It was just a few days into the new year and I already had a new sweater off the needles…and then I spent three weeks trying to get a decent shot of me wearing said sweater. Between leaving for/coming home from work in the dark and being busy on the weekends, the light just never seemed to be right when I was at home. I finally decided this morning that I’m not going to let the fact that I never got a decent photo stop me from getting around to this post. It’s been brewing for awhile and I just need to get it out and into the world.
Back to the details on the knitting. I cast on for my Lila sweater just before the holidays kicked into high gear and I finished it up over the long New Years holiday weekend. I had wanted a nice, neutral sweater to add to my hand-knit collection and this one definitely fits the bill. I was originally worried that I’d made it a little too short in the body and that it was sitting at a kind of awkward spot just above my hips because of the dropped hem, but after some aggressive blocking I think it’s going to be fine. And the fact that I’ve worn it nearly every day since casting off seems to me a good sign that this sweater will see lots of use.
I used Berroco Ultra Alpaca’s very aptly named colorway, salt and pepper, and it’s the perfect gray that’s not too light or too dark and will go with tons of the things I already have in my wardrobe. I am always tempted to go for blues or teal or other bright colors because those make me so happy while I’m knitting, but I am so glad I broke out of that rut and went with a more versatile color this time. I have a few hand-knit sweaters and many, many scarves, cowls and hats in my collection that I’ve just whipped up with whatever colors were calling to me at the time without any thought for how they’d fit into my existing wardrobe. It would be better, for example, to think about the color of your jacket and what might go with it, rather than just picking up the skein of yarn that calls to you at any particular moment. From now on I think I need to be a little bit more thoughtful about what I’m making, what color it is, and how it will fit into my wardrobe to make sure that I can actually wear the things that I knit with some regularity. This isn’t a new idea, it’s something that other knitters have been talking about a lot recently (see here and here). And while it always seemed to me like a good idea when I’ve heard others talk about it, it’s really only just hit me and integrated itself into my own life. It’s more than just using what’s already in your stash, cutting back on our consumerism, and doing more slow making than purchasing of fast fashion, it’s a shift in the way we live our daily lives. It’s about taking our time, being thoughtful, and doing things right.
This actually makes me think a little bit about my goals for the year. Not just knitting goals (though I have those, too), but my general life goals. I’m not going to call them resolutions. I think goals are more like what I’m envisioning for myself. I want these to be long-term, lifestyle changes, rather than a one-year (or less as it usually happens) commitment. In a broad sense, my goal is to get things together. I want to get things together physically, mentally, and financially. It sounds like a tall order, and it is. But I’ve been thinking through it a lot and making some short- and long-term goals for myself (as well as together with my husband) and I think it’s going to be achievable. For the physical and mental aspects, I’ve embraced a 30-day yoga camp hosted online for free by Yoga with Adriene. I’ve been doing her yoga videos for awhile now, and love her positive attitude and non-judgmental way of approaching yoga. I managed to make it through 21 days of yoga camp already, getting up at 5:30 am on weekdays to fit in a video before work. They say it takes 3 weeks to form a habit, so hopefully I’ll be able to keep up the momentum to go the full 30 days and beyond. I love the way the yoga camp program is making me feel stronger not only physically, but also mentally. I’m less anxious, less stressed, and more open to new possibilities.
Here’s to getting it together in 2016. Wishing you and yours a wonderful year ahead!