Year in Review

Today is my two-year blogging anniversary. As I reflect on 2006, my inclination is to compare it with 2005. From that perspective, I am disappointed with what I see.

In 2005, I felt like I really pushed myself hard to grasp new knitting techniques. I moved past scarves and learned how to knit sweaters and socks. I knit in every spare moment and spent tons of time reading about knitting on blogs and forums. Granted, 2005 was my first full year of knitting, so there was quite a learning curve, but I am far from being experienced and still have so much more to learn. Yet in 2006, I didn’t have the same drive to conquer new knitting territory. I did try fair isle, learn Magic Loop, and do toe-up socks, but all of that was done during January/February 2006 and December 2006. For all the months in between, I felt truly stagnant. My needles went untouched for some of those months as I wasn’t motivated to work on anything. Many of you reminded me that my interest in knitting would rekindle one day, and I am so happy that it did. But the bottom line is that much of the year was unproductive on the knitting front.

On the flip side, I branched out to other crafts. I tried my hand at spinning and fell in love with it, if only briefly. I took two sets of classes and purchased a beautiful wheel. Sadly, I sold it three months later because I used it all of once — for 20 minutes. Which indicated to me that spinning would not be a passion as I had hoped. I learned how to sew and started my own little online shop. I became interested in cooking and baking and experimented with a number of delicious new recipes. Although I achieved some diversity in my crafting, I would not categorize it as a success because I didn’t excel at anything. I guess I like depth more than breadth.

As I’ve been mulling over this post, I’ve been asking myself – where am I going with this? If I am dissatisfied with my crafting accomplishments (or lack thereof) in 2006, what do I aim to change for 2007? The unfortunate answer is – I don’t know. I am not ready to set new goals, and yet generally I am a goal-oriented person. I dislike being in a space where I am unhappy about a situation but uncertain of how to change it. And I wouldn’t say that I am unhappy exactly – that seems too strong – but just sort of lost. Where am I going with my knitting and sewing? I don’t know. Can I be content in these areas without striving towards specific goals? Maybe my focus this year should be on simply enjoying the comfort that crafting brings?

The one thing I am confident about is that I still enjoy blogging immensely. The community and support are truly amazing. I have enjoyed existing friendships, made new ones, and discovered wonderful blogs. Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing in my crafting journey.

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23 Comments on “Year in Review”

  1. Jessica says:

    Sounds like a pretty eventful year. You got a lot accomplished.

  2. Allegra says:

    I think you should try to enjoy the confort of your crafting, let it speak to you. You did get a lot accomplished this past year, even if it wasn’t in knitting, but you branched out and tried other things and that’s great!
    Happy Blogiversary!

  3. carolyn says:

    unless you want to become a professional crafter / who somehow makes a living off it / i think craft goals are difficult. a) it makes it seem like something you HAVE to do rather than something to just do when you feel like it / when it’s enjoyable and b) because it is so much more frustrating to fail at a craft goal than at a regular job/life goal.

    maybe plan to, i don’t know, craft one special item for each of your closest friends in 2007? or use up a certain amount of stash? or something like that? a loose/amorphous type goal that doesn’t involve getting pissed at yourself that you promised to knit for at least 1/2 hr each day and it just didn’t work out… 🙂

  4. erin says:

    Happy Blogiversary! I hope you find happiness and satisfaction in your crafting pursuits this year.

  5. gleek says:

    happy blogiversary!! you know, maybe you’ll actually do better at crafting if you just let it happen naturally. try not to put too much pressure on yourself and just let it be what it will be.

    oh, and if you DO want to motivate yourself, i would suggest seeking out a knitting group in your community that you can knit with on a regular basis. my knitting group has always kept me on my toes and interested in new things! maybe that’s what you’re missing?

  6. Veronique says:

    -Glad to hear we keep you on your toes, Gleek!-

    I understand what you mean about a goal, but don’t put pressure on yourself. If there are other crafts that you enjoy, go for it! Whether it’s sewing or knitting, it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re having fun!

  7. Stephanie says:

    My blog birthday is tomorrow. We’re so close to being twins. I think that it’s hard for those of us who are goal oriented to just go with the flow on our crafting. I struggle and feel unproductive and sad about the whole business sometimes, but I have to continually remind myself that this is my hobby. This is how I relax and have fun. It isn’t a job and so I need to do what I feel like doing at that moment. Maybe something similar will work for you.

  8. Cyndi says:

    I think a lot of us can relate to how you’re feeling! I’m a very goal oriented person in every area of my life except for knitting/crafting. No hobby-related goals for me, because that seems to take all of the fun out of it. And it’s not that I don’t want to improve… just that I don’t want to make it seem like work.

    I think it’s especially hard to avoid goal setting in the knit-blogging world, because it always seems like everyone is knitting more than you are, and learning more challenging techniques, and designing their own patterns, and everything else that you’re not doing. (at least that’s how i feel sometimes!) But, so what? As long as you’re doing what you enjoy, that’s the most important thing of all!

