I typically do not make new year’s resolutions, but rather I look to intentions for the coming year…watch my water intake, exercise, reduce stress and unplug from my phone and computer every day. In that same light, I always think about my knitting intentions for the New Year. What would I like to learn, improve upon and complete in 2019.
This process starts with looking back and doing a bit of organizing. I start by taking out all of my knitting bags (I have just a few) and looking at each project. Is this a project I want to continue working on in the new year? Am I still excited about it? If the answer is yes, it stays. If no, which is quite rare, it will be returned to my stash or I will donate the yarn. Lets face it, there is nothing worse than knitting on a project you don’t like. It is a lovely feeling to keep only the projects you love in your knitting rotation. And it is a liberating feeling to get rid of those that don’t inspire you.
Once that is done, I go through my notions and needles. I collect my stich markers from around the house and return them to the proper tins. (Trust me, I find them everywhere!) Then I ensure that my notions bag is all stocked up and that I have everything I need to complete my projects. I also wipe my metal knitting needles down with a damp cloth to remove any oils that have been left behind after a lot of use. The few wooden needles, get a wipe down with a clean cloth.
Now, I am ready to think about the year ahead. In my planner I create a “Knitting Log” for the year. I start by listing the projects that are being carried from 2018 to 2019. I note the pattern name, yarn, needles, cast-on date and cast-off date. This year I have included a “Ravelry Post” column. One of my 2019 knitting intentions is to be better about posting finished projects to Ravelry. I get so much knowledge from other knitters on the site, it is a great way to give a little back to the community.
Next, I think about what I want to knit for the year ahead. My best inspiration comes from my friends in the Monarch community and from Instagram. On New Year’s Eve morning a client came in with a sweater in progress, Tensile by Emily Greene, and I fell in love. That project will be on my needles soon! Sweaters will continue to be a priority for me this year. I just love being able to wear something that fits me and cannot be purchased off a shelf at a store.
In 2019, I want to learn how to knit in the Portuguese Style. It has always fascinated me as a way of tensioning and I look forward to learning more about it. I am lucky enough to be attending Squam with some friends for a relaxing weekend of classes and knitting. Lo and behold…there was a Portuguese Knitting class offered. I am also taking another class at Squam that takes me WAY out of my comfort zone because it involves…drawing. The class is called “creating a sketchbook practice”. I have always been interested in visual journaling, and this is the perfect, low-stakes opportunity to explore it.
I am also going to do a bit more selfish knitting this year. Almost everything I knit is for the store and, with the store schedule, it must to be done quickly and by a deadline. Part of my overall intention to “reduce stress” in my life falls perfectly in line with these knitting projects. This year process, not product, is important to me, but don’t worry, we will still have plenty of samples to show off at the shop!
So, as you enter the New Year, first, take a look back at your knitting and see what you loved and made you happy. Then, think about what you would like to learn and explore. Challenge yourself to knit a couple of more challenging projects. If you have never knit a sweater, cast one on, perhaps try fair isle or cables. However, do not let go of the fundamental piece of our practice: let your knitting bring you joy and calm in 2019.
Best wishes for a wonderful 2019 to all of our Monarch Knitting friends,
Photo credits – Squam, petiteknits and Jared Flood