Here we are, first day of a shiny new year, all of us thinking about what shape we’d like the year to take. I always love seeing knitters’ “twelve hats in twelve months” declarations, or whatever they may be. But I can tell you with certainty that if I were to make a list of things I’m required to knit within a given year, I would instantly resent and resist all of those things. Nevertheless, I am a believer in goal-setting, so as loose as these may be, here are mine for the year:
1. Knit less. Crochet more. Every time I pick up a crochet hook (as rarely as that is), I’m reminded how much I looooove to crochet. That motion is so calming and pleasant to me. And even more so with Tunisian than traditional crochet. Unfortunately, I have only the most basic skills, don’t know how to read a crochet pattern, and don’t have a lot of good inspiration/ideas/patterns where crochet is concerned. So I want to work on all of that. (Also: weave and sew at least a little bit.)
2. Give it away. I don’t apologize for knitting for myself first and foremost. But I do love to knit for others and would like to do more of it. The things that hold me back are not insurmountable. I think it’s a matter of giving up on the idea of surprising people, and getting their buy-in before knitting the whatever, so I know they want it. Plus resigning myself to using more superwash wools so the care and feeding of the FO is not so much of a concern for either me or the recipient. (This involves building up a list for myself of superwash wools that aren’t too squeaky to work with. Recommendations always welcome.)
3. Specifically and for starters, knit my husband a sweater. I’ve only been promising forever, so this is my one required knit of the year. You may recall the plan more than a year ago (yarn purchased) was to knit Elizabeth Zimmermann’s bottom-up hybrid saddle shoulder. But if I’m going to knit him a sweater, I want it to be something he can’t easily buy anywhere and inexpensively. I want it to be more special — and also more fun to knit. So we’ve been looking for something at least mildly interesting but not more interesting than he would wear, if you see what I mean. We seem to have settled on Fort, so now it’s a matter of finding a washable, not too hot yarn that’s also suitable for the sweater.
4. Continue to push myself. I’m happiest, as a knitter, when I’m stretching my skills — and I’ll continue to do so in every way I can think of this year. But two things in particular I want to really explore are short rows and sock construction. Also, I want to learn about the history of the various colorwork traditions, and to try my hand at more of them.
5. Publish more patterns. I love publishing simple, accessible, free patterns here on the blog. And I want to keep that up — with patterns by both myself and others appearing here, hopefully. But I also want to start designing patterns for some of the sites and brands I admire. I’ve been included in a couple of calls for submissions that I hated having to take a pass on, for lack of time. But this is a significant goal of mine, so I’m stating it here, out loud and in public, so the universe knows I mean it. And maybe you can hold me to it.
Do you make knitting lists or resolutions? I’d love to hear yours below, and what kind of success you have with it. Or if you’ve published your thoughts or resolutions on your blog, etc., please post a link in the comments so we can all see!
BTW, those beautiful wooden crochet hooks pictured are coming soon to Fringe Supply Co. Nothing like beautiful tools to motivate me … and maybe you, too!
Karen, I taught myself tunisian crochet a couple of years ago and I love it. I’ve had such fun whipping up quick gifts and a lovely tunisian wingspan shawl that had me trying out the different stitches randomly. My resolution for this year is to finish the sweater I started about 3 (hard to admit) years ago for my son. He just turned 30 and I told him this was the year. Many personal and professional issues have kept me from fully focusing on it, and I’ve also realized I am a bit anxious that it will not fit after all the work. (Rarely do I knit sweaters). However I am determined. Reading your blog has helped my motivation. Thank you.
That’s my biggest reservation with my husband’s sweater — he’s ultra picky about the way things fit. If it’s off by a hair, he may never wear it. So it better be something I’ll want to wear if he doesn’t!
My knitting resolution is to be more choosy in what tools and materials I buy. To actually finish my projects and to blog more often. I am knitting my first sweater too :).
Being more choosy is a good one. I tried in 2013 to not cast on random stuff so impetuously, and I’m sure I did better than I had the year before. But I really want to be much more deliberate about what I choose to spend my precious knitting time on.
My knitting time has diminished now I have started my new job.. I want to be challenged by my knitting and to learn something new with a new pattern. Learning to crochet is fun. I taught myself using YouTube..
Karen, oh my, congratulations on being included in ‘calls for submission!’ Though, designing is not on my radar, as a ‘two year knitter,’ I can honestly reward you for this accomplishment…most impressive.
What great knititng (and crochet!) related new years resolutions. I’ve got a few as well, mostly about pushing myself to complete more projects, and definitely doing a blog refresh.
I too am going to explore knitting socks. After years of knitting only a few basic patterns time to move on and challenge myself. Thanks Karen for your encouragement and ideas.
To learn to crochet is one goal of mine. I find myself perusing patterns and really liking all the crochet ones.
My goal is to start blogging again…I miss my blog. I am hoping to start a business with my twin sister this year and my husband and I are moving across the country. I am excited to add many crochet, knit and spinning projects to my list this year!!! Happy 2014!!!
Sounds like a year for big adventures!
I’m in with resolutions too. Mine: finish 12 projects in 2014. Bonus points if I can finish 14. They can be newly started, or going back to almost-finished-but-now-hibernating. Oh, and the second resolution is to go easy on myself if I can’t complete my goal.
Ha, there you go.
2014: Knitting for me (I have given away everything I have knitted!) Use locally made yarn. Make a sweater (can I handle a longer project? It is so fun to start and finish something I am not sure. Also I am scared of the techniques required! The top down sweater posts look like a great place to start.) Maybe try Dreamz or Addi Turbo needles.
