Facing Forward

I wrote a to-do list this morning.  I write them most mornings, to be fair – I’ve always loved a nice clear plan and the feeling of accomplishment as you work your way though the list. I love this enough that on days where I really need a boost, or the list has too many things on it that I know won’t get done, I’ll often list things that I know for sure I’m going to do, just so that I’m guaranteed some sort of success, no matter how contrived.  “Drink coffee” and “take bath” end up listed right beside “do something about email” and “sort desk”.

Usually the list is driven by what needs doing (it is a to-do list, after all) but this one is different. It’s a New Year’s Day list.  We have loads and loads of New Year’s traditions in this family – yesterday for example we cleaned our whole house, we paid all the bills, we caught up on the laundry and took out all the recycling, both of us tried to get to a decent place work-wise (or as decent a place as you can while understanding there’s no finish line there) essentially, we tried to be in as good a place as we could be, so that we could end as we mean to go on. Before midnight we put silver (just nickles, dimes and quarters) out in the back garden so the light of the old year’s moon and the light of the new year’s moon could shine on them. (According to my grandparents, that will make sure we have enough money this year – assuming we spend those coins right away.) I swept the floors and tossed the contents of the dustpan out my back door, the direction all my old troubles should go in, thank you very much – and I made sure that I had a First Footer – the first person to cross my threshold in the new year was a handsome dark haired man bearing salt.  (Thanks Joe.)

Today we won’t wash things or throw them away – that’s an invitation for the universe to wash away someone in our family, we’ll wear something new, and we’ll all execute our New Year’s Day lists. My mum (and her mum, and her mum’s mum) all believed that you should spend New Year’s Day doing at least a little of all the things that you’re hoping to do more of, or have success with in the coming year, and since McPhee’s are like that, it turns into a list. Knit is on mine (to make sure I have lots of time for it in the coming year) and email, and sitting at my desk (I’m there now.) and I organized my top drawer, because it’s perpetually a disaster, and maybe I’m just not sorting it on the right day of the year.  I’m doing some Bike Rally work, because that really needs to work out this year, and doing some organizing for the Retreats that Debbi and I host.

I’m writing a little today too, and coming to the blog to remind myself how much I love, miss and need this community. A few paragraphs on a book, and a chat with Elliot, and texts and emails to a few people I think need proper cementing into this year round out the list.

That should take most of the day, but with what’s left of it after that, I’m going to start to re-institute the Self-Imposed Sock Club. Do you guys remember when I did that? It was eight or nine years ago for sure, so it’s definitely time to re-run that particular stroke of genius, and it would put several pairs of socks in my drawer, and into the long-range-planning-box, and make a bit of a dent in the stash. (Okay.  A very small dent. More of a nick.)

I’ll find twelve patterns, and pair them with 12 skeins of yarn I’ve been wanting to use, and make myself twelve kits. I’m going to wind all the yarn, buy and print (or scan, or download) all the patterns – and get them into 12 large ziplocks, and that way I can pull a kit at random every month of the year. It should be fun to surprise myself a little.  I imagine it will take a little time to get this together, but I’ll start today and if you’d care to join me, I’d love it.

If you don’t want to join me, but you want to suggest a pattern? Have at it. (A little tip, if you put multiple links in your comment, then the blog software will block the comment. If you want to suggest more than one, do them in separate comments.)

Now, if you’ll all excuse me, I’ve got socks to finish (because that’s definitely something I want to see more of this year) and I am going for a run. It might just be around the block, but I’m going. Happy New Year to all of you. What’s on your list today?


197 thoughts on “Facing Forward

  1. Happy New Year to you, Stephanie! On my list today is, put away the Christmas decorations, eat leftovers, make the house hygge for the anticipated snowstorms to come (it’s still green here in northeast Indiana) take a walk and make 12 bags of for my own sock club. Thanks for the great idea.

  2. I love the self-imposed sock club! My first thought was that I don’t have enough sock yarn in my stash, but my second thought is that I probably do, so I am in!

  3. Already fixed the hole in the dog run so the escape artist cant get out. So I am good for chores for the day.
    Casting on for a new pair of basic tabi socks sounds like a good idea. Just need to find my spare #0 nine inch circular. 😀 I really should weave in the ends of the last pair i finished on Christmas Day. Speaking of weaving, that loom wont warp itself. I guess I do have a few things to accomplish today after all.

  4. Happy 8th day of Christmas (aka New Year’s Day)!

    I love the idea of your self-imposed sock club. I think I’ll do that myself. My daddy used to say that you should not do anything on New Year’s Day that you wouldn’t want to do every day in the new year. So, I’m with you on not doing mundane chores. I’m about to put on some music, sip champagne & continue knitting a pair of socks I’ve been working on since before Christmas.

    Blessings & good wishes to you and everyone for 2019!

    • Please help. I would like to join this group blog. Can you give me advice or pass on some kind of direction. I am a knitting sock lover with a pation to meet others with the same interest .

