I started off the new calendar year with a new sweater project. It's a cardigan that I'm doing for JCA/Reynolds, for their fall 2008 line. The sweater is being knit in Artful Yarns Reality. Let's put aside for now the fact that I'm not exactly crazy about the theme-y-ness of the Artful Yarns names -- for example, all of the colors of Reality are named after reality teevee shows, and it's more than a little weird to see a color named "Extreme Makeover" or "Amazing Race." But Reality is a yarn that my LYS doesn't carry and that I'd never knit with before. And I'm finding that I quite enjoy knitting with it. Although it's a relatively chunky yarn (about 3 stitches per inch), it feels light, probably because it has a cabled construction (I'm thinking it must have a core of air inside). The cabled construction also means that it gives good stitch definition and is easy to work with. It also happens to be one of those yarns with long striping effects, so there's the addictive nature of watching the colors morph one into another.
The point that I am trying (albeit rather unsuccessfully) to make is that here is a yarn that I might never have stumbled across or gotten a chance to knit with. There are so many yarns in the world and new ones are introduced every season. Even with a massive stash like mine, a knitter can't possibly knit with them all. And we all have our knitting prejudices or tendencies. I've been trending away from thicker chunkier yarns (for obvious reasons!) and might have overlooked Reality. So I'm really enjoying the chance to knit with it, to get to know a yarn I might otherwise have missed out on. Likewise, I knit two summer sweaters for Reynolds/JCA right before Labor Day, and both were in DK-weight cottons. Since I got Lyme Disease, I'd been avoiding all-cotton yarns because they can be hard on my hands. But I found that the Saucy Sport I used for one of the sweaters to be surprisingly enjoyable to knit with, with good stitch definition (and it's very well-priced, too).
All of these ruminations coincide nicely with the start of the new year. So one of my resolutions for 2008 is going to be to break out of my knitting predispositions and to try something -- a yarn, a technique, a color, a something -- that I ordinarily wouldn't try.
In the meantime, I'm off to knit my cardigan in a beautiful combination of oranges and slates called, um, "Dog Eat Dog" or "Flava of Love" or something like that...