New Year, New Projects, New Patterns!

2017, it’s nice to meet you.

So far my new year has been wonderfully lazy. Yesterday I had breakfast for every single meal. Today I am still lounging in pajamas as I try to get a little bit of work done. I go back to my teaching job tomorrow and I don’t have to go back to university until next Monday, so I am pleased with how much more relaxing I can do before things really start up again.

I’ve been avoiding this particular blog post for a while because I know for a fact it will make me feel a tiny bit anxious, but it must be done. Part of being a maker is constantly having to be creative and come up with new ideas that actually work. I’ve had thousands of ideas of things I could make or patterns I could write, but they weren’t all necessarily good. It’s finding the good ones that is the hard part.

I tried pattern for the first time last year and it was terrifying at first. The very first pattern I ever wrote and published for sale, The Great Canadian Beanie, took me about 20 hours to test, write, rewrite, remake, publish, republish, etc., before I was happy with the final outcome. And even after it was published, I was still so terrified of what would happen once it was released into the wild. Images of copyright infringement and pattern stealing and finding out that I accidentally copied another pattern raced through my mind for literal days. Once I started receiving feedback on the pattern, positive feedback, I was finally able to calm down. So I suppose my neurosis was beneficial to the whole pattern-writing experience as I haven’t had a single negative remark yet!

My main goal for 2017 is to become a business that doesn’t just cater only to the public. As much as I love making things for people and seeing them wear what I’ve made, I also love helping other creative minds. The term “made for makers” has been on my mind a lot lately. I want to help other makers thrive and learn how to be successful. I want to be able to share my yarn knowledge with others and help them make beautiful new things for themselves. It’s such a rewarding feeling.

best-nine

I hopped on the “Best Nine of 2016” train that everyone was doing and I was almost brought to tears when I saw my best nine picture collage. They were mostly all images of my original designs that I had written and created that year. Seeing these images stacked together just sort of confirmed in my anxious and worrisome mind that what I am doing is appreciate by others (and that you all really enjoy the mustard yellow colour).

I learned so much in 2016. I didn’t know how to make a hat (crochet or knit) until last year. I learned different tricks for crochet to make things look more finished and professional. I took on some of my biggest knitting and crochet projects ever last year and they went over smoothly. I finally learned how to do more than just basic knit stitches, and I even managed to make two cardigans!

I need your help. I’ve got a few ideas in mind for patterns that I plan on writing, some even for free! I want to hear from you. What would you like to see more of from Strings & Things this year? Tips and tricks for photography and keeping organized? More patterns? Specific patterns? I’m hoping your ideas will help kick-start my own inspiration and motivation for this year!

Have a crafty New Year everyone, enjoy the last day of winter break!