Inspired by a discussion on the Ravelry Stash and Burn forum, here is my best of 2008.

What were your favorites in 2008?

knitting book: I hardly bought any new books last year. I find most new pattern books are really not that useful in the end, particularly because suitable replacement yarns are often all but impossible to find. The closest I can get is probably Start Spinning, by Maggie Casey, which I gave a less-than-completely-favourable review, but which I now, when I am a wheel spinner, is quite fond of. Ironically, this book contains no knitting patterns and precious little knitting info.

pattern (regardless of whether you have any intention of knitting it): The Cloisters Sweater from Spin-Off fall 2008, without a doubt! As with many of my favourite patterns, I suspect that the colour is a big part of the attraction. Sarah Swett, the designer, used plant colours to dye a grey handspun yarn, which gives the sweater an amazing, rich heathered colour. But apart from that, I love the lace details on the sleeves and the wearability of the pattern.

yarn discovery: my handspun! Knitting with handspun yarn is so much fun! Other than that, I liked the Twilleys of Stamford Freedom Spirit that I used to knit my daughter’s cardigan.

FO (your own): The February Lady Sweater, I think. I wear it constantly to work and in private.

new knitting technique or other discovery/experience: Spinning, absolutely! I started spindle spinning in April 2008 and bought a used wheel in November. I spin a couple of times a week, and I love it.