A few weeks after I started this blog last March, I decided to share my craft goals for the next year with the hopes that I would complete many cool things by May 1, 2012. At the halfway point, I took stock, and made some revisions. Now that May 1 has come and gone, I’m reflecting on what I did during that time.
Personal crafting goals
1) Work my way through Crochet Master Class: Lessons and Projects from Today’s Top Crocheters. Instead of using the patterns, I’d like to create my own project (for myself and/or for teaching) for each technique/skill in the book.
I started working on this goal on July 1 as part of the Year of Projects through the Come Blog-A-Long group on Ravelry, and I plan to continue through June. In March, I shared a progress report, and since then I’ve explored bullion crochet and painted crochet. I think I will have a few more fun projects to share by the end of June, and I have definitely stretched my crochet skills with this project!
Status: In progress
2) Make something handmade for my mom and sister for the holidays (or their birthdays). Possible sources of inspiration include Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks or something from my growing collection of vintage crochet books.
3) Read Knitting from the Top.
I did not even crack this book open this year! I’m not that interested in making garments, but I was hoping to learn more about construction from this book. However, once I got my hands on two wonderful crochet books about garment construction (Modular Crochet: A Revolutionary New Method for Creating Custom-Design Pullovers and Custom Crocheted Sweaters: Make Garments that Really Fit), I lost interest in this one! I’m sure I’ll read it… some day.
4) Create a contemporary interpretation of one of the vintage patterns I have in my collection.
This fell by the wayside when larger projects (like my sister’s blanket) entered the picture. I continue to be inspired by my vintage crochet books, as well as the Crochet Conupiscence series, Edgy 1970′s Crochet Designers.
5) Limit new yarn purchases, increase the ratio of natural to synthetic fibers in my stash, and continue to destash any yarn or notions that I won’t be using in the near future.
I’ve made significant progress here. I joined in with Revelations of a Delusional Knitter’s Surmount the Stash and I’ve been sharing monthly updates (January, February, March, April) on my destashing adventures.
Status: In progress
6) Make and donate more charity crochet projects in 2012 than in 2011.
On Monday, I mailed off 40 granny squares to the Binky Patrol in Arizona. Expect a big reveal of these projects in my FO Friday post.
7) Participate (however briefly) in a Ravelry CAL.
When I wrote this goal, I was thinking of joining in on a project specific CAL, and I haven’t done that this year. Upon further reflection, though, I have actually been involved with a few crochet-a-longs (of sorts), such as the April Crochetlist charity challenge and Year of Projects. I’m going to consider this complete.
Status: Completed (unofficially)
Professional crafting goals
1) Read Producing Video Podcasts.
Back in September, I read most of this book before realizing it wasn’t really that relevant to me. Nat from Misadventures in Craft agreed that I could consider this goal completed, and that’s good enough for me!
2) Create and post at least three videos (tutorials or projects/patterns) on my blog or website.
I’m happy to say I’ve posted 5 videos on the blog via Vimeo, even though in each instance there were technical difficulties. My favorite video is the one I made of the Tunisian knit stitch that was animated by MC for Knitting and Crochet Blog Week’s creative post. In case you haven’t already seen it (I know I’m way behind on reading 3CKBW posts), I’m sharing it here again. (If you haven’t already nominated a creative post, you have until midnight BST on May 4.)
3) Publish at least five patterns.
Since setting this goal, I’ve had patterns published in KnitCircus and Inside Crochet, and I’ve self-published ten patterns. I also started collaborating with Galler Yarns, a third generation, family owned, indie yarn importer. They’ve published seven of my patterns as freebies so far.
I’m glad that I was able to meet this goal, but I really wish I had more time to devote to designing! The demands of my full-time job (and my part-time jobs) just don’t allow me as much time as I’d like for crafting.
4) Blog at least twice a week.
I’m amazed to say that except for a nine day hiatus in January, I’ve surpassed this goal most weeks. I even somehow managed to post daily during October and December. (Maybe next year, I’ll try to post daily on two of the shortest months of the year instead!) I plan to keep blogging regularly.
5) Teach in at least two conferences/festivals.
I had so much fun teaching crochet classes at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival and the North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival last year! This year, I’ve submitted proposals for some more conferences, so let’s see what the fall will bring!
7) Write the book proposal that I’ve been thinking about – and send it out.
I’ve actually done a fair amount of research and development towards a book proposal, but haven’t sent anything out yet. After reading The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design, I decided to learn a bit more about publishing. I borrowed Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents 2012, 22E: Who They Are! What They Want! How to Win Them Over! from the library and read most of The Indie Author Guide: Self-Publishing Strategies Anyone Can Use. I’ve also been reading some writer blogs, like the Creative Penn.
I haven’t completely decided whether I would want to go the self-publishing route or approach a publisher for these projects. I see pros and cons to each situation, and I’m hoping that this summer, I’ll have more time to devote to writing.
Status: In progress
8) Figure out how to do super cool stuff on WordPress.
I’ve definitely improved my WordPress skills, but this summer I hope to migrate web hosts and integrate my blog and website. That is going to be a huge challenge, so hopefully I’ll be up to it by then!
Status: In progress
9) Take better photographs, along with all that entails.
I think there has been definite improvement.
I’ve been taking more pictures in natural lighting, which has helped a lot. I’ve also learned more about the settings on my camera and I edit my photos before posting them.
10) Become a CYC Certified Knitting Instructor (Level I-Instructor).
So… what’s next?
Overall, I feel very satisfied about what I’ve accomplished with crafts in the past year. I like sharing my goals and process publicly, and I think it has helped me to do more than I would have if I was toiling away in private :).
One thing I didn’t love about the way I set up my goals is that I didn’t follow a calendar year. So while I will participate in the second year of projects (from July through June), I’d like to have some goals that end in 2012. I’ll be sharing some more details next week about what I have planned! (If you’re on Ravelry, you can find a sneak peak here.)
I also want to thank everyone who read and commented on my posts. You provided much appreciated encouragement for working towards my goals when it was needed most!