When ancient Babylonians celebrated the new year nearly four millennia ago, they’d promise to repay their debts and return borrowed objects. Now, these promises have evolved into resolutions we make to ourselves. We vow to try new things, gain new experiences, finish what we didn’t quite get to last year—the list goes on and on.
As knitters, our New Year’s resolution list might look a little different. The Churchmice have goals ranging from learning new skills and techniques to figuring out how to keep inquisitive cats out of our yarn stash.
Many of the Mice look forward to testing their needles with something new. Lauren F wants to make this the year she masters brioche, after avoiding it all 2017. Gretchen’s determined to knit a lace piece—her eye is on the Ribbed Lace Scarf in a bulky-weight yarn (Rowan Cocoon or Berroco Ultra Alpaca Chunky, perhaps?). Ana, a new knitter who has just mastered the purl stitch, is ready to start knitting in the round. A cozy hat and a pair of fingerless gloves are on her horizon.
For Lauren N, Alicia, and Anna, plans center on some sweater-knitting firsts. Alicia’s picked out colors for her first-ever sweater with a colorwork yoke. Lauren is knitting and Anna is planning their first sweaters—ever!
The Mice aren’t only set on tackling new knitting—John says, “I hereby resolve to make myself a different cup of tea other than my current rage, China Black (Yunnan).” He’s on a roll already having revisited our bulk Keemun (“our strongest black Chinese tea with a nice, tannic kick”) and the MIM Estate Darjeeling. He’s remembered why it’s called the “champagne of teas.” A perfect brew to tee off the New Year!
Other Mice have decided that 2018 is the year to hone techniques, test themselves, and gain brand new skills. Gregory plans to finesse sizing and finishing garments. Attending the Garment Project Support and Finishing for the Finicky classes would give him the helping hand he needs. Jan hopes to join Gundren Johnson on her Scotland/Faroe Islands hiking/knitting tour this summer—she’s on the waitlist so keep your fingers crossed!
Leila’s itching to design something of her own—she’s already testing out yarns and swatching for a sweater! Anna’s looking to broaden her horizons this year. She’d like to spend time on projects from as many different designers as she can. On her list—Shellie Anderson of Shibui, Cecelia Campochiaro for Woolfolk, Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed, Shannon Cook, and, of course, her fellow Churchmice. She says,“I’ve been meaning to make our Better-than-Basic Pullover in Isager forever and have resolved to do it this year.”
As the Woolfolk yarns made their way onto our shelves, Mimi decided to make them a part of her projects in 2018. Her resolution is to engage with more complicated stitch patterns—more attention-absorbing but “definitely more interesting!”
Keeping a workspace (or living space or play space) tidy is a familiar resolution—one many revisit all year long! Susan’s goal is to organize all of her patterns so she knows what she has—and what she wants to knit next. Sarah, in the process of remodeling her office, is primed to arrange her tools, notions, patterns, and stash just how she likes.
Sarah has a few goals for her personal approach to choosing projects, as well. “I need to learn to…not jump on every project I want to make,” she says. “I need to make sure I’m choosing items that are appropriate for my wardrobe now and in the future.” She’d also like to balance her time between her garden and her remodeling projects—so smaller, more manageable projects it is!
A large part of any knitterly attempt to tidy is organizing our yarn stash. Wendy, Gretchen, and Sarah have all resolved to ‘knit down’ their stashes a bit. (Wendy has the added caveat of keeping her kitties out of it! Ana must also find a way to remove her yarn from her cat’s reach—decidedly difficult when her playfulness is so cute.)
Many Mice generously aim to knit for others. Susan is working on a Saddle Shoulder Men’s Pullover in Rowan Felted Tweed Aran for her husband. Though that’s her priority, she’s already got her sights on something new for herself—”the Half & Half Cowl in a Woolfolk yarn is a must!”
Cathleen is knitting Happy Ruffle Socks for her daughter’s birthday (on Valentine’s Day!). She’s also celebrating her impending great-aunt-hood by making many sweet pink treats for her niece’s growing family, and something extra special for her mother’s 80th birthday. Cathleen’s still planning on treating herself with the Better-than-Basic Pullover in Berroco Indigo and a Tapered Cowl in cashmere.
Carolyn has declared 2018 to be the Year of the Sweater! She’s bringing her husband into the shop to pick out some Brooklyn Tweed Shelter for a pullover of his own. (She’s already putting the finishing touches on her Quintessential Cardigan in Daruma Genmou.)
Occasionally, last year’s resolutions roll into the new year unfinished. Now’s the time to renew your goals and your enthusiasm! Judy is close to completing a pair of socks that she’s been working on for two and a half years. She thinks joining a Churchmouse Knitting Circle might give her the nudge to make it happen. Next on her list—the stripey Yin & Yang Loop!
However, we do sometimes lapse in our resolve. And that’s okay! As excited and determined as we are to push for achievement, it’s just as important to be kind to yourself. Lisa says, “I want to be more gentle and forgiving of myself: I am not a bad person if I don’t finish (or don’t want to finish) that sock. And it’s okay to not like how something looks or feels—there should be no guilty knitting!”
No matter the aspiration, we know if we take it step by step and celebrate each small victory, meeting our resolutions is absolutely achievable. And if not… Well, there’s no deadline on a knitting New Year’s resolution!