As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to eschew new year’s resolutions. However, despite this disinclination, I do find this time of year (and by “this time of year”, I apparently mean February – my holiday internet bailed out in the last week of the trip, so this post is later than I would have liked) to be a useful time to reflect on what I want to do in the year ahead. In January I usually find myself in New South Wales with plenty of spare time on my hands, away from my main stash of yarn and craft supplies. Often, when I’m at home and looking at all of the creative options at my disposal, I sometimes feel daunted by my choices. But once I get a little bit of distance, I find it easier to consider the things I want to do and the goals that should be a priority. I’m not interested in setting specific, quantified goals or, heaven forbid, prohibitions, because frankly I don’t find them particularly helpful, nor do I really believe that my creative pass-times need to be policed in such a fashion. But I do find that, come January and my down time, my brain turns naturally to the things I want to do during the rest of the year, upon my return to Melbourne and the real world. Well, that’s what I was thinking about when I wasn’t distracted by the scenery.
Plus, you know, if I didn’t write a ‘Plans for 2012’ post, how would I then be able to do a ‘2012 in Review’ post in twelve months time!
So, what do I have planned for this year? A constant force is my desire to turn more of my original ideas into reality. Unfortunately, as I noted a little while back, this does not always work well with my frequent (especially when overworked and overtired) desire for mindless comfort knitting. But it’s about time I started attempting to make the effort. I’d really like to make more of my own designs, partly because I’m cursed with a super-irritating urge to be original and partly because I want to push my boundaries a little and learn some new things. Knitting the patterns of others is a great way to learn new techniques, especially since someone else has already done the trial and error experimentation phase for you, but this is a mixed blessing; as lot of the thinking is done for you, you’re absolved of the responsibility of considering things for yourself. I want to learn more about shaping, about fit, and so on. And, narcissistically, I also think I have some good ideas and someday I’d love to translate them into woolly reality, instead of having them live out their days in my head, sadly unrealised.
As I mentioned a couple of posts back, another thing that I’ve been craving recently is cables. MORE CABLES. Big cables, small cables, simple cables, ridiculously elaborate cables. More specifically, having last year dipped the tip of a pinky toe into designing my own cables, I want to make more ambitious forays into this territory. I have ideas. I have graph paper. I have an adequate understanding of how cables work. There is nothing stopping me. Except, you know, the fact that I’m a lazy bum who is utterly terrible at mathematics. But this is no excuse. 2012 will have cables.
I’d also like to make more easy-to-wear things that are interesting to look upon. Easy to wear garments – the kind you reach for automatically because they are comfortable, suit you and work with the rest of your wardrobe – were a priority for last year and to some extent I delivered on this front. But the thing is, one only needs so many plain or two-colour-stripe top-down-raglan pullovers. This year I’m going to try and aim a little higher: I want to make garments that meet all of the above criteria, but are also interesting. Whether they’re interesting visually/stylistically, or from a technical perspective, I don’t really mind. But they’ve something more going for them than the fact that I was able to watch a lot of Breaking Bad while I slogged away at the endless rows of stocking stitch.
That said, the two projects currently on my needles are stripey top-down raglans. Erm, whoops?
There are other, smaller goals of course; more impulses than bigger aims, really. I would like to do more natural dyeing. I would like to do more original colour-work. I would like to try my hand at steeking. I want to get back into spinning. But the above points are the big ones. Easy and relaxing is all well and good, but I think I can do better than that. I’m never sure to the extent that one should really set goals and attempt to be ambitious with hobbies. After all, hobbies exist to bring pleasure, interest and comfort and shouldn’t be an area into which guilt (over unfulfilled ambitions) should be permitted to intrude. Though I guess you have to balance this with the fact that when you do something recreational that you’re really, truly proud of, it’s a pretty bloody good feeling. I miss finishing a challenging knitted item and then feeling so accomplished that I want to parade around the house ramming it in everyone’s faces, then walking out into the street wearing it being convinced that everyone is looking at my awesome pullover and admiring its magnificence (yes, on occasion, I am that narcissistic BUT YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND, IT TOOK MONTHS TO KNIT THAT SYLVI). Erm, yes. It felt good, dammit! And I would like to recapture that, if possible. Bring on the ego-boost!
(Oh, and speaking of ego boosts, a shot of my first Corona pullover made a brief guest appearance in the excellent Canary Knits blog post on negative ease. You should all go and read it; my narcissism aside, it’s super helpful. Go forth and ogle all of the lovely pullovers!)