  5. Happy new year! I have never commented here before, but have so enjoyed your blog for many years. We had a bit of a tough year and have thrown ourselves into home improvement projects to the point of not getting much else done. Our house is in upheaval which is notmy favorite thing. Today i plan to make 12 sock kits. My knitting has been nearly all gifts and a baby blanket that is taking forever. I really do need new socks and love getting organized about it. This is the year. Thank you. You are a great example. And heck, I may not be able to find the pillowcases or the fish food but i do know exactly where all the sock yar is. Priorities.

  6. I used to try to get out home clean for the new year but it’s often too hot here to get really excited about that. Last year I was recovering from surgery so I couldn’t clean or do anything fun. This year I didn’t bother with the cleaning, the dishes were done, we packed our bags and went to the beach with friends. Happy New Year Steph!

  7. Coincidentally, I was thinking about your Self Imposed Sock Club last night; this is the year for me to do that. I had a pretty serious case of the Knitting Doldrums in 2018 – not nearly as much knitting as I usually do, nor as much as I wanted to do – last year was, honestly, kind of a gentle bummer in many ways, and this year I want to be less bummed and more knitty. And boy, is there a lot of sock yarn around here. 🙂 Sock Club ahoy!

    Steph, thanks for all the things your writing brings us: joy, and fun, and family, and love, and deep thoughts. And wool. Happy New Year to you and yours, and to everyone at The Blog!

  8. Count me in! I’ve already decided this is the year I teach myself to knit socks from the toe up, so this is perfect. Cat Bordhi’s books were on my Christmas wish list and Santa delivered.

    It’s also the year of wiping all those UFOs off my to do list along with organizing the stash.

  9. I did not know about not washing anything — and I’ve already done laundry and washed dishes so now I am really nervous —and guilt-ridden. And I have already made 12 sock kits for the year, so let’s see where it goes. Happy 2019!

  10. As lists go, knitting socks is definitely on mine, too. I need a pattern for heavy hunter’s socks for a son-in-law. EZ’s perhaps. Having the first fire in the fireplace and black eyed peas for dinner today. To make sure the bird feeders are full, too. To remember to be grateful for what I have, what I plan to do, and most of all for family.

    We humans are so drawn to ritual. I’m glad you have yours. Happy new year!

  11. P.S. A book? There will be another book? Oh, please soon! It has been too long! I await it with all hope and anticipation!

    • My thought exactly! She just slid that little teaser about writing a book in there among all the other items, didn’t she? Perhaps, to see whether anyone would notice. It’s probably good luck that someone did !

      Tossing the dust out on New Year’s Eve, and putting the coins out overnight then spending them, are charming rituals. (What happens if it’s snowing and the moonlight can’t shine on the coins though?) However, I can’t get with the no washing on New Year’s Day. There were dishes and laundry that would overwhelm if not kept up with, and the kitchen floor was washed also…two big dogs, you see. By my reckoning, I’d better not let the housework go if I want the place to be at least semi-habitable in 2019, so that’s one reason to have done some today. There was also time for
      a lovely walk, visiting, baking, reading, a little work (for my actual job), and of course knitting. All in all, it was a great day.

  12. Funnily enough, I came across my twelve sock list the other day and thought of you! Not sure I’m going to do it again right now, as my sock drawer is too full. I do need to finish a blanket that started as a CAL and fizzled, and there are two pair of partly finished pairs of socks, half a hat, a sweater…. Looks like my list will include finishing projects! And knitting from stash where possible. Hence the scrap blanket. I’m thinking about socks now. I love knitting them. Perhaps a sock binge will strike and I’ll join you! Happy healthy 2019 to you and yours and to The Blog.

    • I don’t write resolutions, but I do choose a word of the year. It’s a setting of intentions for what I see myself needing in the year. Last year it was slow, because I could see my kids needed me to slow down the pace of our life. This year it’s finish. So many unfinished projects, crafty, home and otherwise are taking up head space. This is the year I need to clear it.

      • I love this idea… I had never thought of it that way — my word will be “less” (less weight, less stuff, less worry, less judgement, less guilt and maybe less yarn?!)

  13. Happy New Year, Stephanie! I hope 2019 will be soooo much better than 2018 – for both of us!

    I do remember your self-imposed sock club and thought it was a great idea, even though I never joined you. I have fallen away from knitting socks. I’m not sure why, but they don’t really excite me any more. I have plenty that fit and I mostly wear them when it is super cold here, or as bed socks when I’m sick, so they are lasting quite a while. However, I have an enormous stash (and souvenir skeins) of sock yarn from the sock knitting days. I may turn this into a mitten club instead.

    • I was thinking of a self made accessories club. I love knitting hats, cowls, shawls and mitts, and my family loves them as gifts. Any my rav queue overflows with patterns, and my stash with yarns. I love this idea, and it will make it easier to get out the door the morning after finishing a project (I live in fear of waiting without knitting). I’m in.

  14. How wonderful to find someone with New Year’s traditions that are the ones my grandmother (nee Rose) practiced.
    Happy New Year! I will read today, enjoy family, write and knit. Of course.

