I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. They seem like a great way to disappoint your self quickly and, really, who wants to do that to themselves? So, I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. Last year I did however give myself a knitting resolutions. Turns out, this was the best thing I could have done for myself. I had no idea how much taking knitting back up would change my life.
No, it hasn’t changed how I earn a living, where I live or my views on life. What knitting has given me is an outlet for creativity and self-expression like any other medium. Knitting has calmed and centered me, improved my wardrobe and changed how I dress – and as a result how I present myself to the world. It has introduced me to new people and on occation forces me out of my regular neighbourhoods (sometimes you have to search out that perfect yarn.) Never in my life have I felt as comfortable and accepted as when in a room of fellow knitters.
Knitting got me through a very challenging 2012.
So, for 2013 I am reviewing last year’s knitting resolutions and setting some new goals for myself. First lets see how I did last year. (These knitting resolutions are also posted here.)
- Start knitting again: I nailed this one! Compleated my first shawl which was quickly followed by another four, learned a bunch of fun new skills and finished the year with a stranded colourwork hat.
- Be realistic about the projects I can or will finish and unravel any WIPS that I’m not going to complete. Did well on this one too but I have to admit, I still have one WIP (work in progress) that dates back a couple of years – a single glove is waiting for its mate. Discovering that there is an odd sence of liberation in unraveling projects was huge for me. If it isn’t working, undo it, and either start over or make something else. There is no shame in unraveling, this is usually when I learn the most (like the importance of checking gauge).
- Learn how to make socks. Done! When my local yarn shop, where I had been attending knit nights, announced they were closing I enrolled in a sock class at another LYS. As it turns out I just didn’t believe the instructions. Once I saw the instructor do exactly what the pattern was asking (yet made no sence to me) and that it did in fact work, I was home free. Cuff down, toe up, double-pointed or two at a time magic loop, I’m confident in my sock skills.
- For every two projects started at least one has to use yarn from my stash. Well, no one is perfect. Of 14 projects 4.5 were from my stash. This is actually better than I thought I’d done. Working from my stash was harder than expected. The problem lies in that over the years I have purchased lots of single skeins of yarn. Finding a project to fit under 200m of yarn is challenging, under 100m – don’t even talk to me. And then there are the 6 balls of hot pink – what the hell I’m I going to make with that colour!
- Don’t buy yarn I don’t have a project for. Considering the growth of my stash, I actually did okay here. Wait, no I didn’t. There were a few (large) purchases of thrift store yarns, a score of free yarn, and the odd “I just have to get this yarn” purchases, and then the “I have a project for it, I just haven’t gotten to the project yet” items and the odd, the project just didn’t work out yarns.
- Only start projects as things are compleated. I did surprisingly well here. Finish one thing, cast on the next. On a couple of occasions I had two projects on the go but always a simple or small project to balance out a larger more complicated item. Getting boarded is the death of a project.
- Limit myself to working on two items at time, one of which needs to be an old WIP. So, this has already been answered. Only one remaining old WIP and never more than two projects on the go.
- When in yarn stores, just step away from the cashmere and slowly remove myself from the store. Fail! I blam it all on Sweat Georgia Yarns, I just can’t resist the squishy softness and gorgeous colours. Luckily the price keeps me at bay. (And turns out that we went to the same highschool! She was just two or three years ahead of me, how crazy is that!)
Overall I think I did fairly well, especially when you take into consideration my lack of control in the past, the stress that life threw me last year and all that I leaned in 2012. For this fresh new year I’m setting the following knitting goals (I like the idea of goals more than resolutions). So here we go!
Dear 2013, it’s nice to meet you. Throughout your twelve months I’m going to achieve the following goals, some of which may sound rather familiar.
- Keep knitting
- Learn to knit a sweater.
- Knit from my stash whenever possible.
- Don’t buy yarn I don’t have a project for.
- Swatch for every project/yarn. Swatch, block and add notes before committing to projects. This is also a great way to get to know the yarn and make sure it’s the right one for the project.
- Find a knitting group to join and go at least once a month but preferably more often.
- Don’t go more than 3 weeks without knitting. If it isn’t a project, swatches or test pieces are just fine.
- Design patterns & submit them to publications! This is my big one. I’ve been designing my own projects for years, even if it was just picking a lace motif and knitting a shawl or changing a sock pattern into gloves. Document my patterns, put them on paper, chart them and be a real designer.
- Never have more than three projects on the go. If there are three active projects one must be of my own design.
- Ask for help when help is needed. Be it how to get patterns published or how to shape a sweater, seek out people who can and are willing to help.
I have great hopes for you 2013. You are sure to be another year of changes and turbulence, and I’m okay with that. So long as I keep knitting and you help me learn how to keep growing, we will get along just fine.