I’m super excited to have learned a new skill. One of my new year’s resolutions was to try something new creatively every month. My husband suggested learning to crochet hats. Well, I enjoy knitting a lot more than crochet so I decided to learn how to knit in the round.
As with most things, creating something new comes with lots of… I’ll call them learning opportunities. The hat I’m wearing is the successful end result of four scrapped projects. I chose to unravel them to keep the yarn since the things themselves were not save-worthy.
I got the hang of knitting a tube on circular needles. A small lumpy tube, lol!
Then I began what I thought was a hat pattern in the library book I’m learning from. Flip the page and it’s actually a bag. I have no need for a knitted bag.
Next I learned the importance of making sure the cast-on yarn isn’t twisted before joining it into a circle. Got a good 20 rows in before I realized the hat was going to flip around itself.
The hat’s diameter in this picture was too big. I got quite a ways in before realizing the size was off. So I figured I’d learn how to close up the top before unraveling this iteration.
#5: Ta-da! It’s a cute and functional simple hat. I can learn more complex patterns as I go along. This one’s for me. Hubby’s requested a green one so I’ll take him yarn shopping soon for the exact green that makes him happy. Me, I’m happy to have learned so much and not given up!
Yesterday I blogged my thoughts on resolutions for 2016. I’ve got a general sense that I want to focus on being social, creative, and healthy. But why wait? There’s no rule that I have to have it all figured out or begin on January 1st.
So today I started a page in my art journal. It’s going to take a while to fill in all of the things I’m thankful for because it’s list-style. That leaves room for a LOT of things. It’s great to have focused on something positive and visually interesting.
I also started working out. My sister and I have a goal to work out at least five days every week through January. I watched the last half hour of the Lego Movie (which is hilarious) while strolling on the treadmill. Day 1, check!
Do you have a new year’s resolution yet? I’ve been thinking about what mine could be for the past few days.
Some of my family members have a Facebook group devoted to physical challenges, mostly related to food and exercise. It’s a great way to check-in and support each other. We’ve done several 30 day challenges. One was to cut out sweets for a month, another was to walk 10,000 steps a day, and we had veggies daily. Last month I tried to drink 80oz a day. I didn’t make goal most days but definitely was more hydrated.
Monthly goals are great for me because they help me stay consistent without getting completely overwhelmed by the thought of doing this for an entire year. 365 days is a big number!
The creative introvert who wants to be physically stronger in me is thinking of categorizing goals.
Creative goal: try something new every month. This can be learning to knit hats, designing a quilt, making a new page in my art journal, trying a new recipe, or a myriad of other things.
Social goal: something. I don’t know what I want this to look like yet. Touch base with each member of my immediate family? Make new friends? Invite people over? Initiate conversations? Join a quilt guild when I move? Teach classes?
Health goal: continue with monthly challenges. Get stronger. Stronger than what? How strong? Concrete numbers are good with goals because you’ll know when they’re attained. With my water challenge, drink more water is vague but drink 80oz is trackable.
It’s almost New Year Resolutions Time. I quilt for myself, for pay, and for charity. In order to get more organized I’m joining Jetgirl and a few others in making 15 quilting-related resolutions for 2015.
Get organized. Keep detailed financial records for my business. Rearrange my fabric stash so I can tell quickly what I have and don’t.
Market my business. Do what I know and learn what I don’t. Make it a priority to really learn some new tricks. Try them out and see what works for me.
Work on one charity project at a time. I have at least 3 charity unfinished projects and find great causes that need quilts or blocks all the time. Thing is, if my emotions are in charge none of these things will get done. One at a time and they’ll get finished and to the people that need them. First up is the turtles quilt for Crystal Lake Camps.
Teach some classes! I already have one class ready to go, teaching crumb piecing. I’ll work on getting that one booked at guilds and shops as well as having more classes to offer.
Try new things. You know, stuff I haven’t done before.
Finish a quilt for my own bed. We have store-bought blankets on there now, along with a gorgeous hand-quilted Amish quilt. Still, it needs one of mine. My husband has been bugging me about this for a while and this year I’ll turn one of the bed-sized tops into our snuggle covers.
Give myself a raise! As a skilled worker, I will charge for my services like, well, a skilled worker. This year it goes up from $16.50 to $18 an hour.
Learn how to better communicate with my customers. For example, I recently discovered that a good question to ask with custom work is if there’s a preference for the backing fabric.
Make another large crumbs quilt. I love my crumbs piecing! I have a LOT of 6″ squares and they’re ready to go into a large quilt. Maybe it’ll end up being a show quilt like this other one I made a few years ago.
Go to at least three quilt shows. Meet the vendors, be inspired by the quilts, refill my creative cup.
Meet some of my online friends. I have some that I know only through blogging and Facebook. I’d love to give them in-person hugs in 2015!
Be silly. Laugh. Allow myself to make things just because it’s fun. Inject beauty into my artistic life.
Say no. No to writer’s block. No to continuing with a project that needs to go into the donation bin. No to going to a guild meeting that’s designed to be exclusive. Trust my intuition and highest sense of self and say no when that’s the right answer for me.
Quilt with friends! I’ve joined the Stash Bee and am looking forward to meeting some new online friends through that monthly activity. I’m also going to make an effort to sew in-person with mini-groups, sew-ins, at retreats, or just when my local friends have a minute to spare.
Stop quilting. Know when to put the needle down. Watch a movie on the couch with my husband without my handwork. Stop the sewing machine when on the phone with a family member who’s letting me hear their secret thoughts. “One more block,” won’t do when I could be running errands before rush hour.
How about you? Do you have any resolutions for 2015?
I was feeling run down today. Just tired and discouraged in general. My new years resolutions for 2013 were to notice the goodness around and within me and to be my own advocate. So I decided to focus on those things once I got home from work.
Goodness around me – my husband made me dinner, his shepherd’s pie recipe and pumpkin pie, too! He borrowed a toaster oven and we shared some of the pumpkin pie with friends here at the motel.
Goodness within me – I’m good at my job and can stay calm under pressure. I understand the reasoning behind kids acting out and don’t take it personally. I appreciate positive things and can learn from the negatives.
Be my own advocate – I’m grouchy when I’m tired, so a nap was in good order. Tomorrow’s Friday and I plan to get in some sewing time.
And hey, if all else fails, remember this piece of advice that the three-year-old gave his screaming baby brother today: “Keep calm and don’t die.” Later, he gave the same advice to a toy car that flipped over.