  15. I like your traditions. New Year’s Day for us ends up being very slow. We wake up late after having been to a friend’s New Year’s Eve (not rowdy at all) party (we got to sleep at 3 this morning) and head out to another friend’s open house which starts at 11:30. I’d have to have done some serious planning to do anything very constructive, but I think I’ll shoot for that for next year.

    Happy, healthy, New Year to you!

  16. Happy New Year! Though I like your 12 month self imposed sock knits, I am going to do a 12 month hat or mitten knits, so will be able to gift or give as needed. Each year there are giving trees where one places hats and mitts for needy so my goal this year is to have some for that and some for the grandchildren.

  17. I must confess I’ve never knitted a pair of socks, however I am signed up for a class to learn how, so I suppose that is a start 😉

  18. Happy New Year, Stephanie! Love the idea of a self imposed sock club! Count me in….
    Many many thanks for your great blog! It has given me many minutes of joy and quiet reflection!

  19. I don’t knit fast enough to do 12 pairs of socks and complete all the other projects I hope to this year, but love the idea and I think I will put together 6 kits for myself today– that will fit nicely with my total fiber-yarn-tools-books-projects organization plan. Today I will finish the writing up detailed goals I am setting for 2019– detailed enough to make them clear, reasonable, and doable, which I am feeling pretty good about. (I also love lists. On bad days I have been known to write items on the list after I have done them so I can cross them off immediately.) Hopefully I will still be feeling good about the goals six months from now… but any progress is better than no progress. I love your traditions– how lovely to have grown up in a family that has them and carries them through the generations! And since I have my granddaughter with me today and overnight (my daughter is down with the flu), I hope that means I will be spending LOTS of time with her this year!
    Wishing you blessings for 2019!

    • T. Allison (hi from a fellow Alison!), I’m with you on most likely not being able to complete 12 socks, so had thought 6 could be do-able, and I also totally add done things to my to-do list, just to be able to cross them off – and that’s on a good day!!

    • Hi Alison
      I too, on certain days, write and immediately cross off so that I feel i’ve accomplished something!
      I don’t see well enough to do much sock yarn knitting, but I am thinking of 6 kits, maybe 1 or 2 thick socks and the rest fingerless mitts. They will be my yeat’’s purse projects!
      Have a wonderful, lovely time with your granddaughter!

  20. I was happy to see that you use the long yellow leader on the Regia yarn. I use mine on socks with patterns to mark pattern repeats, are you using them every inch for length?
    I too would love to see a new book!

    Happy New Year to you and your whole family.

  21. I’ve used your Sock Club idea in the past, not for socks but for other small gift projects. It worked well but this year I think I will fill the list with UFO’s. Don’t need to start any more, but do need to finish a few.

  22. Doing today the things I want to do all year – meditated, knit (my complicated shawl, not my handbag cowl), about to go to nursing home and then long walk with DH. Cooking dal and rice instead of black eyed peas, actually kitchari, but since I don’t cook much it’s also a harbinger. Wishing for a healthy and fulfilling year for us all as we turn the page (happily and with some relief). Thank you, Stephanie! PS. Thinking of revisiting those Jaywalkers, as fun and happy classic socks.

  23. Happy New Year and good riddance to the dumpster fire that was 2018. I ended this year with a weeks worth of meals cooked in the refrigerator, only needing reheating this week. I began this year finishing a pair of stranded mitts, and a hat and mitt set. I continued work on the next hat and mitt set and ordered yarn for 3 new sweaters. I took your suggestion of sock kits one further, I “kit up” most of my yarn with the pattern in zip locks and then when I am ready for a new project or a trip it’s all ready to go.
    I like to spend the first day of the year making my list and taking care of me, which includes knitting time. I wish for all of us only good things in the coming year.

  24. Love the traditions. They are what centers us. Thank you for your writing and inspirations. Onward into a joyous (healthy, clean, organized, productive) New Year!

  25. Happy new year to you and yours! Today my partner and I will make a big pot of bolognese sauce and eat it on some home made pasta (our new year’s tradition). I bought a knitting machine last summer thinking that it’d make a good winter project. I suppose it’s time to get it out and see what I can do with it.

  26. Steph, you are and always be the blogger I remain faithful to (14 years + and counting!), because of how I love the way you simply share is always encouraging and uplifting.
    I remember your SISC, and have often thought of doing the same in some form for myself (not limited to socks), so thank-you for the invitation to join you! I have a new little person in my life (after nearly getting to the finish line with teenagers) and it’s become very evident very quickly how much I’ll need to focus on self-care to be what they need, getting organised now for the year will help with ‘doses’ of ready-made fibre goodness

  27. Uh oh – I am reading this a little late in the day to get it right… I have been VACUUMING!! Please tell me I am not doomed to do THAT all year!! ARGHH!
    Well… at least I didn’t clean the loo.
    Enough “good works”. Better go throw the shuttle a few times, pick up my knitting, write a few words, read a few more — there’s time for all that before bed!

  28. Happy New Year, Stephanie. I’ve got a cake of Dragonfly Fibers Djinni all caked up and ready to go. I’ll be casting on Hummingbird by Sandi Rosner from the book The Knitter’s Book of Socks by Clara Parkes.

