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December 24, 2016



2016 has also been a healing year for me after some extreme unpleasant discoveries in 2015. What was new in 2016 is that I finally learned how to take care of myself first. I learned that I cannot be a help to others if I am not 100%. Knitting and crocheting have been big helpers in calming my anxiety and feeling good about myself.


We moved to a new state for my husbands job. And we moved from a large house in the country to a one bedroom apartment in a small city. I am loving being able to walk to dinner and now a grocery store has opened across the street! He may never get me back to the country!


In 2016 I checked off a bucket list item - I went to the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival at Rhinebeck. After watching several demos of sock knitting machines I went home and learned how to make seamless socks on a standard knitting machine. May not sound like much but it was a fun adventure trip with a friend after a fun year of planning and anticipation. And making socks is a great stress buster.

Diana Lichvarik

The year that will soon pass was also difficult for me - I lost a job, but the good news is that I found one that seems to fit me better. I look forward to a better year ahead.

Haley Burns

It was a very calm year for me, so I didn't do too many new things. But I finally knit myself a garment (cardigan). I've been sewing garments for years, so I decided to expand my knitting world outside the shawl/blanket realm.

Judi Kennedy

I had several firsts this year. Our Granddaughter bought her first home. We finally started the deck in our backyard. And lastly, I had cataract surgery this year. Great year, looking forward to the next.


2016 has been a year of so much change and growth! I moved from a small rural area to Richmond VA in late 2015, and by May 2016 began a new career working for the city as a 911 operator. It is an immensely rewarding and challenging job, and an entirely new field for me. I am making new friends here, learning more all the time about my new hometown, and adapting to life in a city (I've finally learned to parallel park successfully!)
Cheers to the year gone by, and may you all have a great year in 2017!

Melissa Loback

I have a new grandson this year. It's been amazing to watch him grow into his own little person!!! I can't wait to see what 2017 brings!!!


This year I started violin lessons! I have always loved the instrument but have never played. I went into the music store here in my town and asked if they gave lessons and if I was too old to learn. I am in my late 50's. The store owner told me that they had students in their 70's also learning to play so that gave me the courage to give it a try. My teacher is a retired music teacher and very patient with me. It hasn't been easy but I love it and I am making slow progress. I look forward to continuing it next year too!


I went on an adventure by myself to Woodstock, Vermont. I said that when I bought a new car, which happened the year before, I was heading to Vermont - about eight hours away. I had a great time climbing down the gorge, shopping in Vermont Flannel, the country store and of course the yarn shop in town. I also found a great pottery shop and my favorite country market - too bad it is so far away. Looking forward to another great year. Thanks for the great times and I look forward to some fun kits this year which hopefully include some more of those fun stitch markers! 😉


After a couple years of thinking about it and then searching, we found and purchased a townhouse so we can downsize. We will move into it in the new year after 22 years in our current home, so 2017 will be a year of big changes for us.

yolanda v

2016 has been a year of change for me.
My oldest got married in August. My middle child got engaged and is getting married in June 2017.
I made a very conscience decision to take care of ME for a change. I've lost over 30 pounds and feeling GREAT. I also, after structural repair, refinished a HUGE shed, (more like a small barn), be myself. I scraped lose paint by hand, primed and painted this thing. I couldn't believe how strong my upper body was after I was done! Moving a very tall aluminum ladder helped, too! lol I didn't think I could do it but once I started every spare moment went to finishing it. AND I DID!
Being single, and not having many friends, I started walking 2 1/2 miles as much as I could, by the lake, that I live near. I pushed myself to go out and do it alone. Its now one of my favorite things to do. The pier is a mile round trip and it is so peaceful.
Its been a lovely year.
Thanks so much for sharing your life with us...

Hugs for a Wonder-filled Holiday.

Merry Christmas! :0)

JoAnne B

This year had much more joy than 2015. We had several mini vacations and I am growing personally and physically (darn). Knitting continues to feed my soul.


This year there have been new jobs, new apartment and new schools for the kids. All have been small changes, but together add up to getting us to a better place. This year was a year of just working on the day to day things.


This year involved learning more about aging, than I had ever considered. It involved figuring out insurance claims, handling Dr. visits, handling phone calls from assisted living, taxes, podiatry, hospital stays, making medical decisions and more. Compassion. Very stressful at times. A little concern about aging myself. Thankful for good friends and knitting.


2016 was the year I realized my dream of being a writer. My first picture book - Midnight Madness at the Zoo - was released in February. 2017 will be spent trying to make my dream a full time reality instead of a part time gig - writing after I get the kids to bed.


