My year in knits

Looking back over 12 months of knitting and planning an exciting new year!

Any of you ever had to write an annual report? And if so, am I the only one who at that point, has no recollection so ever of what one has actually done over the past 12 months? Right now, workwise, I’m thinking about starting the report early this year, preferably now in January, to avoid that blank page in Summer when it is actually due. But already now, I feel like I have no clue as to what I spent fiddling at the office over those over 1.700 hours. And I do work, really. I know I do. But either it is me getting increasingly strong brain fog and memory loss (this is actually true too), or – as I’m hoping – this is a common phenomena. Please tell me it is … 

And somehow, although I love the end of year festivities, mostly of all Christmas and look very much forward to it, shortly before the evening itself, I get one of these huge downs. Wondering where all my targets went. How come I end yet another year with the house a rather overwhelming and big mess, not many patterns published, my social media accounts still super mediocre in following and with totally inconsistent posting schedules (same objective set every year and still believing somehow that one day I’ll actually get it done). Am I more of the self-criticizing kind? Yes, absolutely!

Back to the beginning of 2023 and trying to recollect what my targets for that year were. I started the year wanting to redo my website, which I did not do before March as planned, BUT (trying to be kind to myself here) managed to do before November. Not bad, right? It is far away from perfect but I really like the look and feel of it, and am quite satisfied. Also, I learned so many things on that rocky road to doing it all alone, so kudos to myself for that. 

Then another of my targets was to expand my range of basic knitwear, which I did with the Everyday Tee, which I’m still quite much in love with. And what I need to remind myself of is that I did learn to design using quite some new techniques, which I didn’t master the year before, such as saddle shoulders (my new love), saddle shoulders with raglan to work it seamlessly and top-down (planning one day to adapt it to the Stargazer Jacket) and which I also used for my Moss sweater, which will be launched very very soon. 

So for that objective : check!

I’ve also always wanted to offer a free pattern for Christmas, which I did with the Let it sparkle Shawl. A bit late in timing, I know, but it was a start … If you didn’t manage to get it done in time, there’s definitely going to be Christmas celebrations and presents to make in 2024 too 😉

When it comes to my reading list, I’m afraid I didn’t do very well though. I bought about 10 books that talk about knitting in the large sense, and which I wanted to read and write about. I managed to read one. And am trying to re-read it to write a book review about it. Coming very soonish, promised!

Also, focusing on the positive learnings, I got the opportunity to work and design with two new yarns (not new as such, but new for me), which I really love, the way they feel while knitting and afterwards, wearing them. Those are the Semilla melange that I used for both the Bretagne shawl and Bretagne sweater and on the other hands the Gepard Garn Pura Lana which I used for the North Sea Sweater for kids. 

What else was new? Some of my targets were definitely not reached, such as getting any submission accepted for magazines. I did learn to put more effort in it, and tried to get a coherent creative process going, but well… maybe another time. But, two new things happened this year and that did make me grow a tiny little bit. First of all, the knitting lunches I started last year, and which I’m going to do my best to continue this year. Although it’s still a minuscule group, I met lovely new people, and these gatherings enabled them to get to know each other and for some of them, become knitting buddies and friends. I think that what I need to remind myself of is that it’s not the size of the impact that matters, but the quality of it, as cheesy as it might sound. If you make like me, a few new friends in a year, that is just brilliant. And if you create the opportunity for others to meet, to share their creativity and knitting tips and so much more, it’s that one little difference you make in someone’s life, right?

And now, for the million dollar question: what are the plans for next year? I guess, the baseline I would want to put up for myself to follow is to grow. To use the year to grow as much as possible, to allow myself to focus on the process, to learn (and fail) and learn more about knitting, read more about knitting, test and try new techniques, new patterns, new materials and ideas, without bothering about the efficiency of it all. Focus on the things I like about designing knitting patterns and continue to contribute in a positive way to the knitting community. 

That sounded cheesy too, I guess. Sorry about that. But aren’t new beginnings all about being cheesy, super optimistic and blindly hopeful? 

Now, it’s your turn! 

What are your targets for next year? And I mean like really wholesome and sustainable targets. Not that diet or workout plan you drew up or subscribed to the first week of January. But something that you think is actually going to make you feel good and happy and make a difference in your life. So? Share your thoughts!

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