Like many of my fellow fiber crafters, I celebrated the culmination of 2022 with a display of my favorite projects and an analysis of the knitted and crocheted pieces that I worked on during the past year. Now, as I embark on my 2023 stitching journey, I need to set forth some realistic goals for emgagimg with the many skeins in my stash. I also want to expand my skill level and take on new stitches, techniques, and pieces. At one point during 2022 I had crocheted several blankets that made serious inroads into my current stash. Even better, I donated the pieces to several worthwhile groups to empty several bins in my yarn and completed project closets. Unfortunately, I yielded to temptation and purchased many skeins that were quite appealing, and so I am almost back where I started last year. One of my favorite podcasters, Knitty Natty uses a notebook to keep track of her incoming yarn, and outgoing yarn by way of finished projects and gifted yarn. Ending up with just a few skeins in my stash is probably not realistic. However, if I follow the course of another podcaster, I may be able to knit or crochet through 10 thousand yards during the year. I can't promise not to acquire any new yarn in 2023. However, my choices could be purposeful and tied to specific projects. I started the notebook already and have plans for the first few projects.
One of my favorite organizations for donating crocheted or knitted shawls and blankets is Threads of Love. Our local New Haven, CT chapter provides for adults and children at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Since supporters off the organization frequently donate funds or bags of yarn, I am happy to donate my time to produce lovely garments for seriously ill patrons who need some cheer and a warm hug. In December I left our meeting with a shopping bag of ho Lionbrand Homespun yarn and 3 jumbo skeins of primary worsted yarn. With the addition a few skeins from my own stash, I was able to crochet 3 colorful larger boys' blankets that went directly to donation..
Many people find it difficult to knit or crochet with Homespun yarn, but I enjoy the colors and the textures. I find it easier to knit than to crochet with this yarn. Since I used #13 needles my fabric draped nicely. . I looked back to an article that I published during any early blogging history to get some reminders as to techniques that I had used. (http://wwww/lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/it-all-started-with-a-shawl) My first goal for 2023 was to finish the shawl. My earlier pieces were knitted from single colorways and topped off with a six inch fringe. I was not sure that I had enough yarn for an entire shawl. Therefore, I tried out a design feature that would combine two colors, Since some of the patients would be in wheelchairs or other devices, I decided to leave out the fringe on this piece.
The first color band in Gothic colorway was cast on for 55 stitches.. Each band was done in garter stitch for 13 ridges or 26 rows.The second band alternated the darker Gothic with a lighter Baroque. Each color was knitted for two rows and carried along the side. The third band switched entirely to the lighter Baroque. The fourth band was striped, and the middle bands were entirely Gothic. The second half of the shawl continued in the same manner until I ended with the final band of the dark Gothic. Each skein measured 185 yards, and I probably used about 300-350 skeins of each color. It was hard to determine as some of the yarn was in partial skeins. Measurements for the completed shawl were 62 inches long by 20 inches in height. I really liked this shawl and was tempted to keep the work. However, my conscience wouldn't let me as the yarn was donated. Some patient at the hospital on in rehab will get a very attractive piece. Although I cast on in 2022, I did most of the work and blocking in 2023. This was my first finished piece for 2023, and I was thrilled that I could check it off my list. I could start my tally with about 600-700 yards used. Once my Threads of Love group has another collection date, I will be able to move it out of my FO box. I have a couple of skeins left, but I will probably gift them to a friend in any craft group as she knits hats for the homeless using the homespun yarn.
At this point, I can lay out plans for the next few projects, but I may take some time to plan for the entire year. There were two new born babies that I am making layette sets for in 2023. I finished the first set in 2022,but I am working on the second as I write. My granddaughter requested a shrug sweater in strawberry pink. My third bunch will focus on marled yarns. I bought a few sets that were already marled. however, friends gifted me about 700 yards of navy Ice yarn inn navy with thin whips of white. Since the yarn is quite dark, I am combing it with a DK yarn in white to create a marled cowl and a pair of mittens. These projects should take me through the first few months 2022. Then I can reevaluate my progress and make future plans.
As always, I appreciate your reflections and feedback. What are your plans for knitting and crocheting in 2023. I invite you to join me on my stitching journey.