I had knee replacement surgery in January and knitting kept me sane during recovery (I even knitted in the hospital). Now I can enjoy long walks again and am looking forward to a Hawaiian vacation with all the family next summer.


We bought a house. It was a huge lifestyle change for us, as we went from renting a townhouse (with property association fees which covered lawn maintenance!) to owning 4.5 acres of land. It's been a learning experience, but we're loving it. We have been planting fruit trees and planning my huge vegetable and herb garden that we plan to do in the spring, and we now have 3 chickens, too!


I have a new daughter-in-law-to be and my daughter is having our first grandbaby! Merry Christmas to everyone at my favorite online yarn shop!!!


Our knitting group added a new friend! We met her by chance st a QUILTING retreat 😀 But her real passion is knitting. She adds so much to our group!


After 18 years, I finally bought a new car.

Happy Holidays!

Mary C

I have been a crocheter for decades but finally learned to knit well enough to knit socks. I went to Europe and learned so much, and my husband and I got both kids out of house and settled into their own lives securely. Now it is really an empty nest- More time to craft and enjoy my retirement. Traced our family back to Jamestown, when we'd been told they were just off the boat-in the 1600's. I enjoy the blog and would like to visit the store someday in person instead of online


Hmm a new thing in 2016. My year a new job in march that truthfully isnt what I thought it would be the good new thing for this year is I in addition to knitting I also do adult coloring. Its something that I really like because it keeps me busy. I am hoping that in 2017 I get better at it.


I personally don't have anything new to report, except I started craft beermaking with my adult son! What fun, wow, learning physics and the science behind it. He's the genius and does all the heavy work, I assist. But learning is fun and so is the end result. I always hated learning science is school. And you have to be patient for 4 weeks, till you find out if you can drink it or pour it on the compost . Kind of like knitting a sweater, will it fit or look good on me, or do I unravell it?


2016 was a year of pretty-much-the-same for me, except that I took up playing a new instrument -- the Irish tin whistle! I've never been able to play a wind instrument before (I'm a guitarist), so it's been really rewarding to be able to make music this way -- it's a whole new way of playing music, and hitting the high note in "O Holy Night" was a big achievement.


My younger daughter married her long-time girlfriend (a native Norwegian) in Norway on April 1st. So I'm a first-time mother-in-law, we traveled to Norway for the first time, and we sampled some foods that we'd never had before. Lots of firsts in one week!

Caitlin Saraphis

I started a new job this year, which has been terrifying but also really exciting. It's with the same office I've been working with for the last five years, so I've been able to ease into it, but it's more responsibility (including budgets and personnel, eeep!). On the other hand, I'm really excited to be able to execute some of my ideas for how better to serve the students of our university. So it's going to continue to be a bit of a learning process next year, I think.

wendy james

New for me this year was cutting back on how much work I was doing. I had to try to have the mindset that things will get done when they get done and that is okay. I still worked over my regular hours every week, but I spent more evenings not doing work on my computer. I also got out of the house more and tried to go to my Tuesday knitting group as much as possible. I am a much happier person for it.

Sarah (3Trees on Rav) youngest went off to college and I took more risks. I'm over 50 with a secure teaching job - and I applied for a new position (failed), was elected President of a national group related to work, and applied for a sabbatical (granted). Taking risks and growing.


We moved to a new home this year after living in a small apartment for four years. I'm loving being able to have room to have my four granddaughters spend time with me. And,, I've got a craft room all to myself. 😀


2016 is my first year of not working outside my home. I am fully retired. My husband is disabled and has been experiencing some health issues this year so it's good that I can be home with him. Lucky for me I have had lots more time to knit.

Ann Knepper

It's been a busy 2016 and we have a new granddaughter!!


New job, more responsibility, learning new things every day!


A lot happened this year. I returned to public school for my senior year and it has taken a lot of adjusting. In April I picked up martial arts after many years of not being part of sports and I'm loving it. I now have my purple belt and am now more confident that I will be able to protect myself should the need arise.
In the way of fiber arts, I learned how to make German short rows this year during a test knit and learned how to needle felt. Over this year I made 25 projects, including 5 hats, 6 amigurumis, and 3 shawls.
For 2017 I hope to be in college, to have knit my first sweater, and to be kinder to people this year.


A quiet year for our family, no major changes, but everyone is healthy, doing well at jobs and school, and best of all, we will share another Christmas together.


