2018: The Year of Making ALL THE THINGS

Hello there friends!  Have you got a cuppa ready?  Excellent.
I want to start today by talking about why I’ve abandoned new year’s resolutions, and also to share my personal crafty goals with you.  The reason I’m sharing them is because it should give you an idea of what to expect in the coming year from this blog, and hopefully also pin me down to achieving them!
What is it about a new year that gets you raring to go and all excited about the possibilities?  It’s funny isn’t it?  It’s just another day, just another week, just another month, but somehow we’ve always associated the start of a new year with the opportunity to make changes and improve ourselves.  Personally, I think anything that gets you excited and motivated after the come-down from Christmas and during the drab winter months that stretch ahead has got to be a good thing – so I’m all for it, even if only on paper and my resolutions are usually forgotten by about January 15th!
If any of you keep diaries, take a quick look back at the last few January 1sts.  I can almost guarantee you’ll see a pattern:
  • resolutions repeated year after year
  • resolutions that focus inherently on your perceived flaws
  • resolutions that bring pressure but no joy
  • resolutions that resolutely refuse to be kept or to be achievable
Isn’t it depressing?  What a way to start a new year, by measuring yourself and finding yourself coming up short, by feeling you’ve failed just a few weeks in?  I am so over this.  Enough is enough.
So I have a challenge for you this year – why not join me in chucking those cliches and start an exciting new trend?  Something to inspire you!  A resolution that you look at and get genuinely excited about starting on?
This year, I am embracing the idea of being a selfish-knitter.  I’ve always knit for other people and never for myself.  I have some gorgeous knitwear but all of mine have been done by dear old mum.  This is partly because I love creating for others and partly because I have the attention span of a 5 year old and find adult sized garments boring.  However, since the summer, I’ve discovered the joy of big knitting.  I’ve completed my first two adult garments and I’ve also fallen down the Pinterest rabbit hole too.  I created a board called “Selfish Knitter” and I have, I kid you not, 561 projects pinned to it!  Eeek!
There are just so many amazing projects and designs out there and I want to make them all. Oh my goodness, shawlscabled cardiganscolour-work cardigans,  mittens. Oh the mittens!  Have you seen the selbu mittens that are taking the knitting world by storm?  They are BEAUTIFUL!
Skeindeer Knits Selbu Mittens
The 3rd pattern in Skeindeer’s Mitten Collection.  Buy it here
Ellie from the Skeindeer Knits podcast is largely to blame with my current obsession.   She is a colour work magician and last autumn released a series of four selbu mittens patterns as part of her mitten-along and every podcaster seems to have jumped on that one.  Beautiful mittens are everywhere and I want some of that action.  Few problems with this:  I’ve only just learned how to knit from charts, I’ve never used DPNs, and the only colour work I’ve ever attempted before had to be ripped out because the stocking I made looked more like a Christmas hourglass as the colour work section was so tight my knitting may as well have been wearing a corset.
Clearly, I won’t manage to make all 561 things this year and a lot of the things I want to make utilise skills that I don’t yet have or haven’t yet fully mastered.  Enter my New Year Goals…

So why have I chosen goals rather than resolutions?
Ultimately resolutions have a few problems, the biggest of which is that they’re so demotivating.  You don’t know if you’ve succeeded for a whole year!  That’s 365 days of tedium with no reward – I defy anyone to remain genuinely interested in their resolutions or even remember what they are for more than three months. If you are one of these people, I salute you.
Goals are positive, they’re something to aim for and by choosing 90 day goals and goals which you don’t have to do every single day for 365 days I’m creating motivation and something much more rewarding and achievable.
I’m not excited by living frugally.  I’m not excited by weightloss or fitness or healthy eating.  I’m not excited by any of the usual cliched resolutions that I’ve made and failed to complete year after year after year. BUT I am so excited about this year’s goals!  I won’t bore you with my personal and career goals but I know I’m on safe ground sharing my crafty goals with you.

  1.  Release some of my own designs as patterns
  2. Learn brioche
  3. Learn continental knitting
  4. Improve my colour-work
  5. Join in with the Box o Sox KAL (see the Yarngasm Podcast on YouTube).
  6. Knit a shawl
  7. Learn to use my drop spindle
  8. 3D needle-felting

Goal number 1 will be achieved already as every subscriber to my blog will be receiving a copy of my simple lace scarf pattern YAY!  but the other adventures I invite you to join me on as I’m a warts and all kinda girl and I can guarantee I’ll make mistakes.
Goal number 6 is next.  Sylvia McFadden’s Waiting for Rain Shawl has been in my Ravelry Queue since I received the Harry Potter mystery box from one of my favourite indie dyers: Truly Hooked.  I just adore what Verity does with colour and although I’ve yet to cast on a single project in her yarn, I already have just over 5 miles of her yarn in a special box.  I’m not joking btw – I worked out the yardage!
Truly Hooked Expecto Patronum
The Harry Potter Mystery Box from Truly Hooked.  This gorgeous yarn was called Expecto Patronum and I opted to include a complimentary semi-solid, which turned out to be a beautiful silvery grey named Patronus.
Having crafty ADD I’ve also just made a start on goal number 5: joining in with Kristin’s box-o-sox KAL, whereby you make at least 12 pairs of socks by the end of the year.  If you do it, you can enter the giveaway and I so want to do this!  I’ve cast on with a skein of Dye Candy that was part of a Guardians of the Galaxy collaboration with Truly Hooked.
dye candy (2)
I’m quite pleased with the way it’s turning out so far – I’m going to do a box-o-sox post where I’ll detail the full story including tips and tricks but I’ve turned the heel and completed the gusset and am now merrily knitting my way around the foot of the first sock.
I will admit to being a little bit scared of my final goal – mainly because I have done flat needle felting before and ended up stabbing myself half to death.  I know I’m not the only one to experience this.  My gorgeous friend Emily made some flamingo tree decorations this year and let’s just say the speckling on the feathers is nothing to do with a clever dye job to imitate the flamingo’s natural plumage….
So what are your crafty goals for the year?  Is anyone joining in with any KALs or CALs?  Can any of you already brioche or do colour work?  If so I’d LOVE to hear your own tips and tricks.


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