  29. New year was never a significant day in my family, and I don’t have any traditions around it. Because we spend the new year away visiting with my husband’s family (it is a huge holiday for them) many of the traditions I do know about aren’t in the cards. But, I did decide today that my kids and I need to start the year with some time in nature. I looked up nature walks near us and we spent several hours today at a lovely park. I intend to make a tradition out of that.

  30. While you are having Sock Club, I have my own KALs.
    Just me. There are no rules. I am the first to start and the first to finish. Group KALs always get away from me -never what I want to do when I want to do it.
    Have fun. Happy New Year.

  31. Love these traditions that you mention. I recall the dustbin full out the back door (lovely image) but also the twelve sock kits. I will be more productive with 12 shawl or hat kits so let me see about that. Very best wishes to you, Joe and the rest of your family. We love that you still blog and write.

  32. First purchase of the new year — movie tickets for four (Aquaman: no onscreen knitting, but it was fun to watch). It was a generous impulse buy. Looking forward to being more generous and more impulsive/ spontaneous this year. Today there has also been knitting, eating, and assorted reading. All things that will be added to the list. Tomorrow. After snb. List might eventually include cleaning, too, cause otherwise I am knitting cat hair and I don’t like the look.

    I have been reading this blog for a while, and I want to thank you for the times you’ve made me laugh, or cry a little, or just think about something in a new light. This urge to be kinder and more generous – it’s fed here, and I appreciate the nudge.

    Best wishes to you and yours and the Blog.

    PS: bookbookbook! Best news I’ve had all year. 🙂

  33. HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and yours! I love your blog! I suggest the sock pattern “Skew” on Knitty.com. I’ve made a few and in a yarn with a long colour-way they are terrific.

  34. New Year’s Day for me this year was a respite from the To Do list, not having any traditions or superstitions to fulfil, and really needing to take some rest.
    As the shouts and sparks died away at midnight, there appeared in my sleepy brain (I’ve got past staying up) the word “contentment” as a goal or aspiration for the year. It could well be applied to how I feel about not getting everything on the To Do list done. But I’m hoping there will be socks, at least once the summer recedes enough for the sweat to stop trickling.

  35. Spent a big part of the day shoveling all the snow that fell during the night. Then I cooked a New Years Day dinner for my 97 year old mother (coq au vin). Now, at last, I’m settling down with my knitting, a colourwork hat in lopi yarn that I bought in Iceland last month. 🙂

  36. Just started going to my son’s church, which has a mid-week crafters session. Met a lady who, it turns out, is also a knitter, in fact, knit an einstein coat. She offered directions, which would/will be the largest thing I’ve ever knit. At Christmas Eve program she brought the pattern, her last time at church until they return from their annual southern-clime stay. I studied the pattern, wondered how/where to get the right kind of yarn. Couple of days later, here comes a letter, which she has taken the time to send, because she has serendipitously found the label from one the skeins of the yarn she used. I know where I can get the exact yarn — all I need is the courage to start.

  37. Well, since I am still working on Christmas gifts (ahem…but in my defense, I started in late November due to a death in the family), I may join you in the sock club to alleviate some of next year’s Christmas knitting….although I might have to make it only 11 bags because these projects are still going to take me a while. And I might make mine the felted slipper club because that’s what everyone always wants, but, I’m with you in spirit!! 🙂

  38. Have you ever checked out designs by Caoua Coffee on Ravelry? (link: Caoua Coffee). The “Three Musketeers” socks have been lifesavers for me when knitting for men with definite ideas of what socks for Men ought to look like, and her more intricate designs are stunningly gorgeous.

  39. My wish for you is to craft a peaceful, calm heart and to smile and insert a memory of the joy of your Mum, at those times you stumble upon the void. Mumjoy

  40. I love your Solstice and New Year’s posts. When I can’t do the things I want to for these holidays, I can at least read about how you’re doing it and enjoy it from afar. I wish you and your lovely family the best for 2019.

  41. I spent the day with a friend who needed support. This is as important a way to spend any day.

    I don’t knit socks, but I will create my own hat club.

  42. Happy New Year! I remember the Sock Club, it was a lot of fun to watch! One of my favorite socks patterns is the Katherine Hepburn Fancy Trouser socks, https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/katharine-hepburn-fancy-trouser-socks. They’re pretty but not too complicated and come in multiple sizes.
    I didn’t know the tradition to avoid washing things, if I had I might not have washed so many dishes…but also the sink may have developed a gravitational pull by evening. Eep.

  43. I have a piece you wrote a few years ago about your New Years traditions saved and what sticks with me is ending as you mean to go on … so the house was as tidy as possible but I prioritized playing with the 5.5 year old over cleaning it all but I think it was a good start to the year … he likes traditions and we are slowly starting them for Christmas and could use more for New Years.

