Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2013! What did you do for New Year's Eve? Did you touch your crochet hooks or craft projects at all?

I could think of no better way to relax than to get stuck into crochet while it is a public holiday. However I also love to catch up with family and friends at this time of the year. My household saw in 2013 very quietly at home with a special meal together. I love going out and about, mingling with the celebratory throng, but these days the body can't keep up with the partying pace. I'm not sure how much is because of autoimmune disease and how much is just plain ol' getting older! (Most likey the latter.)

Funnily enough, I never plan New Year's Eve events, leaving it all to the last minute–invariably we end up with a happy bunch of people for a memorable evening–yet I do like to plan my crochet activities and set goals for the coming year.

My new year is always a time for reflection and planning. The quiet time between Christmas and New Year is the perfect opportunity to take stock of crafting supplies, organise the storage and crafting space and find homes for the newly received gifts.

Looking back on the projects of the past year tells me a lot about myself and is useful for planning. What projects did I enjoy the most (or not) and why? What problems arose and how were they solved if at all? How can I apply this learning to future projects?

Think of all the projects that got finished during the year and feel proud about them! Savour the sense of achievement. It feels great. It is important to nurture one's self-esteem because that provides the confidence to embark on new challenges.

Reflection: 2012 presented a whole new world of exciting crochet possibilities. Participation in online forums and the internet inspired me with the amazing range of beautiful, stylish, items made by clever crocheters. I believe in giving compliments and good feedback where it is due–it brightens up a world where people are generally quick to whinge and complain. When I see something that I admire I will freely share my compliments. Through sharing and getting involved online, I have met fellow crocheters from all over the world. It is wonderful to find others who share my passion!

Sharing my work on Ravelry generated amazing responses. Thank you to everyone who has given me feedback, encouragement and support. It is uplifting to have a sense of belonging with a group of like-minded souls. Whenever there's a problem, fellow 'Ravellers' generously give their thoughts and energy to find solutions.

I'm an enthusiastic reader of all sorts of articles and publications about crochet and related crafts. Interweave Crochet magazine is a regular read and one day the editorial just 'connected' with me. So much so that I wrote to the editor, Marcy Smith. I have worked in magazine publishing myself and understand the pressures, effort and process required to produce a high-quality publication. After the disappointment of too many other publications (to remain nameless) being spoiled by basic avoidable mistakes in either process or production, I was impressed with the consistently high standard of Interweave Crochet magazine. The team deserved to be recognised for their good work. Well! Ms Smith liked my email and, to my amazement, decided to publish it on her blog! (My 15 minutes of crochet fame!)

I also did my first Crochet Along (CAL) with my neighbour to make a beautiful top, the Petal Pullover (Interweave). There were more benefits to the CAL than anticipated. We learned so much and had lots of fun. This project will be the subject of its own blog entry sometime in 2013.

Planning: This is my 2013 planning checklist:

  • Review WIPs (works in progress) –Do they still meet my needs? Do I really want to finish that project, put it aside for later or just frog it?
  • Check yearly calendar for birthdays and special events for which I might like to make something–will help me with long-term planning of crafting time
  • Commissioned works–Have people requested particular crocheted items? What is involved? Am I willing to take it on? Where does it fit within my own priorities?
  • Review 'To Do' list and Ravelry 'Queue'–some items may be irrelevant now. Don't be afraid to remove projects from the list.
  • Consider skills that I might like/need to learn or practice–continuous development of my crochet skills and knowledge is important to me
  • Charity–how can I support others through my crafting? I could:
    • make items to donate to a specific charity
    • donate my time and energy to teach crochet to others
    • make items to sell for fundraising
  • Community involvement–this could mean joining a new class, workshop, craft group, arts organisation or online community
The planning stage is for thinking and contemplating, using the checklist as a prompt. Allow time to ponder and daydream. Decisions will be made at goal-setting time.

What have you discovered upon reflection of 2012? Do you set goals in your crafting life or do you prefer to leave it to chance (like my New Year's Celebrations)? Both approaches have their merits. 

Perhaps it is finding a comfortable spot on that continuum between scheduling everything and making no plans whatsoever to follow a whimsical path. Where do you sit? Because there are so many enticing projects I get very ambitious; so I reckon I gravitate towards the planning side, but somewhere in between the two extremes.

Sometimes having too much ambition or unrealistic expectations can undermine our goals. The next blog entry will contain tips for setting goals to minimise frustration and maximise success.

You are welcome to share your response either in the comments dialog box or by email (jodiebodiecrochets@gmail.com). What did you feel good about in 2012? What are your hopes for 2013? How did you celebrate New Year's Eve? What are your local New Year traditions?

May 2013 bring lots of 'crochet love' your way with good health, happiness and harmony in your life.

Before signing off, here's my 'Freaky Fun Fact' about 2013: 13 is a prime number but 2013 is not. It is evenly divisible by 671! hehehehehe.

Have fun and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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