  9. Lolly says:

    When I first started reading your post, I was so worried that you were going to say that you were going to quite blogging. So good that that is not the conclusion! In the meantime, happy blogiversary, Caitlyn! I enjoy your blog immensely, and I greatly admire your crafts. I think your idea about 2007 being the year of contentment is right on. Do not feel stressed to do the biggest and the best. There is a lot of quality knitting and sewing out there – and simplicity is always in style! Don’t discount the simple socks and the simple seams. I hope you continue to enjoy your crafts! I sure do 😉

    Best wishes,
    L

  10. keri says:

    Happy Blogiversary to you!

    Best of luck in the coming year to finding the rhythms of crafting/knitting that work best for you. That’s what it’s all about =)

  11. Beth says:

    I’ve only been reading your blog for a short time and you have accomplished a lot since I’ve been reading. I’ve been impressed by the wonderful foods you’ve prepared with your husband. And it’s a great accomplishment to have an etsy shop. Plus, you’ve done quite a bit of knitting. I agree with the others – enjoy crafting without setting goals. I’m glad you’re not stopping your blogging! Happy anniversary!

  12. joyce says:

    happy anniversary! – i think you’ve got a lot accomplished. enjoy crafting – goals are good but not necessary =)

  13. yaiAnn says:

    Happy blogiversary! Like everyone else said, you really shouldn’t feel bad about it at all. I have my slumps, too, or maybe I just have craft ADD. But either way, sometimes you just need the one fab project that makes you go, “OMG! I want that!” to get you back into things. Just be patient, there’s no need to rush. =)

  14. jen says:

    i agree with what you said. I think you should just spend some time ENJOYING the things you do well. You can knit and you knit some beautiful things. It makes you happy, revel in that for awhile.
    Same with sewing. Your work is beautiful, enjoy it more than you have rather than being so goal orienteted. i mean you were caught up in sewing stright lines, you mastered that. But truth be told, none of us sew perfect lines. heh. 😀
    we just like what we do.
    and find it relaxing (sometimes)

    happy bloggidty blog-blogo-versary! i too am so happy to have met you and can read about your wonderful life.
    😀
    (going to get your fabric today!
    xoxox
    jen

  15. catherine says:

    it was a great year! Loved all the scarves and sewing and especially the cooking! looking forward to another great year with you caitlyn!

  16. Lazuli says:

    Happy Blogiversary! I just found your blog a few days ago (through another blog – now I’m blanking on which one as I see from your sidebar that it could have been several!) and am deluking to say hi! I’ve really enjoyed reading about your crafting, so as long as you enjoy it, don’t feel too down about it!

  17. Oiyi says:

    Happy Blogiversary!

    I feel the same way. I am disappointed in myself for finshing so few projects last year. I started many projects, but most of it got cast aside. Life got in the way and I stopped knitting for quite a while. It wasn’t until Novemeber that I picked up my needles again and have found my knitting groove again.

    I think that you have accomplished a lot. Don’t beat yourself about it. Crafting should be fun and leisurely.

  18. Leslie says:

    Happy Anniversary and . . . thank you. Thank you for inspiring me, for pushing me to ask questions and to try to learn new things. And thank you most of all for sharing what you do . . all of your triumphs and failures . . . they all help.

    As for the future, all I can say is: be open to where it takes YOU. You don’t always have to plan or have your direction mapped out. Maybe this time your crafting should lead YOU to where it wants you to go. Concentrate on just “smelling the roses” . . . really open your eyes to how well you do things and how lovely your finished products are. Fine tune, learn new techniques, read all you can, etc. Your path might not be clear to you but I bet it’s right in front of you. Normally, that’s where you least expect it.

    *hugs*

  19. Tonia says:

    I truely believe that crafting should be enjoyable. Do what you like and don’t push yourself into achieving specific goals. My advide would be to set a goal of being happy crafting. Your crafts should be more on the hobby side, not on the have to do such in such by a certain time stress overload job side of things, that is unless your crafting is your job.

    It sounds to me that you accomplished quite a few things. Are you happy knitting? Are you happy knitting what you know? Who cares if you are not an all knowing in the knitting world. If you are happy then that is all that matters.

  20. Happy blogiversary! Perhaps you are more a process crafter than a product crafter, even though you’re a goal-oriented person? Although you may not have many FOs to show, it still sounds like you’re enjoying the crafting process. I think that is what counts in the long run.

    I’m glad that, despite whatever slumps and lulls may come, you still enjoy blogging. I love reading your posts and seeing your pictures. Here’s to another year of crafting and blogging!

  21. Mintyfresh says:

    Congrats on your blogiversary! Don’t beat yourself up about “accomplishing” things with knitting–just enjoy it! I’m happy to hear that you still enjoy the blogging. I definietly enjoy reading yours.

  22. Rebekah says:

    Your post reminded me of what my husband said to me this morning as I was talking about what I was going to knit on what nights. He said “your knitting/spinning is a hobby, don’t make it so much of a burden that you don’t enjoy it.”

    So you didn’t do as much in 2006 as in 2005, that’s okay. It’s a hobby, it’s a craft, it’s not the core of our being. And that’s okay.

  23. Jes says:

    Happy blogversary!
    Try not to get too disappointed by comparing to the past. It might lead you to just be miserable about things and suck out the energy =) Just do what you want to do when you want to and don’t feel obligated to push or pull into anything, cuz then the craft is more like work – and who wants to go to work! =O