Sunday, January 4, 2015

Good-bye 2014, Hello 2015!

If you are here for the podcast, please scroll down to the next post.

The New Year.  Doesn't it sound like endless possibilities?  Like a blank slate, a nice empty notebook?  I love the new year!  As a teacher I have this feeling twice a year because it happens at the beginning of each semester.  So I am going to take this opportunity to think about my fiber plans for "spring semester 2015" and to identify the challenges and growth that I want to take on in the next few months. 

In 2013 Marsha convinced me to take on the challenge of a sweater and we made the Swirl Sweaters.  (Marsha's version.) This past year, 2014 we decided to try Custom Fit and we both made Acorn Trails (Marsha's version) and then made an additional, more generic Custom Fit.  (Marsha's version.)  I'm not sure what task Marsha and I will take on together on the knitting front in 2015, but now that we have launched the podcast and have a few episodes under our belts, we are working on the challenge of growing the audience of the podcast and providing content that will attract more listeners.

As for my own knitting, I have already started one of the growth projects that I have had in mind for awhile.  I have been intrigued by the Niebling patterns since seeing one on the Rainey Sisters blog.  Just before Christmas 2013 I stumbled across a tablecloth at an antiques/collectibles booth that I recognized as a Niebling pattern and I bought it for $35 (a steal given all the work that went into it!).  Looking at it in my home made me want to knit one of these gorgeous and intricate patterns.  So this year, on Christmas, I started Frosted Ferns. It is a 24" lace doily with knit rows in between the lace rows.  But even with "rest rows" it is the most complicated knitting I have ever done.  (I knit Girasole, by Jared Flood, but it was in worsted weight yarn and was easier than this.)

Knitting this pattern has made me think of some things that I think apply to any challenge I will take on this year.
  • I have many stitch markers that help me make sure I have the right number of stitches in each section.  If I get to a stitch marker before or after I should, I know I did something wrong and can fix it right away.
  • I have been disciplined about double-checking stitch counts.  I don't want to discover a mistake well after the fact.  I want to know it right away if I don't have the right number of stitches.
  • I have been taking the time to put in "life-lines" so that if I make a mistake, I will be able to rip out about 10 rows and get back to a place I can start again.  Painful, but not catastrophic.
So as I think about the resolutions or goals I want to make for the rest of my life for 2015, I am thinking of ways that I can set myself up to successfully meet the challenges in the same way that I am approaching this project.  Can I set up guideposts that will allow me to identify when I stray from my goal and get back on track right away?  Can I set up habits and be disciplined about double-checking whether I am meeting the goals or not?  And is there a way to put in a "life-line" so that a mistake will only be a small setback and not catastrophic--requiring me to start back at the very beginning? 

I think that I can use what I am doing to succeed at this challenging lace and apply it to my 2015 goals.  Do you have 2015 goals that could use some success strategies?  Maybe we don't have to look any further than our knitting!

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