    I love the sock challenge idea but have no pattern suggestions other than zigzagular socks which are fun. I started the year with 14 project bags staged each with 1-2 projects in them that are fingering and lace weight so that’s one challenge but I like the sock idea and may have to join you …

  44. Oh I remember the Self-Imposed Sock Club! It so inspired me that I adopted it for myself and have been running it pretty successfully ever since you wrote about it. It really helps when you have:

    1. Lots of patterns you’d like to knit
    2. Lots of sock yarn
    3. Not so much budget for the Really Awesome Biscotte Mystery Sock Club that you’d really like to get but this is the next best thing.

    I’ve got my year all nice and planned – at least sock wise. Now as for the time to actually get to them . . . that’s another story. I’m going on day five of Family Time with absolutely NO KNITTING and I’m starting to feel it.

    Can’t wait to see what socks you’re knitting this year.

  45. I remember the last sock club – I got mine all organized but didn’t actually accomplish much. Six pairs is probably more realistic for me, since I also need to make a bobbin lace wedding garter and want to finish some needlepoint and embroidery UFOs.

    After working for a couple hours, I spent the rest of my morning reading about bullet journals and mindfulness – I want to use my time more productively this year.

  46. I have 12 single socks in my UFO factory. I will pick a random package of 1 sock each month and finish the second sock.
    God willing I can finish 1 each month and begin a new one before the end of the month. Around some other larger UFOs that need attention as well.

    Happy New Year!

  47. What lovely rituals for the New Year!
    I actually have 12 unfinished pairs of socks in project bags (never ziplocks, ahem!). Last year I thought I’d try to finish one per month but that never got off the ground. Maybe this will be the year? Even if I only finish 6 that would be ok in my book.
    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  48. I love reading about all your rituals for the new year! I am not nearly as organized, but I did do everything on New Year’s Day that I hope to do regularly in the year ahead: knit, read, exercise.

  49. I still have sock patterns with yarn attached in neat baggies from 8 years ago! I never can stick to the sock of the month. But, my knitting goal this year is to make baby toys for some upcoming kiddos and to finish, before next holiday season, stockings for the entire family. I tell myself I’m going to do this every year and never do. But this year, I’m going to because the family is complete! So stockings will be made and the yarn will be purchased to match the pattern I’ve chosen. Just as soon as I finish my husband’s Christmas present for this year (Kex Blanket)!

  50. I was wondering when you would do the Sock Club! I thought you did it every year and was thinking it had been a while. HOLY SHIZA! 9 years!!! Where did the time go? Also, no wonder you girls are getting married….they are frozen in time at their ages 9 YEARS ago to me.

    Thank you for all you do.

  51. Happy New Year to all!

    Was that self-imposed sock club that long ago? I thought of it over the weekend when I was surprised to lift up one of my late Mom’s woven baskets and found it was heavy – full of sock yarn. The passage of time thing is bumming me out. I plan to start my own self-imposed sock club with the self-imposed rule that anything from the list I don’t knit up will be donated to Goodwill for their thrift shop.

    Best of luck in the New Year.

  52. First item on any list I write is.
    1. Make List.

    So that when I finish the list, the first thing I get to do is cross off the first item.

    Happy New Year Steph.

  53. Happy New Years from Chicago to Stephanie and your wonderful family. I am “in” with the socks but not a pair a month… I have so many other things to knit I need to be realistic. Ill be watching for the pattern links since I am due for some new pattens. I make Cat Bordhi’s Personal Footprints teachnique and follow patterns for the leg.

  54. Sitting in the hospital with my 87 year old dad. He’s scheduled to get his left hip repaired. 3 screws to hold his fractured hip. I have bag of yarn, needles and a pattern. Maybe I’ll knit during surgery, but for now I’m just sitting here quietly listening to him snore and checking to see what you are up too. Wishing you a truly great new year with loads of knitting fun.

  55. Happy New Year! Yesterday I got started on a crocheted Temperature Blanket and read a book (two things I will always be happy to do). My family does not have any New Year’s traditions, aside from spending the Eve playing games and laughing together.

  56. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones! All the best–and thank you for all these years of both knitting inspiration and the reminders that show through in your writing of how powerful it is when we choose to be our best towards others, even difficult people or in difficult circumstances. You have more of an effect for good than you will ever know.

  57. I wish you everything wonderful in this year and I thank you for your writing which never fails to make me laugh or uplift me in some way.
    I have a planner for 2019 and have been cautiously making plans for this year. More sewing, more knitting, more time with friends but most importantly more time finding joy in ordinary days.
    Hugs and Happy New Year!

  58. I love your New Year’s traditions! We’re not very tradition oriented (well, I suppose we are if you count Jewish traditions), and I think we miss out on something by that. That being said, I did instinctively make sure that we did a little work and a little play (knitting, games, taking my daughter to the playground), which I think was a low-key approach to the same ideas you had.

    I love your sock-knitting idea! I don’t think this is the year for me to follow your example (I’m trying to finish my dissertation… project enough), but I’m going to watch you eagerly, and pick up ideas for patterns from you and the blog as you go!

    And kudos and good luck with the book! I can’t wait to see what new marvel you come up with.

  59. If you want guaranteed success on a to-do list, make the first item “Make to-do list.”

    You get to cross that off as soon as you’ve finished the list.

