It's the time of year when we often reflect on how last year went and how this year could be better. I've been sitting with a coffee and trying to plan what I want to achieve for the year ahead related to knitting and crochet and thought I'd share some of the areas I've been thinking about.
Are you making any craft related New Year's resolutions? There's no need to change an enjoyable hobby at all, of course, if it's all working well for you but if there are things you want to do more or less of this year than last year to help you enjoy your craft or keep it in balance with the rest of your life, or if you're someone who likes to review things and and set goals to challenge yourself and make the most of new opportunities, then the start of a new year can be a great time to look at what might work well for you.
1. Tools and Materials:
Are there types of yarn or tools you don't have much experience with and would like to try using this year or maybe even some you'd like to reduce your use of. Perhaps you'd like to craft entirely from stash yarn or use up twice as much yarn from your stash as you add to it. Setting goals related to what we have available to use can stimulate our creativity to work with something unfamiliar and bring some freshness to our projects.
2. Learn a New Technique:
You may like to challenge yourself by learning a new crochet or knitting technique. Whether it's exploring intricate lace patterns, tackling cable stitches, making your first garment or diving into the world of amigurumi, expanding your skill set will keep your crafting journey exciting and fulfilling.
3. Complete Unfinished Projects:
Do you love to start projects and then pick starting something new over continuing when the first project seems tricky or hits a boring part? Why not challenge yourself to clear out your project basket and finish those WiPs (Works in Progress) that have been hibernating.
Tackling unfinished projects frees up crafting storage space and also provides a sense of achievement, making room for fresh ideas and creations. It can help to make a list of all the projects and break down the steps remaining for each of them so you can pick from a list of small, achievable tasks rather than looking at a confusing and overwhelming pile of half completed cardigans, socks and blanket squares.
4. Create a Stash Organization System:
Do you like to buy and store yarn ready for use rather then choosing only what you need for specific projects? Or perhaps you just have lots of leftover yarn from previous projects. You might like to set a target of setting up an efficient or visually appealing way to organize your yarn stash. This could involve categorising your yarn by colour, weight, quantity or fibre content. If you can't keep your yarn on show, you might want to create a digital or handwritten record of what you have with useful info like yardage, weight and fibre content so you can see at a glance what you have to pick from when starting a new project. A well-organised stash makes crafting more enjoyable and can help inspire you with ideas for your next project.
5. Share Your Skills:
Are there people around you who might appreciate a handmade item, some of your unwanted yarn or even some help to learn a new craft skill? Whether it's a friend, family member, or local community, sharing your passion fosters a sense of connection to others.
6. Participate in a Yarn Challenge or CAL/KAL:
Joining a crochet-along (CAL) or knit-along (KAL) where participants work on an item that could be from the same pattern or yarn or may just have a common theme, e.g. socks or cable stitches, provides a sense of community and provides inspiration and motivation. Challenging yourself to participate in a themed project or a yarn challenge with others is a great way to overcome indecision or boredom with your hobby.
7. Support small businesses or ethical producers:
If you have specific values you want your hobby to reflect, you may like to make a conscious effort to support businesses that fit those values, e.g. buying supplies from local independent yarn shops and dyers or patterns from designers who focus on making their product inclusive and accessible.
8. Document Your Yarn Journey:
Perhaps this is the year you decide to start a yarn journal, social media account or blog specifically to document your creative process, project inspirations, and completed works. It could be as simple as a project notebook or more detailed and shareable, like an online blog or vlog. Sharing your journey with the online crafting community can be a source of inspiration for others while also serving as a personal record of your progress and achievements.
My Resolutions: Crafting Goal Ideas for New Year
After considering all these crafting goal ideas, I planned my resolutions for the new year ahead. Here they are:
Work mainly with natural fibres, and make at least one project using linen/flax/hemp type yarn as the main yarn
Try spinning my own yarn and make a small item from it
Reorganise and catalogue stash yarn, listing one suitable project for each yarn that is more than a full skein and donate yarn if no suitable project appeals
Make at least three projects from scrap yarn (i.e. I have less than one skein)
Participate in online maker communities, like Discord and Ravelry groups at least twice weekly
Create more knitting patterns than in 2023, including at least one garment
Try to make more personal projects that I want to use and wear, not just samples for patterns I'm creating for work. I'd like to have three new dresses (probably sewn from fabric to my own pattern but may have crocheted elements) and three new cardigans to wear with them
Share more short, free patterns and tutorials here on my blog, aiming for one a month on average
I put a note in my calendar to review these at the end of each month and I'll post about how it goes at the end of the year and maybe throughout the year too.
I'd love to hear what your resolutions are and how you chose them. Let me know in the comments.