I'll admit to a major weakness: put anything between two arbitrary brackets and I'll happily analyze the hell out of it. Thus, the end-of-the-year post. Plus, it has been almost exactly one year since I started this blog--a convergence of sorts.
I had several goals in mind when I started writing last January, and I haven't been disappointed. Now and then I've been challenged by people who want to know why I would spend valuable time on this. And it is certainly true that one could spend waaaaaay too much time on the Web--letting the virtual take precedence over the actual can be tempting! But when I look back I can honestly say that blogging has more than repaid the time put into it.
Blogging has kept me going on some projects that might have quietly mouldered in corners making friends with the dust bunnies and starting motorcycle gangs. I've had to take the time to look at many stranded-color techniques that I use and figure out how to share that knowledge--teaching really does force you to stop taking things for granted. If it hadn't been for the blog, I probably would not have developed the "shoulder shaping in the round," a technique I am quite chuffed about (see the sidebar for instructions)!
I've benefitted beyond the knitting realm, though, in unexpected ways. Shadow is a happier dog, thanks to the dietary advice readers sent me (no wheat, no corn--no itchy spots!). When I broke my ankle, several readers brought me food and company--and those far away sent me moral support that was equally valuable. And readers also sent support when we had to move my mother-in-law to assisted living last spring.
I've made new friends in the San Francisco Bay area and have been able to keep in touch with my old friends in Seattle. I will never forget the Dulaan Party last February--I'd been here only 6 months, but the living room was overflowing with knitters! And then there are the people who comment: with the exception of a certain spammer they are a wonderful bunch and I hope that the future will bring me the opportunity to meet everyone.
So happy new year and thanks for visiting. And if a Fair Isle project is on your to-do list for 2006, I will share with you my handy dandy cast-on helper--save those swear words for later in the year, and remember that for every 100 stitches you cast on using long-tail cast on at a standard Shetland jumperweight gauge you need 70" of yarn.