It’s Good to Have Goals

When I decided to lease a studio space for the coming new year, I made a commitment to myself to set creative goals. One of those goals is to start designing knitting patterns again.

Although I never had much success selling my patterns or kits, I did have some success in making, showing, and selling my designs and artwork, and in teaching sewing, knitting, and felting classes. At the time, it was my way of trying to build a career for myself in the arts while also staying at home raising our young children.

Life happened while I was busy making other plans. I needed to earn an income – fast – and I started over, building another career in business. I am grateful and I feel fortunate to have been able to support myself and my kids, and wholeheartedly love my work in fair trade. I recognize how lucky I am to be able to earn a living wage while helping others do the same with handmade goods.

One of the boundaries to creating my own knitting patterns is the plethora of patterns out there. If I want to knit something, all I have to do is search for it on Ravelry, and there is usually something that fits the bill. This year, however, I’m not going to do that. My challenge to myself is to sketch what I want to make, take the measurements, swatch, do the math, and knit it (if I still want to make it.)

It doesn’t mean I’m not going to knit other designers’ patterns. I have a whole list of knits I want to make that will last me well into next year, and I’m sure there will be more! But when there is something that I am envisioning, I am challenging myself to create my own pattern for it.

I’m also setting goals to sketch one design per week, and create a pattern draft for one design per month. That doesn’t mean I have to knit it. But I do hope to knit at least four of my own patterns next year. I will also make patterns available for free to people who would like to test knit them for me.

In order to meet these goals, I am dedicating 8 hours each week to studio time: 3 hours on Wednesday evenings, and 5 hours on Sundays. This is a lot on top of a 40 hour work week, family time, Haven Herbs time (5-10 hours per week), gym time (1 hour per week,) hiking, phew! There’s so much I want to do! Luckily I’m one of those people who wakes up at 5AM and is finished with half my work before breakfast!

I also still need to fit in art making time at my studio, as I need to create work for another group show taking place in July 2019. I have old artwork on display in my studio, and another fear I have is of going down the artmaking road more than the design road. So I’ve got to be sure to balance these things if I really want to create my own designs.

Wow, thanks for reading all of that if you are still with me. Here’s your reward, some photos!

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Here’s me being impatient to try on my Carbeth sleeve. I’m ready to start sleeve number 2.

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Here’s my favorite 10 year old being creative with glitter. I love how scientific her approach is to creativity.

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Here’s my Christmas gift to Bob. He’s lived in the US so long, he does not have a passport. If he leaves the country, he can’t return. So I put together a little kit of (almost) everything he needs for his Canadian passport. The only thing I didn’t do is fill out the form for him. We are hoping to travel to Nova Scotia in October to visit his family.

Here’s a Q&A for you, my first! You can answer questions in the comments or post them to your blog. If you post them, please leave a comment so we can go read them!

  1. Do you set New Year’s Goals or Resolutions for yourself?
  2. Do you have any creative goals for the new year?
  3.  Some people like to set a goal for a certain number of things to make for the year. For example: 18 in 18. Do you do this? If so, what is the number? How do you decide the number of things to make?
  4. Do you have blogging goals for the new year? If so, what are they?
  5. What is your favorite thing you’ve made in 2018? Post a pic!

Now I have to answer my own questions.

  1. Yes, I do.
  2.  Yes, I listed them above.
  3.  I did create a number of designs I want to create in the new year. I came up with the number by trying to decide what was realistic, but still challenging, based on the time I am setting aside.
  4. My blogging goal for 2019 is to blog two times per week, although I hope to blog more.
  5. My favorite thing I’ve made in 2018 is my Birds of Blendon Hat!