  60. Oh, knit angel! you give me courage and hope. The SISC is such a great idea. Today, after I clean up from a <24 hour visit from my two granddaughters, I'm going to dive into to sock yarn, sock patterns and 1 gallon freeze bags. After a flurry of activity I should have 12 nicely packaged sock projects to do thru the winter. You are a genius! Blessings for you and yours this new year.

  61. What wonderful things to do to greet the New Year! And as you go about diligently completing each task of the new year, I can envision all those McPhee’s following behind you and nodding their heads in approval. A Blessed New Year to you and yours. xo <3

  62. I stole your Christmas gift idea from last year, modified a bit. I crocheted earflap hats for all seven grands so that Rudy who turned 9 months old yesterday would always know who his people are. The kids were thrilled! Who knew? I’d share a picture but don’t know how. And next year I’m going to do the coin tradition.

  63. When the kids were little we ate Chinese food and played board games til midnight. We always bang pots and pans with wooden spoons outdoors at midnight to chase any bad spirits away! My mother did this as a child in NYC also. The large extended family I grew up with always cut a Pita (loaf) with a coin in it on New Year’s Day — a slice for each member of the family, with good luck to the winner of the coin. Raising our own family too far to go back for New Year’s Day after being there for Christmas, we are lucky to have found a wonderful January 1 tradition with friends and neighbors. 5 mile hike through a protected natural area followed by bonfire and potluck. My favorite way to start the New Year!

  64. A couple of days late, but here goes. I just made the call to adopt a new kitty. Save one life from a shelter. We’ll have to see what happens.
    On the knitting side..I’m cruising with girl friends late April, so need to finish a light sweater and a dramatic top for dinner. (Hubbies stay home for the 4-footers.)
    Took all of the house decorations out, and will be deep cleaning during the month of January – list included.
    Since one of my primary charities, ” The Preemie Project” is on vacation for 3 months, I’ll start knitting for “Knitted Knockers”. Need to buy more yarn.
    #2 Pencil and paper are the only way to go. Says me, to the younger generation!

  65. The message I sent out into the universe, “may we all reach for the stars with music in our souls, may we all discover new depths of understanding lighting the darkest corners of our own ignorance, and may we all raise only the best within us.” I was a bit inspired by the new horizon space probe and the fact that Brian Maylead guitarist for Queen is also an astrophysicist.

    So, if the universe insists on delivering amazig messages about possibility the least I can do is accept. Self imposed sock club challenge accepted!

  66. If only I had this list on New Years…sigh…I drank excellent coffee, knit and binge watched Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. (Her wardrobe! O M G)
    I do remember the Y-o-S. That’ll knock the spreadsheet silly. (This year please allow a 2 week break between Thanksgiving and Christmas because The Flu likes to visit you or inconvenience a key player in Spreadsheet Bingo)
    I am pulling all the ziploc bags o wool out for an honest appraisal and consider What Can Be Made Here. Three of my friends will be first time grandmas, so thankfully Grandma shower gifts gets rid of all the baby yarn. Tired just typing this. Maybe that should be enough for 2019. Lol.

  67. I know you did your self-sock-club in 2010 because I’ve been re-reading your lovely posts from the beginning. I am on September 2010. I think it’s a grand idea. I hope you enjoy it as much as it is fun to re-read. (September was a squeaker, but you got it done.)

  68. I say ‘long-range-planning-box’ in my head every time I finish something AND when I pull something perfect out of it to give!

  69. Right now I’m knitting hats to raise money for the PMH Ocular Ocology unit. However, this morning my husband mentioned that he was running short of socks, so I’ll be doing a couple pair of him and a couple pair of the rest of my family. I have enough in my stash for all. Now to buy the plastic bags.

  70. For the #MissMarpleKnit here is a coupon! “You can get the full collection for $15 by using the coupon code MISSMARPLE15 or get a special discount on all individual patterns with the code MISSMARPLE20 for 20% off.”

  71. Happy New Year! I am definitely joining you on the sock challenge but I’m doing every other month. I’m hoping to borrow your pattern suggestions. My first pair I’m finishing are Socks of Kindness by Chawne in hot pink “Lip Gloss” yarn by SweetGeorgia. Looking forward to more socks posts!!!!

  72. Shoot my other comment didn’t show up because of the links I think. Anyway, there is a #MissMarpleKnits one sock a month KAL on instagram and in the Ravelry group https://www.ravelry.com/groups/ambrose-smith-designs

    Cute sock designs and company while knitting. I’ve never successfully done a sock before, so my goal is to do four! I chose Damson Gin, Paddington Station, Sixpence and St. Mary Mead. Now all I have to do is finally decide which yarn to use – so hard!

  73. Happy New Year, Stephanie! I can’t believe it has been that long since your sock club – I can still remember it which is amazing because my memory doesn’t always serve me so well. But it is also an indicator of how time is flying by. I may not complete 12 but am going to do my best to put my best foot forward- and have it wrapped in woolly warmness ( or someone’s wrapped!) Thanks for always inspiring us and keeping us as part of your New Year.

