At the beginning of every year, I try to stop and take stock of the projects I’ve done and I make a list of the things I’d like to try in the coming months.

This year, I have no list. There are no long lines of projects waiting, no techniques dying to be explored. This year, my goal is simply this: to knit.

2013 has been a long and difficult year, with old health problems cropping up in new ways and lots of challenges at work. Most nights, I am simply too tired to knit even plain stockinette.

I swatched for a sweater just before Thanksgiving. The stitch pattern was chosen, I knew which needle size I wanted, and all I had to do was cast on at the neck. Somehow, even casting on for a simple raglan was too much to think about.

Instead, I knit a hat. Since the hat was the only project I had on the needles and I didn’t have the brainpower to come up with another, I stretched the knitting out over several weeks, a row here and a row there. I finished it while we were visiting with friends a couple of days after Christmas, which left my needles empty.

In the lull between the holidays and heading back into preparations for the new semester, I picked up that swatch again. It took about 10 minutes to cast on, and about 5 days to knit the sweater.

The yarn is Briggs and Little Heritage, the yarn I picked up this past summer when I was on PEI. It’s a heavy weight, 2-ply wool, spun in a small woolen mill in New Brunswick and lightly heathered. The main body color is called Seafoam, and there are 4 other accent colors, too (I seem to have lost the labels for most of them, but one is green heather and one is natural white. Looking at their color card, I think the others must be fern and light blue or peacock).

The knitting was fast, at about 4 sts/in on a size 5 needle. I switched up to a size 6 for the shoulder color pattern, since it’s a slip stitch pattern and I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t pull in. The narrower bands near the cuff and hem use 2 of the more subtle accent colors to help balance the visual weight of the yoke.

Yesterday, I found the perfect buttons in my button box:

And with that, the first sweater of the new year is done.

(Of course, now I need to come up with a new project to cast on…)