It’s been a bit quiet over here on the blog lately. I’ve been working away on projects (more on those soon, but I still need to take pictures), and I’ve been plotting and planning about new things to come for DesigKnit.

I find that fall and early winter are some of my most creative times. The rest of life gets a little less distracting as the weather gets colder and the dark draws in. The fading fall colors highlight the passage of time, and another year ticks by on my mental calendar (I think it’s probably all those years of school that make my new year begin sometime around September). And so, naturally, I begin to think of things to come.

It was around this time last year that I decided to try a little experiment that has turned into our dyeing adventures here on the blog. It’s been an interesting year; lots learned about shopping carts and shipping, and about finding the right balance for me between Etsy content and general blogging. It’s been really fun to have you all along with me, sending photo ideas and squealing with excitement when I get a color just right.

I’ve learned a lot about making the dyeing (and posting) process work for me, without becoming something that I dread “having” to get done, and I’ve realized that I really do want to do more of it. I also know (and have known from the beginning) that it’s not possible for a handful of dedicated blog readers to find a use for all the fiber I now want to dye, no matter how enthusiastic and supportive they may be. (And thanks for that support! This wouldn’t be nearly as much fun on my own.)

So, finding new eyes for my fiber is first on my list of things to do in this next year. I’ve been thinking of various ways to approach this, but the best option seems to be vending at a couple of local fiber shows. I’ve been tossing this idea around since sometime last summer, but now I’m moving toward making more concrete plans.

This past year I have paced my dyeing to match the shop; not getting too far ahead of the amount that things are selling. Now, it’s time to start building up more of an inventory, so I can start dyeing more and stashing it away in boxes for the summer. There will probably be a dyeing post every couple of weeks or so; not much more than there has been, but I may experiment with a wider range of colorways for each day rather than limiting myself to my standard four.

I’m excited about the freedom that this opens up, to dye what I feel like and trust that it will find a use and a home somewhere. There’s been a similar freedom in dyeing for the Etsy shop; I’m much more open to experimenting on 4 oz of fiber than on a sweaters’ worth of wool, and I can dye colors and combinations that I wouldn’t necessarily expect to want to wear, because they will be perfect for someone else (and often, unexpectedly, for me). Sometimes more variation seems like a really wonderful thing.

I’m also thinking about revisiting some patterns that I have nearly written and that really only need polishing up. This is a tricky one for me, because I spend all day being very precise, careful and exact at work. Coming home and thinking hard about being precise, careful and exact in knitting isn’t always high on my list. But my fellowship is finishing up in a few weeks, and I may have a few months before anything else comes along, so this seems like a good opportunity to pull some old projects together and finish them off. I count at least 6 designs in my notebook, ready and just waiting to be turned from a tangle of charts and scribbled instructions into something more useful.

Then there are the new designs that are still coming. So many ideas, just waiting their turn. I don’t think I’ll have any trouble keeping busy in the new year.

What about you? Are you thinking of new year projects yet, or is it all holiday knitting this time of year?