  74. I’m in the HOLY COW, TEN YEARS camp, but game, since this is the ultimate fantasy startitis. I’ll probably shoot for seven — one new pair for each day of the week — and do half tried-and -true Can Knit It In The Movies patterns and half new ones, in an attempt to find a new favorite or two.

    SOCKS, SOCKS, SOCKS is my go-to, and I’ll certainly do its Feather and Fan (think for one row, cruise for three) and maybe Gull Wing across the page. For a new one, I confess that the side-to-side on straight needles using leftover yarn of Sideways Socks Surprise tempts me, at least for house socks.

    Besides Feather and Fan, my beloveds include Froot Loop https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/froot-loop

  75. I am so on board with this. I’m not sure I’ll do the kits. I might just see what others are doing for patterns. I may even try to do my own pattern or learn different heels and ways to knit socks. I do remember you doing this. What a great idea to get the year kick started!

  76. Hi, Stephanie. My list for today–
    –remind doctor she didn’t call in my prescription to the pharmacy.
    –go to monthly computer club meeting.
    –start redoing frogged leg of miserable striped sock
    –call my hair cutter before my hair reaches past my shoulders

    I didn’t do any of it 🙂 , but the sock is still a possibility.

  77. I’m joining in on the sock club. I just cast on on my first sock, pattern is By the Seine River. I’ve never knitted socks before, but I’m very ambitious so this should be fun.

  78. I love hearing about your traditions for New Year! Mine are much simpler. . . I spend time doing whatever I hope to do more of. . . knitting, spinning, weaving, fiddling, whatever. This year, with great exuberance, I knitted a hole in my finger. But I’m making great progress on an Icelandic sweater.

  79. I partake in a Self-Imposed Year of Projects over on my own blog (there’s a whole Year of Projects group on Ravelry which was, I believe, partly inspired by your sock projects)…..and yes, it includes socks but also a bunch of other stuff that I won’t get to anytime soon but I’m dreaming big and having wiggle room because that’s how I roll. It works for me 🙂

  80. I was inspired by your sock club idea. I tossed the stash, found six sock patterns and matched them with yarn. I did six rather than 12 because there is no way I will do a pair a month. Thanks for the inspiration.

  81. Happy New Year! I’ll join you for 3 pair of socks this year (for me), and possibly other pairs for other folks (tbd). As a matter of fact, I just bought 2 skeins of Gauge Dyeworks sock yarn from another Raveler, and immediately cast on a (green & blue striped) pair in your vanilla pattern. I love-love-love their yarn, and am grateful to you for mentioning them on the blog some time ago. Best wishes for 2019!

  82. Considering I’ve decided to knit my entire family socks for Xmas next year and that it means knitting 12 pairs of adult socks and one pair for a 4 year old boy I suddenly feel like I should get started… and here I felt organized when I started knitting my seven blankets for Christmas 2018 on June first… I’m knitting everyone the same pair (can we say family sock party!) and since they’re mostly men who farm I’m going very basic and rugged with these from Bernat on yarnspirations.com

  83. I was always told that whatever you are doing on New Years day is what you will be doing for the rest of the year too. I made sure to exercise,knit and random other things. I love the sock idea but I wanted to do the Kelbourne Year of Mittens last year-Epic Fail!! Reading this makes me want to try again. I am also committing to 15 minutes of knitting per day–no matter what!!

  84. I knit socks for my mother. And my son and my husband and my friends. But I have never knit socks for myself because I have thick calves and I don’t know how to adjust the pattern so the tops fit me. I suppose I would just cast on a handful of extra stitches…but how many? And will the decresses around the ankle look funny? It boggles me and so I don’t do the experimenting required to figure it all out. Maybe this year will be the year I finally try.

    • I have thick ankles and calves and yes, you can do this! I find it is easier with toe-up socks, since you can try them on to see how the fit is. I also like to use patterns with ribbing or lace – something with good stretch so they don’t fall down to my ankles. I encourage you to be brave and try it.

  85. I love the Hedgerow Sock pattern by Jane Cochran. Simple yet enough to keep your interest. One of the few patterns I have made multiple times. Looks great in solids or semi-solids. (Haven’t tried a wild skein yet!)

    A great idea to make up kits for yourself. Just a bit of encouragement!

  86. I have knit several pairs of socks and have given them as gifts or have donated for kids. They have all been plain stockinette, no patterns. Somehow I am afraid to start knitting socks with patterns and I don’t know why.. is that stupid, like am I missing out on something really fun?

  87. My go to pattern is Plymouth’s lace mock cable sock, I’ve made so many I’ve lost count. everyone’s favorite when gifted.

  88. As much as I can appreciate the organized plan of a 12-project (sock or otherwise) year, I can’t be the only person who might find that that may lead directly to stress & disappointment. I would not want to discourage anyone else from this approach, but I enjoy ad hoc knitting, with as few deadlines as possible.
    Happy New Year, & happy knitting to everyone.

  89. Good to see you begin to come out the other side! Keep faced forward and soldier on with joy and sadness and hope. Happy New Year to you and yours.

