An Old Year Has Ended, a New One Begun

Happy New Year!

The Old Year

I’ve just read my post from a year ago (Beginnings and Endings), in which I commented on how little hand knit I had done for myself, or indeed hand making of any kind, since I had been designing and making machine knit samples for my MA.  Well, during 2013 I’ve done a lot of hand knit and crochet and even completed a couple of sewing projects, but almost no machine knit; one day the balance will be right!

My Own Projects

I’ve knitted a pair of socks for myself …

Sibling socks - are they twins?

…, sewn a bag with crochet handles

Tote bag with crochet handles
Tote bag with crochet handles

… made a laundry bag for woolly things …
Wool wash bag - applique detail
…  and started a needlepoint cushion.

The apple has been started!

Then week before Christmas I designed and knitted a hat for a present and on Christmas Eve made some Christmas cards.  And I even did a drawing class!  So that is a good variety of making.  But you’re thinking, “that is not much knitting and she did not mention crochet”! Well, most of this year’s hand knit and crochet has not been for me or family or friends, but either for patterns or for the workshops I teach.

Published Patterns

Cover of Sweet Dreams socks pattern

Cover of Twist collection

Magic of the Circus bag from The Knitter, p. 38

Workshops

Crochet cluster stitch drawstring bag with scalloped edge.
Crochet cluster stitch drawstring bag with scalloped edge

Fair Isle sample and pincushion
This time last year I was about to become self-employed.  I felt quite strange introducing myself to people and saying that I was an artist, designer and tutor specialising in knit and crochet, when I had not done any of these things on a commercial basis.  One year on, having had work in a couple of exhibitions, published my first hand knit patterns, taught hand knit and crochet workshops and classes, I feel quite comfortable with this and am looking forward to doing far more of these things.  Anyone who’s self-employed will tell you that the first year does not go as planned; I published far fewer patterns than I wanted while things computer related ate into my time – the two may well be connected!

The New Year

To Resolve Or Not to Resolve!

I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions; I prefer to make resolutions throughout the year as appropriate and remake them when plans go astray as they will.  I’m hoping to do more sewing, particularly making clothes.  I want to carry on with the drawing class; I’m planning on using my developing drawing skills to illustrate some hand knit and crochet tutorials on this blog.  And of course, I want to get fit (can’t keep fit until you are fit to begin with).
Actually, I do have a resolution, which is a change in the way I work.  During November I experimented with a new way of working.  Rather than spending all day on one type of work, I changed tasks every hour.  So a typical ‘to do’ list for a day would be: work on a pattern design for a hour, do several small admin tasks for an hour, work on preparation for workshops for an hour and so on.
I found this to be really motivating since I had always completed several things from my ‘to do’ list at the end of each day, big projects progressed slowly, but surely which reduced stress before deadlines, small tasks were continuously done rather than being left until a big project was finished and I didn’t spend so long doing any task that I became tired of it.  Variety is the spice of life!  So, I want to try working in this manner for a longer time period.  What do you think?

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