Saturday, December 31, 2016

It's The New Year!

Well, almost.  It's quickly approaching, that's for sure.

A lot changed for Kim and I this year.  We figured out a way to retire a year early (thank you, soaring housing prices), and moved permanently to our home here in Montana.  Which meant leaving behind our daughter and her family and all our friends and starting over 500 miles away.

It's been something else.  Thank the internet gods for skype.

I'm also thankful we managed to buy a large enough home that allows me to have my own "room";  to be known from this point on as my knitting room.  I love it.  And I knit in it.  A lot.  I wasn't planning on knitting presents for Christmas this year, moving kept us busy enough, but I found a pattern I liked....and that's the end of that story.

So here are the things I knit for presents this year:

Gloves.  I like gloves.

I hadn't knit many gloves before but once I got into it:

So mittens had to happen for the grandkids.  Mittens with faces.

And a child sized cowl I couldn't resist making for my granddaughter to match those polar bear mittens.

"Scrappy Socks" made from my leftover sock yarn for my niece.  I made three so she can send one back for repairs when she wears a hole in one.  I love these socks.  Can't wait to make some for myself.  They're super cozy.  And sooo colorful.

So what did I knit the rest of the year?  Well, there's been a few things.
Socks for instance.  I really enjoy knitting socks.

Made myself some gloves.  The pattern is "Froot Loop" by Natasha Sills.

Made a baby blanket for my new grandson who arrived in November.

And a cardigan with a matching hat for him.

I also made him a "Chunky Monkey Vest" which his sister insisted go on her "baby".  This was before the real baby arrived.  Big sister is wearing a vest I made for her.

I made matching vests for each grandson.  Such a sweet pattern.  It's the Chunky Monkey Vest by Elizabeth Smith.  You can find all these patterns on Ravelry.

Another cute vest for Grandson #1.  This one is "Peanut" by Tincanknits.

The "Peanut Warmers", pattern by Taiga Hilliard.  Such a cute and easy pattern and I made hats to match.

My #1 grandson, Russell, and his cousin, Stella, modeling theirs.

And "Wee La Nina" vests for them also, again a pattern by Taiga Hilliard.

I really enjoyed making the "Seed Pearl Shrug", again by Taiga Hilliard.  I made a few of these as gifts.  This one fit my granddaughter really well.

I also got better at making toys.

And Russell wore the bee outfit I knit for him as his Halloween costume this year.

Yes, it's been a lot of knitting.  And I do like to knit.  But I also think I do it in order to make some sort of lasting effect on my family and friends.  To leave a bit of something of myself.  And I think that's OK.

And why am I looking back at all my knitting?  I guess it's a way for me to analyze the past year.  To see how far I've come in some sense.

Here is an interesting read about New Year's.  And a few excerpts.

"It may be that the symbolism we attach to this one moment (New Years) is rooted in one of the most powerful motivations of all—our motivation to survive."  

"The celebration part is obvious: As our birthdays do, New Year’s day provides us the chance to celebrate having made it through another 365 days, the unit of time by which we keep chronological score of our lives. Phew! Another year over, and here we still are! Time to our raise our glasses and toast our survival! "

"New Year’s resolutions are examples of the universal human desire to have some control over what lies ahead, because the future is unsettlingly unknowable. Not knowing what’s to come means we don’t know what we need to know to keep ourselves safe. To counter that worrisome powerlessness, we do things to take control. We resolve to diet and exercise, to quit smoking, and to start saving."

And we knit?  Maybe.

"Interestingly, New Years resolutions also commonly include things like treating people better, making new friends, and paying off debts. It's been so throughout history. The Babylonians would return borrowed objects. Jews seek, and offer, forgiveness. The Scots go "first footing," visiting neighbors to wish them well. How does all this social "resolving" connect to survival? Simple. We are social animals. We have evolved to depend on others, literally, for our health and safety. Treating people well is a good way to be treated well. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," it turns out, is a great survival strategy."

"Everywhere, New Year's is a moment to consider our weaknesses and how we might reduce the vulnerabilities they pose—and to do something about the scary powerlessness that comes from thinking about the unsettling unknown of what lies ahead."

Sometimes it feels that this coming year more than others is full of uncertainty.  There have been some surprising events this past year, that's for sure.  But I do like the idea of a resolution to "treat others as you would be treated".  Sounds like as good a resolution as any.  And I'll continue to knit along the way.

Here's wishing you all a great new year.  Stay safe.  And don't forget to include some silliness!


Country Girl said...

The bear toys turned out super cute!

Karen Little said...

You are so talented Victoria! I especially like the little animals and the fruit loop gloves!

Capucyne said...

Very very pretty !!!! Happy new year, Victoria !

Rosemary said...

Hi Victoria Happy New Year. Looks like you are settling into retirement quite easily. And your new life in Montana. Loved all your knitting projects for the cute little ones. Impressed I am and sure the Grandkids will fondly remember when grown. Cutting your own beautifully decorated Xmas tree from your land. All your snow. The adventures with your chicken. Thoroughly enjoyed reading about your new life challenges and thoughts on New Years. Some rang true to me as well.