Sunday, January 10, 2010

Navel Gazing

In 2009 I knit this much:

3 sweaters
1 vest
3 hats
2 shawls
3 scarves
4 pairs of gloves
3 pairs of felted clogs
2 blankets
8 socks

Which is down from 2007,  when I knit this much:

9 sweaters
8 hats
3 pairs mittens
2 pairs felted clogs
2 scarves
2 dish rags
2 small bags
2 shawls
18 pairs of socks

Playing video games and walking the dog accounts for the bulk of the change.  But I also think I'm a more adventurous knitter than I was before.  Which means there is more ripping going on, and more projects half-started and then abandoned.  I'm satisfied with the trade off. 

Last year, I'd made a resolution that 2009 was going to be the year Jim and I cleared out the debt in our power line-of-credit.  But early in the year, work dried up for Jim and it looked like we weren't going to meet that goal.  However, when my car was wrecked we made the decision to pay of the debt with the insurance pay out and now I'm taking the bus.  I didn't expect to meet my goal with such a drastic measure.

So, no resolutions this year.  Seems a safer bet.  Instead, I've got intentions.  I intend to take the bus the rest of this year so that we can increase our savings and fix our house up.  In addition, I'm predicting that automotive technology will be seeing a major revolution over the next few years.  It feels like saving up to buy a car would be a smarter idea than going into debt to buy one that may shortly be obsolete. I'm not an early adopter.  I want the kinks worked out before I spend my cash.

Other intentions for this year include not buying yarn on sale. Yes, I'll buy yarn. But I think I want to buy for specific projects as I'm ready to knit them, instead of buying for the stash.  The stash has enough yarn.  No, I don't believe that the stash is alive and will punish me for not feeding it.  It's a charming image and helps alleviate guilt, but as I told my bicycle when I was first learning to ride it at the age of seven, "I'm the boss of this ride!" 

Finally, my personal growth goal is to try to be more compassionate to people that annoy me.  I believe I'm already a very compassionate person, but I've realized that I'm choosy with my compassion.  I give it where it's easy to give. It's a lot harder to be compassionate to someone who has annoyed you, or is mean, or is very close to you.  I'm not compassionate enough with my own family, including myself.  Trying to have more compassion is part of learning that it is not all about me, a lesson I believe we all have to learn over and over again starting from birth.

The yoked sweater proceeds well, and I'm currently knitting the ribbing.  It's nasty.  Well over 400 stitches on 2.5mm needles and I want to get about 5 inches done.  It seems impossible, especially since the knitting is so snug on the needles it hurts my hands.  I'm glad this is at the end of the sweater, because were it at the beginning I'm sure I would abandon this project as not working out.

Worse is yet to come.  When I finish the tortuous ribbing, I intend to use a sewn tubular bind off to finish it.  That's how I did the neck and cuffs, so I want the bottom to match.  I just know it's going to take for ever, require many splices and drive me loony.  But I'm going to do it anyway.  How's that for a great start to my intentions?  Not very compassionate of me to force myself to finish the sweater like this...  But it's the right thing to do, I'm sure of it.


  1. Lofty goals.

    I predict failure with the stash goal, and success with the rest ;o)

  2. Well put. I'll try to join you in the compassion (and the stash) department.

  3. Mary Jane10:45 am

    I have some stash goals myself this year only mine are going to carryover to 2011. Before the 2011 Sock Summit, I want to have completely knit up the Sock Summit 09 purchases. This of course is a major goal. Since August 09 I have been knitting 2 out of every 3 projects from the SS09 stash, given some of the yarn as gifts and still need to 2011 to meet the goal!

  4. I love having goals - whether met or not, it just feels like a more purposeful way to live...however yours work out, I hope you find it nonetheless gratifying to have and to aim for them!

  5. Oh, Laurie, this was the most delightful post. I love the idea of 'intentions'. And life does have a way of happening when you're not looking as the saying goes. To meet your financial goals in such an unexpected way just goes to show, we can't plan everything. I am loving the 'McDonald's Olympic TV Ad that finishes with "Hey knuckle dragger. It's not all about you." Like you I am going to try to remember that all year long.

  6. I really like your "intentions" -- and my first thought on reading the two years' lists was 2009's projects included a lot of complexity.

    I have no idea what I knit last year. I have little snippets of yarn sitting around and can derive some of it from them, but I stopped keeping track when I stopped knitting for a living. I enjoy simply knitting something and either wearing it or giving it away. I love not having to keep score, especially not having to do it to please the IRS!

    Have you found the landscape of your purse has changed now that you bus instead of driving? I tend to have a rather comprehensive purse, often carrying things most people would keep in their cars. Curious. --syl

  7. I totally get what you're saying about compassion and those close to us. Jake sprained his wrist & we spent the morning at the doctors, then getting him lunch, a wrist brace & to his school field trip.

    He thanked me for taking him to the doctor which brought me up short, he'd expected I'd send him to school since there was nothing visible wrong with him.

  8. I like those goals.