The holiday guests have gone and I'm taking the day off. No church, no chores, and I don't plan to answer the phone or check my email.

Oh, I might do the dishes and finish up my baking, continue taking down the Christmas decorations, and walk the dog. I'll definitely do some New Year's Eve reflection. But mostly I intend to knit while binge-watching Sex and the City.

I usually reject the idea of overthinking. Thinking is good. More thinking is better. But I do sometimes find myself thinking about knitting projects to a degree which could conceivable seem like overkill.

For example, I'm thinking about adding lace panels to Ketch.

There are good reasons for this. For one thing, I think it might be turning out too small.

This seems possible even though it is a Custom Fit pattern created with my measurements (or rather my slightly larger measurements from last year) and my gauge with the specific yarn and needles I'm using.

So I'm imagining that adding lace panels will provide just a little bit more ease. Which I probably don't need.

Also, I am not wild about the stripiness. I rarely use variegated yarn, and the space-dyed look isn't a favorite of mine. Lace breaks that up and creates a better look.

On the other hand, I have three sweaters on the needles right now. One is lace, one is a cable, and Ketch is the plain stockinette zombie knitting pattern to balance the others.

I've been knitting lace for months, actually, largely in baby clothes. If anything, I'm due for some colorwork (okay, the Little Girl's scarf had intarsia sections, but still…).

And if I'm going to add those lace panels, will it be a lushly ornate Japanese pattern or a simple and charming Shetland lace with every other row purled? Will adding a complex lace pattern make this cardigan so gorgeous that I can overlook the striping on the back or will it be too hard. With no simple respite piece, will I still have three sweaters on the needles come April?

So I'm turning to The Knitter's Life List. I plan to work through this book in 2018, beginning by getting my stash under control. I'll get a jump start today by swatching a bunch of lace patterns.

The KLL has ten chapters:

  • The Yarn Life List
  • The Know-How Life List
  • The Sweaters Life List
  • The Socks Life List
  • The Scarves and Shawls Life List
  • The Hats Life List
  • The Gloves and Mittenss Life List
  • The Bags Life List
  • The Kids-Knit Life List
  • The Home Dec Life List
  • The Fiber-Lovers Life List

Each chapter begins with a checklist of knitting experiences.

From "Find color inspiration in rusty bridges" to "Use an app to keep track of your yarns, supplies and projects" to "Visit the Faroe Isles" to "Add 10 knitting movies to your Netflix queue" there are 1001 things to expand your knitterly horizons.

The checklist is followed by a couple dozen articles. Some are informational: the Icelandic tradition or details on possum fur. Others are instructional: how to steek or knit reversible cables. All contain vibrant photos. There are lists of novels including knitting and profiles of knitting designers.

I plan to check off as many new things on the list as possible in 2018. "Incorporate a lace panel in an otherwise plain fabric" (chapter 5) and "Swatch just for the fun of it" (chapter 2) sound like a good start.