Sunday, December 30, 2007


By a quirk of New Jersey politics, Senate President Richard Codey is serving as governor again (it's the fifth or sixth time – I've lost track). This mostly seems to happen at year end, so if Dick Codey is governor, then it's time for a reckoning of the fiber year!

First, a review of how I did on my fibery goals for 2007:

Reduce the number of UFOs: Done, amazing to relate, thanks to determined, still-ongoing efforts to finish old UFOs and not create new ones. Some projects were finished, others re-imagined and finished, and some frogged (examples below). For all that, there's not going to be a UFO shortage anytime soon roundabout Area 151.

Fickle Fingers scarf   String Bag   Cardigan

Prune the stash: Done. Although as every gardener knows, judicious pruning encourages health and luxuriant growth [cough].

Organize patterns: Sorta done, although not the way I imagined. At the start of the year, I was wishing for a relational database to organize my patterns.Ravelry button Then my computer crashed and my Ravelry invite arrived. I lost the database I was coding, but gained access to one that's far more powerful and 'way more cool.

Curiously, although a number of my fellow Ravelers would seem to identify with Anarchy (note the logo), the online community is actually structured, organized, respectful of intellectual property, and not merely voluntary, but also full of cheerful volunteers (such as Dee, who made the nifty personalized button).

Do something with all the crochet cotton in stash: Sorta not done. At year end the crochet cotton stash is somewhat smaller, primarily because I used a small amount to stabilize the edges of felting projects and also because of some mini-knitting and string bag production. But more progress is needed.

Adventure Bag   Mini-knitting   Mug

Spin the yak: Soooo not done. The yak down is still backtalking. I bought a brass takli at Rhinebeck to spin cotton and down, but can't figure out how to use it, and it's started backtalking too. [Gusty sigh]

Apart from Ravelry, the happy discovery of the year was washcloth knitting. I used to think the category was joyless drudgery,Washcloth a dreary exercise inflicted on newbie knitters by unimaginative teachers. Then I made my first one... and another... and yet more. It turned out to be fun and strangely satisfying to make them, and amazing to find that even the lowly warshrag has been included in and transfigured by the great knitting efflorescence. Not only are there patterns to suit every taste and budget and skill level, but I would posit that because they are functional rather than objet, handmade washcloths may be more subversive (and less decadent) in an age of mass production than, say, a felted mug or even that pickled shark at the Met.

The unhappy discovery of the year was the worm gnawing at the rose.Yarnware closing Two LYS, Yarnware (Exit 145) and Elly's Knit n' Rest (Exit 150), closed. One was a well-deserved retirement, but the other was a surprise. And the buzz at Rhinebeck was how Morehouse Merino had closed their retail shop in favor of online and wholesale operations. I fear it may be the tip of an unwelcome iceberg.

Whatever the new year may bring, at least I'm ready for New Year's Day – Dad sent appropriate attire for the Sugar Bowl.University of Hawaii If you watch the game, be sure to catch the opening conch shell and ha'a, or warrior strut, an athletic tradition in some Pacific Islander cultures. Or keep up behind the scenes with University of Hawaii wide receiver Ryan Grice-Mullen's blog. Ed. And see the inspiring New York Times story about graduate assistant coach Brian Kajiyama (also check out the video on his blog).

Sugar Bowl T-shirt

I hope you enjoy a happy, healthy, sustainable New Year!


Kristen said...

Sounds like a productive year of knitting. Glad to have met you online as a fellow cycling knitter. Happy 2008!

--Deb said...

Have a happy new year, Ina!

Kim said...

Very productive year! Happy New Year! Although I'm not a footballer, I'm sending vibes for a Hawaii win.

Jeanne said...

Sounds like a good knitting year! Happy New Year, Ina!

Calling on Kahlo said...

Happy New Year!

Bezzie said...

Those seem like do-able goals. So did HI pull it off?

Jessica said...

You've reminded me that I really should try knitting a dishcloth this year. Great post and I hope you have a great 2008!

Necia said...

Hey There,

I was just in Elly's on Saturday, and although I saw the retirement sign, she was still going strong. Are you sure she closed for good? Im sad that I never even got to visit Yarnware.


Ina said...

Necia: Thanks for the update on Elly's. She's been closed when I stop by - it would seem she's keeping limited hours now.