What's new? Building a house in Indiana so that will mean an in-person visit (or many) to your shop!


Mine is a pretty small new experience - I tried sushi for the first time. It was delicious :).

Luann Miller

Not too much changed for us this year, the time went by so fast. I knit my first pair of socks and found a great online shop in Simply Socks.😀


I dont think any big new thing happebed to me this yeat, but I did make it to Rhinebeck for the first time this year!!

Katie M.

I should preface this by saying that I'm one of those people who thinks their pets are their children. Early in the year, my cat of 13 years got very sick and we had to put her down. In May, we found and adopted our new kitten. It's been an adjustment but he's brought us a lot of joy and one of the best things about this holiday season has been watching him experience it for the first time. Miraculously, he has not managed to knock the Christmas tree down yet.


New for me in 2016...I joined an online class called Education for Ministry and it's been great fun and a wonderful experience. Members of my class are from all around the country in different walks of life, and we all have our own perspective on the week's readings. I'm learning so much and enjoying it even more than I had hoped!


The big "new" at my house is a new baby on the way. I'm an "old" mom with six kids age 9 to 19. We have lost 3 little ones since our youngest, so there has been a lot of new excitement and some new anxiety. It will be fun, new experience to have another little one and not also have a 2 yo, 4 yo, etc. The other kids are old enough to do their own laundry, bring me something to drink, and keep themselves happy while I take a nap. Hmmm, I'm thinking all these helpers will come in very diaper changers, new baby snugglers, new lunch makers.


It's been a bit of a mixed year, but it seems to be ending positively. Had a few firsts this year, probably most proud that I finally took a leap and published some pay sock patterns. What a thrill each time one sells!

Anne R.

I always so enjoyed chatting with you in the shop, Allison. I had a hard time finding "my people" in FW so understand what you say here about the challenge of making new friends as an adult. My 2016 has been one of both good and bad changes, but always with the reminder that with the bitter comes the sweet. Even though I'm surrounded by some great local yarn stores up here I've still ordered from SSYC and will continue to do so.


I can't think of any firsts this year except that each year I try to mellow out just a little more.

Theresa Devereaux

2016 was a year of Change for me. My husband and I decided to sell our house and purchase a much smaller one so I could purchase my LYS.with a friend. I had managed this Shop since 2011 and with a brief stint in the State of Missouri, decided to move back to Oregon and fulfill a long time dream of owning my own Yarn Shop.
2016 was the End of one Journey and the beginning of a New Adventure in my Life.
I can't wait! 🙂

Julie V

2016 brought a huge job change for me - stay at home mom. After being in the healthcare field for 10 years. And we also found out we are expecting another little girl, due in March. Merry Christmas!

Mary C.

After moving to a new home at the end of 2015, we have settled into a new community this year. That brings lots of first as we learn "what's where". And while our "new" friends are not really new (old college friend and his wife) the reconnection has been a lot of fun and feels new. My twenty-something son has settled on a career goal and that's new and exciting too.


This year I dove into Fair Isle and English paper piecing for the first time.


This year was a year of new. I got a new car, my husband opened a new business and my son got a driver's license.

Sue Boisvert

My son started graduate school and I had my first ever manicure (why did I wait so long???). Other than that not much is new which is OK by me - sometimes steady is good ,


We welcomed a new puppy to our family! Pablo is a Havanese, he's 5 months old now. He's become a wonderful addition to our family. And even though I didn't want a 2nd dog I'm so glad my Husband and daughter talked me into it.


this year I paid more attention to the birds that visit my backyard. I started feeding them and got to see fledglings being brought to the food and learning to eat on their own, which feels very rewarding!

I also learned how to recaulk a bathtub. :s

looking forward to more Mineville! :D

mary  (honkcronk on ravelry)

I had a mixed year but it has been eventful. First I retired on July 30th and then 4 weeks later, I found out after a mammogram I have breast cancer on both sides. So unlucky me -- I am a poster child of why you should retire younger.... younger than I did!
But now I am looking forward to getting through the rest of the treatment and recovering for the summer. I want to travel to the Maine coast and visit Easport and acadia national park and maybe Deer Isle. I might need two trips. I already kayak so I want to do more of that.
I also want to visit friends and family... volunteer at the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and see more of the grandchildren.
I am booked full for next year and all is fun to look forward to.


I got a new car, a new job (×3 but that's not new), new city/state/place to live (×3 also not really "new"), started working days again (after 2 years of working nights that was fun) always new friends, new man and new lease on life. I think the last 2 have been the best!