  90. I’m going to join you in the self-imposed sock club! I started a pair on New Year’s Day and after a saunter through the sock-yarn portion of the stash I have discovered that I could make a pair every month for the next three years and not need to buy yarn… so here goes!

  91. Oh, I don’t have a list today. I got a sweater order this morning, so I’ve been thinking about that most of today. I researched the yarns on sale, worked out the sizing, and finished a pair of Caron’ Cozy Cable Cabin Socks that are made out of worsted weight llama yarn. I just need to weave in the ends. Your sock kits sound really cool. I usually just grab a ball of sock yarn and start knitting. Took a nice bike ride and long walk with my dog today. Hope you enjoyed your run.

  92. I organized my SISC the year after you first did it…..and managed to put the giant, all inclusive bag into my garage in the “Deep stash” where it has remained virtually unmoved since then….in a way I’m glad because the socks I knit now fit WAY better than back then (the Fish Lips Kiss Heel is my favorite these days – I’m even contemplating knitting another pair of US size 14 socks for one of my sons….). Once I get thru the next 3 pairs (ok 2.5 – I have one done of the 1st pair of socks I’ve ever knitted for my husband of 30 years….) I just might go find that bag – I only remember 1 of the skeins of yarn in that bag….. I do have a sock pattern recommendation for you – if it’s not too late – Aurelia by Elizabeth Manning. It’s pretty and just interesting enough in my opinion…..I need to make another pair of these now that I think of it!


  93. My 18 year old son has requested some new socks for his ipcoming brithday. I told him I was planning to make one pair every month for him this year so he can replenish his sock drawer. He absolutely loves his home made socks.

  94. I did the self-imposed sock club the first time you posted about it and have organized my sock knitting like this ever since. (Thanks Stephanie). I admit that I don’t usually manage 12 pairs in a year and sometimes kits seem to languish (I’m just finishing up one of the originals) while others insert themselves at the front of the imaginary queue. I also admit that, on balance, my stash seems remarkably stable in size…

  95. Happy New Year everyone. I am late reading this as I have been, already, doing the things that I had hoped to do in 2019. Pray the rosary a great deal more. Got daily mass more often. Get a sheep fleece from 2017 carded and spun for a friend of mine and KNIT MORE SOCKS! Yeah! to the sock club reboot! I am in a KAL with Suzanne Bryant on Ravelry. She is doing the Starry, Starry Night socks. The KAL begins Tuesday Jan 15 and there is a KAL sheet on her Ravelry page. I think Steph has knit this pattern in the past. I have had it in my library on Ravalry for a while but never did it. This is one of my 2019 goals is to learn something new. DH got me a drum carder for Christmas and I am learning something new there too! Do something new. Learn a new skill. Go outside the comfort zone and live there for a while.

  96. To do lists with lines through the tasks – so rewarding. Is it my Scot DNA pushing me? Maybe I shall add feed the cat so I can cross off something successful every day. Organizing accounts for tax preparation doesn’t seem nearly so much fun. The sock-a-month idea is a good one – I loved it when you did that. Then I can covet all your socks and send my sock knitter patterns and colors I like her to whip up for me. The new year – Oh, we should tidy up, get organized, put out the coins and then we give in to champagne and a movie. The children will still grow too fast, there will never be enough time for everything, the puppy will quit chewing rug corners ( right?) and before we know it, we’ll be signing up for another new year.

  97. I’m very late, but I accidentally / on purpose committed myself to a 2019 Dishcloth of the Month Club with very limited subscriptions of my father, my brother & SIL and myself. I’m not prepping as much as you are, but it feels like a good way to bring myself into 2019 and back to knitting. The real bonus is that I gave the January 2019 edition to my family on Christmas, so I’m ahead by design. I’ve already knitted one of the additional 11 patterns! It’s a great distraction / “me time” from the work that is my life plus the addition of dealing with being the helper for my dad as he is working his way into his life without my mom.

  98. Happy New Year Steph, Barriers to going vegan…. In my personal situation I was a vegetarian prior to a life threatening pneumonia some years ago. The changes the illness wrought on my body were many. Can no longer digest soy, nuts, fungi and cow’s milk products,
    to name a few. Have a hard time with processed food.
    Can no longer produce all the amino acids my body needs. Some, albeit limited, limited meat is necessary to maintain reasonable functionality. Thankfully I knit. It was my lifeline during the worst of times. So I’m a semi-vegetarian and alive!

  99. Late to the gate but count me in on the sock club. I finished my Christmas cast-on, “Twas-the-night-before-Christmas” pattern by Danielle Jorge. Have moved on the a vanilla sock of self-striped Giddy Yarns yarn in a colorway reminiscent of a UK robin. I’ll get my remaining sock kits ready by the end of the month. Many patterns in my files to choose from. What fun!

  100. I’ll be knitting every pattern from Op-Art Socks this year AND I’m going to try to do most of it from my stash. 19 patterns – 12 months – 1.5 socks already done.

  101. I’m also on board with the sock club, I will be diving deep into the stash to clear out some of the really lovely skeins. Already started the second pair for this year!

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