As 2019 comes to a close I can’t help but reflect on everything that happened over the past year. It was a seriously crazy year for me and actually for a lot of us. I’m sitting here thinking about all of the stress, uncertainty, hope, loss, strength and accomplishments that happened this year.
On new years eve 2018 I made a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish in 2019 as far as being a maker. I’m not a new years resolution type of person…like at all. My philosophy is that resolutions are short term goals that you can either never start or stop when you lose motivation. I, however, like setting goals and life style changes for myself that aren’t just quick fixes but will have a long term impact.
So I sat down with pen and paper and really thought about what I wanted to accomplish and my list of goals were:
- Publish 5 or more patterns whether free or paid.
- . Knit more.
- Work with a yarn brand in some capacity.
- Discover new techniques and hone my crochet skills.
- Make new maker friends whether in person or via social media.
Those were my core goals for 2019 I had 2 other goals for this year as well that I didn’t get around to doing which were hand dyeing my own yarn for my own projects and really focusing on my blog. Mentally I really took a blow not accomplishing those 2 goals because I was very passionate about them but life happened and to be honest and fair I just let those go by the wayside because I lacked the confidence to do either. So I focused on the 5 goals I listed above and I’m so pleased that I accomplished them.
For those of you who don’t know I live in Michigan and we have some pretty awesome makers that live here. So one day I was watching an Instagram live that Melissa from Woods and Wool was giving and she asked where everyone was from and I told her. I can’t remember if I messaged her or she messaged me but she and a group of other awesomely talented women and a sweet guy meet up and just crochet, knit and talk about life. Well, as introverted as I am I ventured out one Saturday morning and never turned back. These makers are amazingly caring, empathetic, encouraging, talented, vulnerable and resilient. I could go on and on about them but I’ll stop there. 2 people in particular that I met this year that have really encouraged me was Natalie of DetroitKnots and Chantial of MittenMade. Having a group of people that you can talk to about the self-doubt and fears as a handmade business owner is priceless and I’m happy to have found my little group of powerhouses.
Setting Aside Fears…
I was so nervous when I decided to start creating my own patterns. It was an idea that I was going back and forth about for a really long time. One day after a push from my best friend I decided to write up my first pattern. I found my awesome Tech Editor Emily of Fiat Fiber Arts and the rest was history. She helped me with my verbiage and with streamlining my patterns. I’m still relatively new to pattern design and still have so much to learn and to achieve. I never would’ve thought that I would ever create my very own design let alone design multiple accessories.
Also with designing patterns I found what my niche is… ACCESSORIES. I don’t have the mental capacity for garment designs as of right now. I’m still learning the whole math situation that comes along with making a hat bigger or smaller. I know I’ll get there with determination and hard work but for right now I like where I am. I never thought in a million years that someone would actually want to purchase a finished item from me let alone a pattern that I designed.
I’m so grateful for those who have made purchases and ordered items from me I can’t even express it properly. I look forward to what the new year has for me and my designing process.
Dreams can come true…
I really wanted to work with a yarn company this year. I didn’t know how I was going to make it happen but I was determined to do so. This is where making friends, connections and having faith in myself comes into play. I had the awesome opportunity of being one of the first people to get to test out Mary Maxim’s Simply Natural yarn. I got the yarn in the mail and couldn’t figure out what I wanted to make with it and then it hit me. I designed my “Iris Spring Beanie” and with that also came a completely successful participation in Nicki’s Handmade Crafts spring blog hop. I was blown away by the response to my pattern that people had and it actually made the “Hot Right Now” list on Ravelry for almost a week!!
Next was the biggest thing that happened to me this year as a maker. I had the absolute privilege of being a pattern tester for WeCrochet. One day I was scrolling through my instagram and saw that they had put a call out for testers. I said what the heck and applied for it thinking that I wasn’t experienced enough for them to pick me as a tester. I was really down one day because I had interviewed for a new position at work and didn’t get it so on my way to talk with my best friend about the situation and how I felt I got an email on my cellphone extending an invitation to become a tester. OMG… I had to stop and read the email twice and then I started freaking out. My best friend told me that she didn’t understand why I doubted myself. Not getting that other position was I take it as a message from God telling me that this was the path that I needed to be on. So even if you don’t see your talents others will.
Bettering My Skill Set
I really wanted to get back into knitting this year. After many years of not knitting and being very envious of the shawls, hats, gloves and other awesomeness that I was seeing I decided to go and search through boxes to find my knitting needles. I didn’t start this goal until October but once I did I haven’t been able to stop. I also wanted to become a better crocheter and just a better maker over all. I love learning new things and when my mind is made up there’s no turning back or telling me that I can’t do it.
My goal was to touch a hook, yarn or tool if not everyday as much as I possibly could. You can’t grow your skills if you don’t put forth the effort right? Well, I did accomplish this goal even when my wrist was not the best. I even traveled with my yarn and hook on vacation this year and was sat next a fellow maker that was an awesome knitter. We both admired the fact that while everyone else was engrossed in their in flight movies and some their restlessness of being on an airplane, we were having a great conversation while doing what we love to do… Make Pretty Things with String!!
I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2020!
As I’m typing this post I’m thinking of my goals that I want to accomplish over the coming year. My motto for the coming year is to be Mindful of my actions , thoughts and the energy I put out and also to Leave a little Sparkle Wherever You Go. You’ll never know who’s watching and will give you that extra boost of confidence you needed to make all of your dreams come true.
Tell me what were some goals that you achieved this year. Head over to my Instagram and comment on my new years post. I can’t wait to hear what you’ve all achieved.
Happy New Year Everyone!!
All the best,