We got a new dog, Mr. Bean. This is not the kids' dog, it is my dog. (Said kids are 20 & 22). Mr. Bean is bringing such joy to my life!

Deborah Malone

Moved from Indiana to Florida. Weather is definitely nicer. Surprisingly still wearing my knits


Hmm, something new that is positive--I've had the opportunity to participate in some wonderful test knits this year. I'm currently testing a sweater--my first ever.

Happy Holidays, SSYC! This has been fun.


I joined Sisters on the Fly and the girl campers. Groups of women who camp, adventure and support each other. Many are crafters as well. A great way to meet some wonderful people and have a little fun too.


This year we built a new house which required a lot of decisions! Thanks for doing the 12 days of sock yarn.

Rhonda Atkinson

I crossed an item off my bucket list. I have always wanted to do a Half-Marathon and this April I joined Fleet Feet. A program that trains you for walking/running any distance you want. Fist I did a 5K, 10K, 15K, and then my Half-Marathon! 13.1 miles. I have made a new set of friends which is awesome and I now am coaching which is amazing! Now I've put a full Marathon on my bucket list. Maybe 2017 will be the year.


I graduated with my degree, and took a well deserved semester off! It was also the first time in years that I read over 80 books in one year.


My daughter got married to a wonderful young man.

Joyce Correia

2016 was spent healing from back surgery. I did a lot of knitting. I'm starting off 2017 with more back surgery. I've got my knitting projects lined up. Nothing too complicated at first since I'll be groggy for awhile. I've started a linen scarf in the round (knit only) using up my scraps of yarn.

Lisa Smith

2016 has been an interesting year. Many ups and downs this past year. We did adopt a puppy at the end of 2015 so we have enjoyed all the puppy craziness this year. Happy Holidays! Thank you for the 12 days of Sock Yarn. I have enjoyed it so much.

Lou lawson

Hello, we lost three precious people this year. Went to the Grand Canyon and spent a week in AZ (Tucson), our daughter got married at the Botanical gardens in Ft Wayne, we drove to NJ, for her graduation from college, stopping to spend an hour at the Atlantic Ocean. I knot alot. I am in my last class of the Accounting program at IWU, and we sre planning a fall trip to the Northeast to see foliage and stop at the fiber festival in Rhinebeck NY on the way home. Merry Christmas to you.


I traveled to Japan for work this year, which was a big new adventure for me! Lots of cool Japanese gifts under our tree this year. :)


My youngest daughter is buying her first house. It's very exciting. We have been thinking about downsizing but that's as far as it's gone. Next year we will probably start looking.


This year I took up sock knitting in earnest. I broke my wrist last year, and I was afraid I would never knit again, but I can and do. Merry Christmas to everyone there!


Some of what was 'new' to me was very difficult, but I'll stick with the positive. My husband and I took concrete steps towards retirement early in 2017, actually making decisions and signing the paperwork. Ask me next year 'What's new' and I hope I'll have a lot to say!


2016 had it's ups and down's for me too, but here's hoping 2017 will bless us (family and me) with good health. Husband and I went south (North and South Carolina, Georgia) for vacation for the first time ever - so that was new. It was very exciting. Merry Christmas Allison and a Happy New Year to ALL.

Lynn Nicholson

My weaving guild had an exhibit in the Pasadena (California) Museum of History last Spring celebrating our 60th anniversary as a guild. 3 items that I created-one handspun and knitted, and two woven-were part of the exhibit. I also participated in spinning and weaving demonstrations for the public and a festival the closing day. It was great fun and we learned a lot about what goes into putting a museum exhibit together.

Janet Duff

I began knitting a pair of color work socks. The first sock is almost finished. The pattern is Starry Starry Night socks. They are fun!


As others have said, 2016 was an extremely difficult year. My new is working toward a new life, with new dreams, new expectations, and a new confidence that I can take the blows of life and continue to search for joy.


I decided to submit my designs to magazines and yarn companies this year and 2 companies picked up my pattern ideas! It was a bit like jumping into an abyss because there are so many talented designers out there and I start to think maybe I'm not good enough yet. I was so excited and it gave me the confidence to just keep doing with I love!

Nicole Doyal

I took up the challenge of knitting lace and that led to knitting shawls and love it!

Tricia F

I started spinning this year. Still not good at it, but getting better. Also tried camping.


As of just a few weeks ago , I am now officially retired. Hopefully that means more time for knitting.


We had lots of new things, but our biggest New was moving into our new house on January 10, 2016.


