Thinking ahead


I am a list person. I write lists on my phone, on bits of paper that end up floating in my coat pockets for months, and in my day planner (because, yes, I still keep a paper day planner). Like most people, I like crossing things off my lists, and I’ve been known to add things I’ve already done just so that I can check them off. But that isn’t the real reason I like lists.

Lists help me organize my thoughts. I’m a visual person, and putting things down on paper, or into my phone, helps me understand what I need to do and evaluate (and re-evaluate) my priorities. I do revisit old lists, but more often, I write new ones, and if some things don’t make it from one list to another, that’s okay. Priorities change, needs change, time changes. Incomplete lists are, to me, more telling than most diary entries because who is trying to be introspective with a list?

Anyway, all of this brings me to this season’s big task: my to-do list for 2014. You can call the items goals or resolutions (be it resolved I’ll knit more socks?), but I’m calling them plans. Right now, at this moment, these are the things I want to do this year (well, not all of them, but a selection), presented in no particular order.

1. Knit more socks. Specifically, knit more whenever/everyday socks. I like fancy socks as much as the next person, but I also like plain ones. I like the rhythm of stockinette (or even basic ribbing – I would include Simple Skyp socks and Jaywalkers in the plain socks category), and the way it lets the colours unfold, and I would, ultimately, like to have enough plain socks to get me through two weeks. That’s 14 pairs. Right now, I have nine pairs, and I’m thinking six or seven more would not go amiss. I’ve gone through my stash and pulled out pretty yarns I want to spend some time with, and I’m looking forward to having these colours on my needles throughout the year.

Future socks. From top to bottom, left to right: Koigu KPPPM P615; Jill Draper Makes Stuff Splendor Sock in Violet's Wardrobe, Tosh Sock in Spectrum; Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in Peasant (already cast on), Manos del Uruguay Alegria in A9537, and Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in Autumn, Blackberry, and Earth.

Future socks. From top to bottom, left to right: Koigu KPPPM P615; Jill Draper Makes Stuff Splendor Sock in Violet’s Wardrobe, Tosh Sock in Spectrum; Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in Peasant (already cast on), Manos del Uruguay Alegria in A9537, and Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in Autumn, Blackberry, and Earth.

2. Knit from my stash. This is a perennial goal, really. I buy lots of pretty yarns with loose (or nonexistent) plans, and then they sit in my stash and get, if not forgotten about, at least passed over in favour of other pretty yarns that come my way. Stored properly, yarn doesn’t go bad, but I am just about at my limit space-wise. And besides, I have some nice stuff in there.

3. Pullovers. Last year I knit a couple of excellent cardigans, and this year, in addition to finishing Grace, I want to knit a couple of pullovers. I plan to start with Stasis, which I’ll knit in that gorgeous grey Kettle Yarn Co. Falkland I wrote about ages ago and a skein of Plucky Feet I somehow managed to snag during a crazy Etsy sale.

4. Quilt something. I want to do more sewing in general, but I especially want to try quilting. I plan to start small (with a project bag or something) and then we’ll see. Mostly, I’m just curious.

4b. Sew. This is a general resolution to just use my sewing machine more, since the more I use it the less hassle it will seem to get it out. I would like to sew myself some simple clothes this year, but we’ll see how things go.

5. Cook more. Another perennial plan, but working evenings makes it harder. Nonetheless, I want to try planning better so I can cook at least one good meal on the weekend without it feeling like a hassle or a last-minute scramble.

What are your plans/goals/resolutions/ideas for 2014? If you’ve posted about them somewhere, leave a link in the comments so I/we can find them – there’s nothing as inspiring as reading about other people’s plans!

21 thoughts on “Thinking ahead

  1. Andrea

    Nice list! And I’m glad to hear that you are as list crazy as I am πŸ™‚ I’m getting started on Grace this weekend so I’ll be picking your brain if I get stuck on that lace chart that seems to have given a few people headaches. Funny enough, my yarn stash is very much under control so I don’t need ot make an effort to knit from it. Fabric, on the other hand, is a totally different story. Looking forward to seeing what fun sewing projects you’ll whip up in 2014!

    1. Angela Hickman Post author

      Well, I’m nowhere near your level when it comes to sewing, but I’d like to try a skirt and maybe a dress this year. It’s a question of patience, mostly, since with knitting I know what I’m doing well enough to have the confidence to just dive in. With sewing, it all still feels a bit new and scary. Haha. Time to tame that fear!

  2. K-Line

    I’m totally with you on knitting from the stash. I’ve decided to buy yarn – but only if I know what project I will use it for. And then I have to queue that project in Ravelry and stash the yarn in Ravelry and mark it off when I’m done. Cuz I like lists too. I’ve done a lot of socks over the last few months. Finished last pair of year last night. I used KPM and I have to say I’m sold. Didn’t love it for gloves knit on US 3 needles, but on 1s it makes a great fabric!

    1. Angela Hickman Post author

      I’m a big fan of Koigu for socks. It wears so well, and it’s really warm. Plus, you pretty much can’t beat the colour selection.

      Last year I started adding all my yarn to Ravelry and I’ve found it makes a big difference when you can actually scroll through your stash and see it all laid out in front of you. It has certainly made me more away of how often I choose certain colours, or certain weights of yarn, which makes it easier to make smart choices when shopping.

  3. Sheena

    Your list is one I aspire to but, realistically, I think the ones I’ll actually realize are more socks and more pullovers. I’m going to do my best to stash bust, but we’ll see…

    1. Angela Hickman Post author

      Haha. Those are my two big ones too. I’m not sure I’ll actually end up stash busting, but if my stash yardage ends up even at the end of the year, I’ll be happy. I downloaded my stash spreadsheet from Ravelry the other day, so I can actually keep out of my yarn-in/yarn-out progress. We’ll see how that goes…

  4. waywardleaf

    I am also very much a list person! I’m not even going to admit to how many to-do list or productivity apps I downloaded in 2013. πŸ˜‰ I’m not setting myself general resolutions this year but I am setting myself knitting goals… which include knitting myself practical things, like socks and sweaters, that I actually need. And I posted about it so I can keep on track over 2014:

    Happy New Year!

    1. Angela Hickman Post author

      Thank you for linking to your list! I totally hear you on needing to knit more “needs.” I could really use a warm cowl, a thick pair of mittens and a pair of fingerless mitts (nice ones, not camping ones). I know I need those things, but other things always seem more fun. Maybe I’ll make those my summer knitting goals, since by the time I need them in the winter it always seems too late to bother starting…

  5. Audry

    Grace is such a lovely cardi. I did end up knitting the sleeves to mine twice. It was my own fault. I had done my gauge swatch flat and the sleeves were done in the round, so they were too tight. Hopefully that doesn’t happen to you!

    1. Angela Hickman Post author

      I remember when this happened to you! When I was actually knitting on Grace, I was obsessive about my gauge, and I’ll have to remember not to let that slide when I go back to it. I really wish it was in my closet already. There are so many times when I go to grab a light cardi and it’s the one I want.

      Must. Finish.

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