Storytime

Tips on Setting Knitting Goals for the New Year

As quickly as the holidays came, they passed us just as quickly. But don’t worry, the New Year doesn’t have to be a boring slog back into the office cubical. January is a perfect chance for us knitters to clear our heads and set goals for the road ahead. Look at it like a fresh start. And together, we can create awesome projects for all of 2019!

How ambitious should my goals be?

Dream Big

With so many different colors and styles, yarn can get overwhelming! 

It all starts with setting reasonable goals that don’t set yourself up for failure – kind of like taking up a gradual workout routine, or easing your way into a healthy diet. These things take time. But it helps immensely if you just draw out your plans in a journal or on your phone. With it, you can manage your knitting appropriately around your schedule.

You should write down what your specific goals are. Are they reasonable? Is this project possible in the time frame I’ve given myself? Am I certain that this goal is adding real value and not unnecessary stress?

All of us want to dream big, and I definitely encourage you to. But you’ll burn out quickly if you make your goals impossible.

What about deadlines?

calendar

Keeping deadlines on a calendar can be very helpful. 

Deadlines can make a huge difference. They help us stay on task and remind us that when we hit a certain date, it’s on to the next project. We’ve all heard this spiel. And yes, I know what it’s like to set deadlines that are way too strict, and before you know it, they blow on by. That can have a negative effect and cause you to beat yourself up.

One of my goals this year is to set more lenient due dates for myself. By scheduling these dates further out, you make your deadlines work for you. It leaves plenty of room to challenge yourself with exciting goals.

Let’s get specific. What kind of goals should I set?

Double Take Beanie

Double Take Beanie is one of many WIPs on my to-do list. 

What’s the point of goals if you’re not learning something new, anyway? Your ambitions can lead to amazing growth as a person. For example, I’m challenging myself by learning how to play the guitar. By next Christmas, I hope to play songs for my grandpa. See? Challenging, but with a realistic time frame.

We can easily apply this to knitting, too. In 2019, I’m going to finish as many abandoned Works in Progress (WIPs) as possible. How many WIPs do you have in your basket? For me, one of my oldest projects started when I was 16 years old (!). No matter. I’m still super excited to finally finish my Valais socks.

Thinking back, these were knit on old Madelinetosh yarn called Merlot. What slowed me down to begin with? Well, back then, the cables and lace were a bit of a challenge. Today, I’m much more into mindless knitting. This maaay have been part of the reason why I haven’t cast on the second sock.

Speaking of which, do you have second sock syndrome? What is the longest time you’ve put off the second sock? I know that for me, Valais is the reason I knit two at a time now! 

Of course, I’ve got other patterns on my to-do list. The Double Take Beanie is very simple and an easy intro to brioche. Needless to say, I love it. Why am I making it now? Well, there’s no crazy story behind its tardiness. Sometimes, things just get shuffled around in the holidays. It happens! 

Next on my agenda is a pattern very close to my heart. I was gifted Shusui Shrug by @northknits through @fibreshare, and they are delightful! 

Unfortunately, I had to frog this project three times, because I kept forgetting about the side increases. That changes in 2019. I’m going to carve out a special chunk of knitting time to create this special shrug.

A shrug like this is perfect for the studio! I cannot wait to curl up and be so cozy in this garter and brioche shrug. It’s an ideal companion while working on computer and design work. 

Those are just a few items on my bucket list. And if we look closer, it sure seems like an endless bucket. For one, the Ingalls Sweater by @boylandknitworks has been calling my name. I used madelinetosh yarn for the stars. And soon, I’ll work on dyeing the body as well! 

Some of my future creations even have an international influence. As some of you know, I traveled to France in 2015 for school. While there, I purchased yarn that I’ve been meaning to use for making socks. Vanilla would be a solid choice for this project.

And to be honest, I already cast these on before winter break! So yeah, maybe it’s not a true WIP, but the yarn was split into two balls, wound by hand, waiting patiently for me to return to them. It really is a great pattern for family knitting because it’s so easy to memorize. 

How do I keep from burning out?

laptop

When I take breaks, I like to watch TV shows on my laptop. 

Now, all of this sounds like a lot. But remember, part of the goal is to be kind to myself while planning this out. The key is to listen to myself and set the yarn down when my body tells me that I need a break, whether my hands are sore, or I’m tired. If I’m not feeling it, there’s no reason to push it.

However, instead of stuffing the project away, I’m going to keep it nearby as a reminder that I need to keep working on it, even if it’s only a row or two at a time.

Did you set any New Year’s resolutions? Please let me know in the comments. It doesn’t even have to be knitting related!

Happy New Year and have a productive, fun 2019. 😉

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