As each year draws to a close, I usually find myself indulging in a moment of panic by asking myself “What have I done with the time? Did I accomplish my goals? Did I spend the time wisely? Have I wasted a year?”
When I set out to answer this question for myself recently, I honestly wasn’t quite sure of the answer. Given I have a reasonably complete record of what I’ve done in the knitting sense, I decided to be visual about the answer. (Obviously, my year has not been devoted only to the art of knitting, but for the purposes of this blog, I am going to review my year of knitting).
Please join me on a small tour of 2011:
Knits for family:
This is a reassuring picture for me. I was worried I hadn’t knitted enough for my family. Seeing as this is the largest collection of knitting for this year, I think I can stop worrying.
Knits for friends:
These were all very interesting knits. Colourwork and cables, three self-designs (one not pictured), the sleeves to a lace cardigan (not pictured) and a lovely hat in twisted stitch. There was also the matter of a small felting disaster… and I haven’t included photos of that sweater or the one I knitted to replace it. Oh yes, and a cowl or two. Thanks to my friends for the opportunity of learning!
Knits for me:
Necessary, functional, and there’s a bit of learning in there too. The lace border scarf, although nothing spectacular, marked a turning point in my learning adventure in lace, so that I now no longer view it as overly challenging. Just “nicely interesting”, and very definitely something I’ll do more of next year. The socks were another new learning adventure – my first ones ever, and you can see I didn’t stop at just one pair!
This was a crucial one for me. I suddenly realised part-way through the year that people actually liked what I was designing, and that I really liked designing. Large pointy arrow to self: This is the way to develop my career in knitting and carry out that goal of becoming a master knitter! And so you recently saw my first ‘professional’ pattern Sylvia, released.
Let’s not forget yarn:
Stansborough’s Mythral, that beautiful, beautiful rare breed New Zealand wool that I’m so glad is now available to knitters around the world. I’m so proud to be associated with this iconic New Zealand brand.
The year is not out yet, and I do have a few items I’d like to finish before we say goodbye to 2011… let’s not forget the Windsor Cardi, the Autumnal Cardigan, Creekbed, the second sock of a couple of pairs, and hopefully a tea cosy or two.
I think I can be reasonably proud of what I have been able achieve this year. Coming from an environment where criticism is more common than praise, I’m not conditioned to be happy with what I do. Even now, there’s a little nag at the back of my brain going “Is that all you knitted? Couldn’t you have done more? Or something a bit more difficult?” And so I start wondering: Should I be proud of this?
However, looking at it clinically, I’ve actually begun the track to self-employment, and it’s in the area I want to work in. I’ve advanced my skills in knitting and knitted over 60 individual projects in that time. I’ve cared for and provided for my family, my friends and myself. I’ve contributed to the local and knitting community (there’s a school knitting teaching project hidden in the designs, and all but one of the designs above are free). I’ve made a number of significant personal life changes that have been so much for the better. This does count for something, even if I do feel squeamish about being pleased with myself.
So what’s next? I feel in some way, that I have reached a major turning point this year. For the first time in a long time, I can see tangible results for goals I have consciously set myself. It’s a totally different feeling to look at one’s accomplishments and think “I said I’d do that, and I did“, as opposed to someone else saying “I asked you do to that and you have done that. Well done, and by the way, you can keep your job”.
It goes without saying there have been many sadnesses and frustrations this year too, and in many ways, this year has been one of the hardest I’ve faced so far. I’m not going to let these points get in the way of celebrating the good things about life though.
And so, to keep up the impetus, I have already set a large goal for myself for next year, which I cannot tell you about yet because I need to find out if it is actually possible first. But here’s hoping. It will mean (gulp) a major time commitment for me, but then you are looking at someone who does not know the meaning of sitting still and doing nothing. And if you are wondering, no, it’s not a book. 😉
Will there be more knitting? Stupid question, right? I hope there will be more to show you next year. Hopefully, it will be more impressive-looking, because the over-arching goal for 2012 is ‘stretch your skills’ (I’ll try not to grizzle too much in this space as I force the old brain into learning new tricks!)
So I take this opportunity to say Thank you, dear readers. For without you, this journey would have been so much lonelier. I should also note that I am very grateful for the patience and love of my children as I sit and knit “just one more row…”
I look forward to another year of seeing your encouraging comments, of following your own knitting adventures (if you write a blog), of developing more true friendships, of celebrating milestones, of sharing disappointments, of living life to the full.
I hope your year has been just as rewarding and productive to you, and may 2012 be even better!