We bought retirement home a little early. We are renting it out until my husband retires and we can move..... Nerve-wracking, but there are yarn stores there and of course, SSYC will deliver there so what's the worry?
I am looking at my yarn collection with greater scrutiny so as not to move yarn I will never knit..... It's a challenge to use what I have when the perfect yarn is so available!


By June of this year I had pretty bad tendinitis in my left elbow that I knew was from crochet. I didn't want to give up all fiber arts but didn't want a brace or surgery either so I bought a knitting machine. And I fell in love with knitting so much so I finally taught my left handed self to knit right handed! Six months later and the tendinitis is my left elbow is all but gone and I use a combination of machine and hand knitting to achieve my fiber dreams.

Joyce Selzer

I taught myself to crochet!


I'm teaching a new grade level!


This year has been a year of organizing for me... time to get myself together and get things done that I have been putting off for years!!!!


One of the new things I did in 2016 was spend more time with my mom. She lives in another state so it's not so easy but, we got together 3 times and it was fun. My mom and I are the only knitters in the family and it's nice to share that interest with her. Also,last month I found a very effective book on organization and I'm getting rid of lots of clutter. Here's to a tidy 2017!

Tabitha Burks

Well, I am still in college, so I don't have any of the major life changes you suggested in my life yet. In 2016, my biggest change was changing my major multiple times until I finally decided on majoring in Political Science. I also have a better idea of where my life may lead in the future after graduation. I also worked a lot on expanding my knowledge of knitting techniques and making different projects, like socks and mittens, that I hadn't tried before.

Megan W

I took a semester pottery course. It was fun to learn a new art :)

chellis evers

I got a "new to me" vehicle. My old one was having too many problems and wasnt worth fixing. I love my new Mini bus (Ford Transit connect). Looks like a bus but drives like a mini cooper.


2016 has not been a very happy year for me. My husband of almost 71 years died in July. I remember the socks I was knitting towards the end of his 94 years. He faced his cancer with so much courage and faith. But life goes on and I will keep on knitting. He loved my socks.


2016 has been a challenging year. Things are different now but there are still so many opportunities for joy. I continue to do the things I love like spending time with loved ones, the joy of watching grandchildren grow and change, and keep kniting!! I've also started trying to jog/walk and done a few 5ks. Ah to have your grown daughter come back after finishing to cheer you on and bring water. Warms my heart. Wishing you all a great 2017.

Lisa B

My brother's long time girlfriend (18 yrs!) is now my sister-in-law, we found an 8 wk. old kitten in a parking lot that is now a permanent family member and the husband bicycled 1700 miles this year :) Thank you for the 12 Days of Sock Yarn and I hope you have a lovely end of one year and beginning of the next.

Renee' Sawyer

It has been a great year for us but not a lot of new stuff. (Which I am ok with - I am a happy person when I have time for knitting!) One thing tho', our local knitting guild, Valley Needlers, went on a 4 day cruise! That was new and we had so much fun! Great knitting time with a group of wonderful friends. Next year I am going to be the guild president so wish me luck!

Donna Kuehl

New grandson - number 3! Grandchildren are so amazing!


Nothing new really happened this year, but I did just start knitting fall 2015 and 2016 meant knitting new things like socks and sweaters, which was really exciting. Thank you so much for these giveaways! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas 😀

Christine Newman Aumiller

My last child moved out so I learned to live alone.


I adopted a rescue dog back at the end of February. I had been going through a lot the year before, so in a way, she rescued me too. She is the sweetest little thing and we are almost always together now.


2016 has been a year full of new friends and new experiences. I was invited to join a group of wonderful spinners, and I am grateful to be able to call them all my friends. I was fortunate to be able to schedule several yarn events; a retreat, NYS Sheep & Wool, and Madrona next year! And I was extremely blessed that those close to me stayed healthy.
All the best to you and yours--and thank you for all you do!

Crystal Balzer

2016 was new for me as it's the first time I took a trip without my kids and my husband! It was fun but I was sure missing them after a few days!!!

Judi S

this year was one of transition for me. I retired in January 2016 and had to figure out a new schedule. I went from working with my husband and seeing him nearly 24/7 to welcoming him home from work. I learned how much knitting can be accomplished when work doesn't get in the way. The negative is learning that knitting all day isn't exactly healthy, I need to get off my behind and be active and maybe take an occasional walk. Now if I could knit and walk at the same time life might be nearly perfect.


I got a sort of new job this year - company was purchased. So far so good! 😊

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