This year I decided not to have any New Year’s resolutions, but instead to focus on some goals, some fibre related things that I want to learn how to do. Here is my list of the goals I have for 2016*:
Learn brioche knitting. It looks amazing and fun – especially when used with a solid and a variegated yarn. But I haven’t a clue how to do it. Couldn’t even fake it if I needed to. So that one is at the top of my list.
Learn double knitting. I’ve been inspired by Lucy Neatby for a long time, especially her use of colour and the amazing patterns she creates using double knitting. I have a bit of an understanding about how to do it, but haven’t ever done more than read about it. Now’s the time.
Learn how to ply on the fly. I’ve seen many examples of spindles full of yarn that was “plied on the fly.” Part of me feels like it is just a party trick as opposed to a good way to make yarn. But I can’t really judge the quality of the yarn on the basis of my imagination. So I’ll just have to learn how to do it and to sample the results.
Master short rows. I mean really. I know how to do them, in the sense that I follow the instructions in the pattern to the letter. But I’ve been told that there are many ways to do the “wrap and turn” piece. I only ever do the one that the pattern tells me to do. Several years ago I completed the Level One of the TKGA Masters program for Hand Knitting. A major portion of the study was learning about increases and decreases. Of course we all know how to do them, but there are so many different ways to increase and decrease. Each one giving a different result. Sometimes a knitting pattern will say to “decrease” at the end of the row. But when you have a larger repetiore, you have greater control of the look that your fabric will get.
Plant some cotton. A few years ago I did plant some cotton. I had five plants. They came up nicely and even flowered. But I planted them too late in the season and by the time they flowered, the September rains came and they never turned into bolls of cotton. Last summer was stunningly hot and dry, perfect weather for cotton. Weather predictions say we are going to have a similarly hot and dry summer, so I’m all for trying it again, but starting much earlier in the season. So I have to find and buy some seeds.
Find two new venues to teach in this year. I love teaching, and I especially love teaching fibre arts. For last few years I’ve been teaching spindle spinning at Fibres West and at Knit City, both in the lower mainland of BC. They are wonderful fibre events, but in order to really hone my skills, I want to do more than two fibre festivals a year. I’m still working full-time in the world of adult literacy, but I can manage to fit another two festivals/events in. (I already have a new one in the cooker, will let you know more when/if the deal is signed.)
And finally, learn WordPress! Last year I changed my blogging platform from Blogspot to WordPress and haven’t really mastered it. As a result, I don’t post very often because it feels like work. But if I do it more often, or more regularly, like once a week, I could actually learn it, and retain what I’ve learned.
During my Christmas holidays I over did it. I knit and spun to my heart’s content. From the beginning of December until Christmas day I knit seven pairs of half-mitts, a pair of women’s sized socks, a cable head band, spindle spun about 100g of various coloured fibre for my zombie project, and knit items for him. Because of that I’ve developed tendinitis in my right wrist. To mend, I’ve been icing my wrist, taking ibuprofen, and NOT knitting or spindle spinning. It’s been hard – I didn’t realize what a fibre addict I am. “Hello, my name is Diana and I am a fibre addict.” So some of these fibre goals will be entirely web based research until the swelling goes down.
But do stay tuned.
*I reserve the right to alter, modify, add to or delete any of these goals at any time.