 2011, and I have lots more planned! I’ve found that as I’ve gotten more deeply involved in designing, I’ve had less time for the poor neglected blog, but I’ll try to stop in and actually update as often as I can. Happy New Year to you all! May it be happy and bright and full of good things.

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6 Responses to “Playing favorites”

  1. Julie Says:

    Gorgeous roundup!! You’ve had some stunning projects in 2010. No doubt more to come in 2011!

  2. Jodi Says:

    Lovely designs and photos, as always!

    P.S. I COVET THOSE SHOES.

  3. Jessica Says:

    Kristen, your projects are so beautiful and inspiring. I really have so little time to sit down and knit, for some reason, that I am in awe that you completed 40 pieces this year. I always love seeing your work, and at least daydreaming a bit about the stuff I am going to make one day.

  4. Robin Says:

    Such a lot of beautiful FO’s this year – congratulations! – and I have those very same shoes. 😉

  5. Lina Says:

    Happy New Year!!!

    I love all your FO’s and designs, as you well know. 🙂 But that Sunniva is perfect. It’s my most favorite sweater I’ve made and I wear it all the time. You did an amazing job designing it!

  6. Jacey Says:

    I love those Veyla’s! I’m so into yellow right now. Sunniva is definitely in my 2011 queue; both versions are gorgeous.

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