New Year’s Resolutions for Crafters
There are so many things to love about a new year. A new year feels like a clean slate, and a fresh opportunity to assess our crafting goals. What do we want to make? What do we want to accomplish? Sky-high expectations and unfulfilled promises plague New Year’s resolutions, but that isn’t a necessary outcome of setting goals for yourself.
This new year, we thought long and hard about potential resolutions. We love the idea Modern Daily Knitting proposed. Instead of a list of resolutions, pick a single word and try to embody it in everything you do throughout the year. We thought we’d expand on that idea and propose a few words. You may choose one, or several, or all. Whatever you do, make it specific to what you can achieve—and then acknowledge to yourself that you accomplished your goals.
This is a tried-and-true resolution for the new year. Want to embody the spirit of organization in the new year? Most crafters love—and need—organization. The above Mason Jar Crochet Hook Holder by Rachel Choi is a free pattern on Ravelry, and a pretty way to store crochet hooks. It also uses up yarn scraps, stores yarn scraps, and re-uses a mason jar! It’s a nesting doll of organization.
Organize your crafting space. Create order for your yarns and physical patterns by investing in containers and/or shelving. If your supply of needles and hooks are in disarray, create storage space to organize them. Locate projects on the needles and keep a running list, so you know where each size is and what you are working on. We created a Pinterest board of Craft Space Organization ideas to help get you started.
Organize your yarns. Take a good, hard look at your stash. Are there yarns you purchased that you now realize you’ll never use? Are there yarns you’d like to use for donations? Start going through your stash, then make a few lists. Set aside yarns to donate, yarns to knit for donated handmade items, and yarns you want to de-stash.
Organize your scraps. Gather all your scrap yarns. Decide what you’d like to keep and what you’d like to throw away. For the scraps you are keeping, find a neat way to contain them (like the mason jar above!). Maybe group them by weight, or color. If you’re keeping scraps that correspond to finished projects, label them and set them aside from the scraps you plan to use. You may need them for repairs in the future!
Plan your projects. Take a look at the patterns you’ve queued recently. What do you want to make this year? What can you reasonably make this year? An easy method for becoming overwhelmed is thinking you can knit or crochet everything on your list. Be kinder to your future self and make an attainable list. Remember to include your year-end gift crafting and any donations you might make. Check out our blog about Crafting for a Cause for guidance on knitting for donation.
Plan your fibers. If organization is on your new years list, then you’re already ahead of the game when it comes to planning your fibers. Also, if you choose your projects for the year, it should whittle down the list of potential yarns you can use. Just pick the yarns that work for the projects you have planned. Remember scrap yarns and the yarns you are destashing for donatables.
Plan your purchases. There may be projects in your queue you don’t own yet, or yarns you need to make your planned projects. As any crafter will tell you, just because you have a copious stash doesn’t mean you have everything you need. Make a list of potential purchases to supplement your projects, yarn stash, or tools.
We love the physical pages Little Red Window made (sampled above) to help plan projects. She includes pages for knit and crochet projects, yarn stash inventory, needle + hook inventory, and even a little graph paper for design work. You can download them for free here. Consider labeling the project pages (For Myself, For Donations, etc) and the yarn stash pages (To Keep, To Sell, To Donate). Committing your strategy to paper makes it easier to organize and follow through later!
We wouldn’t be crafters if we didn’t have an army of works-in-progress on the hooks and needles. But finishing goes beyond all the WIPs napping in your stash.
Finish your WIPs. Take stock of everything you have on your hooks or needles and decide whether you will finish them this year. Maybe certain projects have been idle so long, they actually require frogging. Maybe some WIPs need to go into deep hibernation. And maybe, some can be finished now. Akookamigurumi created project pages specifically for organizing WIPs (seen above)—download them here.
Finish your completed projects. “But they are already finished!” you say. There’s more to do after a final bind off. Maybe you still need to sew your finished sweater together—check out our blog on How to Piece Together a Sweater. Maybe you need to block out your finished project. We have a blog on blocking to help with that as well.
A new year inspires us to strengthen our mastery of our craft. What do you want to learn in the new year? What techniques have you shied away from, but would love to learn?
Learn about color. Have you always wanted to work with color, but aren’t sure where to start? How do you pair colors together? How do you know what works? The above blog on selecting colors is a great place to start. We also have a blog with Tips and Tricks for Knitting Color Work.
Learn about felting. Several Brown Sheep yarns make fantastic felting yarns, but the felting technique can feel daunting if you’ve never done it before. Felted projects are durable, ultra warm, and surprisingly easy to make. Learn more about felting with our yarns in our tutorial blog post, which includes instructions for a felted storage basket (New Year’s organizers, we’re looking at you!).
Learn how to sub yarns. Maybe you’ve chosen your projects for the new year, but don’t have a yarn stashed and don’t have the funds to purchase more yarn. Check out our blog on substituting yarns, which comes with a handy guide for subbing Brown Sheep yarns with any project.
Learn at the Brown Sheep Fiber Arts Schoolhouse. The Brown Sheep Fiber Arts Schoolhouse specializes in a myriad of different crafting skills, from rug hooking to rigid heddle weaving and more. If you’re local to Mitchell, Nebraska, it’s a wonderful opportunity to learn a new skill. Check out the ongoing calendar of classes—we’re updating it all the time! You can also join the Facebook group for updates.
So, will you Organize, Plan, Finish, or Learn something new this year? Maybe you’re doing a little of each? Let us know on Spinning Yarns and on our social channels, and good luck on your new years resolutions!
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