2013: Used real yarns: wool, alpaca, bamboo. Put on my big girl panties and learned provisional cast ons, kitchener stitch, cables, mittens and socks. Treated myself to a project bag and a yarn bowl. What a boost to the ego!
Oh! Knitting goals for 2014! Yahoo! Fortunately for me at this point in my life (63), new year goals, dreams and plans are something I always do because I’ve learned ways to make them happen. (Note that I gave up the word “resolution” for “goal” … :) I use a lot of superwash now because so much of what I do ends up in our shop or with relatives who have no relationship to real wool. Black Trillium (incredibly dyed yarns), Madelintosh and Malabrigo are a few of my favorite SW yarns. I love (LOVE) buying handdyed SW sock yarns on Etsy and doubling the yarns for hats. So a few thoughts there. As for knitting goals for 2014: cables, starting with that lovely Gentian hat pattern; a sweater for me no matter how simple (Flying Squirrel); finish the four pairs of socks I’ve started (made it past the heels and then stopped – silly!); continue to play with new stitches and more complex patterns.
I look forward to trying your new patterns, Karen! I made the Stadium Mitts for my 98 yr old Mom’n’Law – she LOVES them!
Ooh I love thee jumper! I’ve been tempted to knit my boyfriend something for a while but he isn’t really a ‘jumper’ person so I’ve not found one that I think he will appreciate yet! I love the simplicity of that one though…I might have to reconsider…
We both like the elbow patch detail, but wonder whether he’d really like wearing them. The nice thing is they’re knitted separately and sewn on, thus optional at any time.
There are some really great new crochet books out there. (I have some in my Rav library if you want to take a look!) Be careful with knitting for others! (It’s all I ever do!) My resolutions are what I have every year: Knit more and knit for myself. As soon as I finish my gift list…
I like these: http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Crochet-Beginners-Projects-ebook/dp/B00CVS2KRU and http://www.amazon.com/Simple-Crocheting-Complete-How—Crochet/dp/1250016215/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388597708&sr=1-1&keywords=erika+knight and http://www.amazon.com/Simple-Crochet-Erika-Knight/dp/1400050790/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388597771&sr=1-4&keywords=erika+knight
This one looks like it might be just perfect: Simple Crocheting: A Complete How-to-Crochet Workshop with 20 Projects Thanks, MJ!
It’s a beautiful book- right down to the paper it is printed on.
My resolutions are: learn to knit socks, learn to knit a sweater, and crochet a blanket (so I don’t forget my crocheting skills because of my new-found love of knitting). The socks and sweater will be for me as I’ve given away everything I’ve knit so far. But I would love good superwash recommendations for those things I knit for others. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll ever knit my husband a sweater as he never wears them.
You really do need to make something for yourself!
I love it! What a great idea. :)
Many of your resolutions look like mine! I’m ticking off a few of those boxes with my Geek-A-Week Mystery Blanket KAL this year. http://lattesandllamas.wordpress.com/geek-a-week-faq/ I want to stretch my color work skills and make a blanket for charity.
My resolution is to take better pictures of my knitting. I always just get a quick shot while blocking or a weird selfie of a hat and call it a day. I’d really like to have nice backgrounds and frame the shots nicely.
Believe it or not, one of my resolutions is also to knit less. I have put a lot of focus on it in the last two years, learned a lot and become so addicted that it pulls me away from my painting studio, which is my real work. This was fine for a while, but now I need to focus more creative energy there and keep the fiber projects simpler and less taxing. And to me, crocheting is that. I find it more forgiving, which in turn makes it feel more spontaneous and creative. But, it has it’s limits, especially in the garment department. I have never done Tunisian crochet and must try it soon!
As for books, I have a couple of stitch bibles and am constantly playing around with them. One is vintage and the other is new. I think there are a lot of good ones out there. Here is also a great site for stitch inspiration: http://www.mypicot.com/beta/crochet_patterns_motifs.html#
Motifs, texture, lace, etc., a range of easy and fun stitches.
Happy New Year! Your blog has been hugely inspirational. Thanks for all the great posts.
In the coming year, I’d like to become more comfortable with double-pointed kneedles. I would also like to knit more practical gifts for friends and family.
Fort is such a gorgeous sweater! I don’t know how much you want to spend on yarn, but I would absolutely recommend Jill Draper Makes Stuff as a yarn source. Her Esopus is a made in the U.S. (from sheep to skein) superwash yarn that would be a really great sub for the BT. As for other non-squeaky superwash yarns, Blue-Faced Leicester blends are excellent and still sheepy (SweetGeorgia Yarns has a nice one) and it’s hard to go wrong with Malabrigo or Fleece Artist.
I did a post about my resolutions here: http://pansneedles.com/2013/12/31/thinking-ahead/
Mainly, I just want to be more practical about my knitting: What will I actually wear and enjoy? What do I need? etc. I’m really looking forward to this year of fiber crafts.
One of my goals is to also publish a few patterns! I have lots of ideas but still a bit unsure on how to write the patterns in a way that others will understand! I’d also like to knit my husband a sweater and the BT Men collection has some awesome ones! Agree that it’s best to make one that you like too, so you can borrow it on occasion! Happy new year!
Happy new year Karen!
If I had to share only one of my knitting resolutions, it would probably be designing!! I’ve been thinking about it for a while but I don’t dare …. So I purchase 2 things to help me whith it, your knitter graph paper journal and one sketch book to draw my ideas… We’ll see what happen….
I resolve to read your blog! Yay!
Pingback: Mitts for Miss Casey | Fringe Association
Pingback: New Favorites: Groovy crochet tunic | Fringe Association