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12 thoughts on “It’s Good to Have Goals

  1. First up: Oh my gosh you make me feel lazy! You are a busy lady.
    My answers:
    I usually don’t make resolutions, but this year I’ve started a list and intend to make a few. I am feeling inspired for some reason, maybe it is because my kids are old enough that I’m no longer just surviving.
    I do have creative goals this year. Last year I wanted to make 20 projects and I ended up making 40. I’m not going to set a number this year, as when there is a number I’m driven to meet that goal instead of enjoying my time knitting. This year my goal is to slow down and enjoy stitching without rushing to get things done.
    I haven’t settled on a blogging goal yet, but I plan to blog a lot more next year. I love how blogging brings people together in a way that feels genuine (unlike social media), and I hope to become more active in that community.
    My favorite project this year was my Nightshift shawl. Pictures here: https://mildlygranola.com/2018/11/12/blocked-nightshift/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That shawl is gorgeous! Also, is the tune for “I’m a shawl blocker” the same as for that old tune “I’m a girl watcher?” Because, yeah, now that’s stuck in my head and it feels a little icky. I used to sing that as a joke in a very lounge singery voice and make up ever increasingly creepy lyrics as I went along. But if I change them to “shawl blocker” I feel much better about it! 😆

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  2. I’d like to start by applauding your 10-year-old’s haircut – I am a big fan of the buzz-cut myself and my daughter sported one in her teenage years; it always makes my heart sing when a young girl decides not to follow the herd and leave her hair long and boring!

    Now, to the questions:
    Do you set New Year’s Goals or Resolutions for yourself? No. The past few years I have gone the route of a Word of the Year instead, which I keep in mind and try to use as inspiration and to provide me with a general direction through the year. 2016 was “Return” (something I did more of in 2018 than I’d intended!); 2017 was “Flexibility”; 2018 was “Home”; 2019 is to be “Establish”.

    Do you have any creative goals for the new year? In 2018 I aimed to make one garment and three pairs of socks for each of the four seasons; I managed three garments and (if I work hard today!) three pairs of socks. However, I also set up an Etsy shop and knitted some items for that, which took time out of my personal creative pot. Outside of knitting, I did a lot of creative writing earlier in the year and then in the latter part of the year re-booted my blog. For 2019 my general goals are to continue knitting personal items; to work hard on establishing my Etsy shop and other sources of income; and to do more creative writing.

    Some people like to set a goal for a certain number of things to make for the year. For example: 18 in 18. Do you do this? If so, what is the number? How do you decide the number of things to make? Since I did badly with numbers through 2018, I am not setting numbers for 2019. I work best in an ‘organic’ way – knowing the direction in which I need to grow is the most important thing to me; how much I grow is dependent upon things that may not be entirely within my control!

    Do you have blogging goals for the new year? If so, what are they? I am really pleased with how I have maintained my blog since I re-booted it in the summer of 2018. So my goal is to keep up the good work, and to write in a way that people enjoy reading.

    What is your favorite thing you’ve made in 2018? Post a pic! My latest finished object is almost always my favourite thing I’ve made! This is particularly true at the moment as I’ve been dieting and the most recent thing I’ve made is the only one that does more than ‘fit where it touches’. Luckily I still love wearing my older makes, despite them being baggier now than they were. Also, a number of old favourites that were getting too tight now fit me really well again so on balance I’ve increased what I can wear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Pamela! Thanks for responding here!

      I have also used a word of the year for the past 8 years. This year I was going to use “exercise” but I am changing it to “practice” which I think is more encompassing.

      Where is your blog? I can’t seem to get there via your profile link.

      Like

  3. Your creative journey could almost have been written by me! I designed patterns when my children were little and then I ended up working full time for many years but I never let go of my goal to have a creative business. It’s changed a bit from having a co operative selling other people’s crafts to selling my own but at last I’ve got there. so, what are my goals?

    I have numerical targets for my etsy shop and loads of ideas of new ranges and to expand exisiting ranges. My overall plans are to enjoy myself and to concentrate on my knitting because it’s what I’m good at. I specialise in fairisle designs using fine yarn and preferably wool because it knits so nicely. So, I knit my own designs and vintage 1940s mainly. I love colour.

    I’m new to blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

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