For so many years past, the new year has always issued forth a mix of dread and excitement: I’m thrilled for a fresh chapter, but overwhelmed by my own high standards and unrealistic expectations (type A personality, right here). It’s taken me many a year to move away from change-focused resolutions – especially those that involve some miraculous overnight lifestyle change. Resolutions like that are simply not what I need in my life right now.
Instead, I’m trying to re-imagine resolutions as reflective, restorative, and joyful intentions for my year. When I ask myself what do I find to be a source of joy in my life? What do I find to be restorative? The answer is crystal clear: Knitting.
As a result, I’ve resolved to move mindfully through my life with more compassion, read a handful of new books, and knit a whole lot more. These are resolutions that are simple, joyful, and kind towards myself.
When I make resolutions like this, I feel an openness, a joy, and an optimism that has been all but lost in recent years. It’s almost like I’m a kid again, looking forward to the promise of summer break (almost).
So, as I return to Kindred Yarn this year, I wanted to take some time to kick off this year with my knitting resolutions. As with most die-hard knitters out there, I have no shortage of ideas. While there is always so much goodness out there to knit, I have narrowed it down to three main principles. Rather than a to-knit list, the following three big picture ideas should be a helpful roadmap that will narrow my scope and set me up for some realistic and fun expectations for my creative adventures this year.
Knit only what sets my heart on fire.
How many times have I picked up the needles, on a tired evening, and cast on a project that’s just . . . okay. You probably know the type. The sort of project that will keep your hands moving today, maybe tomorrow, but will inevitably fall by the wayside within a week or two simply because it isn’t something that you would love to knit. These sorts of projects haunt my knitting bag, and completely obliterate my love of the craft. They slow me down in the long run, because I don’t look forward to working through the project.
This year, I’m putting my foot down. No more lackluster cast ons. If I want to keep busy but I’m not really in the mood to imagine a meaningful project, it’s time to give myself a mani/pedi instead. Life’s too short for chore knitting.
I will only knit projects that that warm my heart as much as my hands.
2018 is the year of the shawl.
The more years of knitting I get under my belt, the more I am beginning to learn what I love and what I loathe to work on. While I might appreciate the intricacies of the perfect cardigan or the splendor of color we often see in socks, it is shawl patterns that most often make me gasp as I’m scrolling through Instagram. (They are also the patterns most likely to lead to impulsive yarn purchases.)
There is simply something lovely and endearing about the playground that shawl knitting provides. From traditional shapes and stitches to bright color and asymmetrical lines, shawl knitting is a constant exploration in style. It’s simple construction makes it a craveable project – I look forward to working on the next section on any given evening after work. And, shawls still retain the practicality of being something you can wear. It’s pretty much as close to a wearable canvas as you can get.
So, while I will totally be casting on a few other projects this year, I will be dedicating the bulk of my effort to the wonders of the shawl: to all that I can learn about style, design, and stitches in this medium. After tackling a few of my dream shawls this year, I hope to round out 2018 with an original design of my own.
2018 – the year of the shawl – will certainly not be one to miss.
I will engage meaningfully with the online knitting community.
Seeing all the beautiful projects out there, it is clear that the internet provides a constant wellspring of inspiration to any kind of crafter or artist. Knitting is certainly no exception. There’s no doubt I will continue to find my way into challenging patterns this year, thanks to all the great content that is being created by knitwear designers out there.
In 2018, I’m committed to sharing my knitting journey with you all and carving out more space for handspun knitting in our online communities. While I am still making my first forays into pattern writing, I am so motivated to join in the larger conversations about knitting, even if it’s simply by sharing what’s on my needles more often or writing about how knitting contributes to our lives.
I hope you’ll join me in reflecting on what guiding principles you want to use to shape your knitting this year. What are the big picture ideas you want to explore in your craft in 2018? Let me know in the comments section.