resolve

For some reason, this year's turning has got me all fired up to make good changes (perhaps it's the Obama Effect).

Resolved: to eat healthier, to re-commit to eating vegetarian at home most/all of the time. First act in that direction: a pot of Hoppin' John, a Southern tradition for New Year's. (They say it brings luck. The 'eyes' in the black-eyed peas are said to look like coins. Or something.)

(What's that in the glass? Oh, come on. What do you expect? Sheesh.)

Resolved: to focus my work energies in a consistent direction, and not leave a spate of half-finished designs behind me, spinning in space and suspended.

First act in that direction:

A complete overhaul of the overdesk bulletin board.

Gone are the mess of business cards and souvenirs and memorabilia (though the bib from the marathon is still proudly displayed on another board) … here are the Projects I Want to Focus On Next Year.… which is looking suspicously like my own version of NaKniSweMoDo (Ravelry link) [That's the National Knit a Sweater a Month Dodecathon, for those of you not nuts enough to be considering joining yet.] Yup: 12 sweater concepts, 6 of which could turn into 2nd Nature patterns if I play my cards right. Am I insane? Perhaps. (Weigh in in the comments.)

Some nuttiness counteracted by a clever advance parry: starting one of them as my Christmas present to myself. It's the middle image in the very left-hand column on the board: Sally Melville's fabulous Cross-Over Rib top. In Koigu, natch. I'm 3/4 done with the back, 3/4 done with one front, and given that I'm only planning little cap sleeves, I'm waaaaay ahead of the game for January.

The other fun focus right now, which has very little to do with resolutions (except perhaps the one where I don't gain all my weight back so I don't fit into my nice clothes anymore) … my Wardrobe Makeover. I've been watching "Tim Gunn's Guide to Style" via Amazon's Video on Demand service - obsessively - over the last few weeks, and I sorted through my half of the closet a few weeks ago. I'm down to just the 20% – you know, the 20% of your wardrobe that you wear 80% of the time? What Tim calls the "soul-stirring" garments that you *know* look good on you? Everything else was relegated to a giant duffle bag in my office closet, waiting for a "naked lady party" (wherein my gal pals come over for wine and chocolate, wearing their best underwear so they can strip down to their skivvies in order to try on everyone's cast-off clothing, and swaps are made to great hilarity and enjoyment).

Which leaves the question: what is my 'new' fashion sense? What do I want to be wearing for this next decade of my life, in my new I-lost-15-pounds-and-may-lose-10-more bod?
Here's the visual:

That was fun.

What I learned from assembling this:
• I need to knit a big orange scarf (middle, far left).
• I've got a vamp-in-black waiting to come out (lower right quadrant entirely made up of hot chicks in black low-cut gowns) (and Marlene Dietrich, sporting a great pantsuit and huge coat).
• I have to stop knitting garments out of worsted-weight yarn.

It's all Sally Melville's fault.
She gave a talk at the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa when I was there on the Vogue tour … in which she put out a call to all knitters to start KNITTING WHAT WE WEAR. Not just the fun patterns, the hot tickets on Ravelry or the Tangled Yoke Cardigans because they're so entertaining. Please, says Sally: leave room in your schedule to knit 'That Gray Cardigan.' The one you always grab to go over your white shirt with jeans when you go to the grocery store.

Because, as ambassadors of this craft – which we are every time we leave the house – it behooves us to clothe ourselves in hand knits. Like, all the time.

So… Sally? I'll see you in February at Madrona… wearing a great basic that I KNIT MYSELF.

Happy New Year, everyone. Let's resolve to make the world a more beautiful place, one sweater at a time.