This post is written already a bit too late but better late then never… So my resolutions for 2023 are:
Further reducing my stash and keep it at a minimum
I have already touched on this one in my last post. My aim this year is to clear all yarns that are heavier than sport weight out of my stash. I realized that I don’t enjoy knitting with needles above 4 mm /US 6. To accomplish this, I started using up yarns starting from the heaviest weight. Let’s see what I have accomplished in January. Clicking on the photos takes you to the Ravelry project page where I usually add more notes to the project.
Last year I have already managed to dismiss (almost) all the super bulky yarns, so the heaviest in my current stash was Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky. I started a sweater for my son hoping that I have enough yarn but I soon realized that I won’t have enough for the cuffs, hem and neck ribbing, so I used a third color there:
The pullover is based on a free pattern from Catherine Seale featuring a very interesting shoulder method she worked out (her pattern on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/seal-line-shoulder-method-childs-sweater ). Since I worked with a heavier yarn and larger needles, I chose a size smaller than it was intended.
I still had enough yarn for a hat, so I knitted myself one:
The pattern is the Soft + Cushy Hat from Purl Soho (Ravelry link: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/soft–cushy-hat ). I made a slight change, instead of the k1 under I used k1 stitches to use up less yarn.
The second heaviest were some leftover Drops Big Merinos Just enough for 2 smaller projects. The one below is an improvised hat pattern, with an octopus intarsia (pattern by Sarah Kelly, Ravelry link: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/octopus-chart-2 )
Since I still had some leftovers, Daniel came up with the idea of a pair of octopus mittens and when we searched Ravelry, we found a cute one: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/childs-octopus-mittens . It wasn’t available online, it was only published in 60 Quick Knits, so I searched on WOB for it, and luckily they had a copy, so we immediately ordered it. Soon it arrived and the mittens were ready to be made:
After finishing these projects, my stash of super chunky, chunky and worsted yarns look like this:
I am pretty satisfied with this amount… 🙂
I managed to start reducing the DK weight stash too in January, my finished projects in January were:
A scarf for one of teachers in kindergarten (it looks a bit awkward on the photos as I only have a child size mannequin but the scarf is adult size… but is still beautiful):
The pattern is Spinning in Circles by Kim Lundvall (link to Ravelry pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/spinning-in-circles ).
The second project is a Valentine’s Day gift to my son’s little girlfriend (they are 8 years old, the first love of their lives, they are so so so cute together and my son wanted to gift her something special, so I knitted a scarf with shadow knitting technique, there are two unicorns facing each other at the 2 ends:
It was a really fun project, I hope the new owner will like it, too… 🙂
I still have a few balls of Rialto DK left and I also have some other DK yarns, clearing these yarns from stash will be a lot of work… but it is my aim for February and March (and probably April… I must be ready by May at the latest because by that time we have a ton to do in the garden and I won’t be able to knit anything but socks between May and October).
If I manage to knit a ball a day, which is not much with DK weight to be honest, I can be successful with this project but we’ll see…
Learn a new skill
Last year it was sock knitting, and it came unpurposed. I had to create a few gifts that were quick projects, and I needed quite a few pairs, so it was a perfect time to learn about sock knitting in depth (more about it here). It was such a delightful project that I decided I should do something like that every year. For this year I was struggling to decide between two topics. The first one was to search for traditional Hungarian knitting techniques and patterns. As I was diving deeper in the topic I had to realize that knitting wasn’t at all common in Hungarian history. Though we were quite an acknowledged people for our merino sheep back in the day, the tradition was to rather use the wool for weaving and not knitting. Which is very interesting. Anyway, it seemed that I wouldn’t have any tasks there to occupy myself for a whole year, so I moved on to my other skill-to-learn, which was spinning.
I have ordered some drop spindles and a roving, subscribed to YouTube channels and ordered a few books in the topic. In the meanwhile, I thought that I should buy a spinning wheel, too, but I was thinking of an antique one, as new ones are so expensive that it would be a very painful investment, especially if I decide I don’t like spinning that much by the end of the year. I found a beautiful one in an online antique shop but it was missing the flyer and the paddle so I quickly called my father if he could make a replacement for those. To my great surprise he told me that he actually had an old spinning wheel that he didn’t need… so he is working on reviving that old spinning wheel now. Until he is done, I keep on educating myself from books and videos.
Keep costs under the level of income
I think I am not giving away any top secrets here when I say handknit designers are earning just about nothing for their work. It may seem that 6-8 USD is too much for a pdf compared to the freebies of yarn companies but what no-one is thinking about: Etsy is taking away it’s 1/3 and another 1/3 is taken away by taxes and other payables. So I get ca. 2-2.5 USD per pdf by the end of the day. I am still a beginner designer so I often work for 2-3 months on a pattern, pay for the yarn for the sample and also for tech editing. Which means that about the first 80-100 sold patterns will cover my costs of publishing the pattern (and still not the months of work I have put into it). And from there I start earning anything. In the last 6 years I sold about 300 patterns on Etsy, so unfortunately I can not say this is a fruiting business… it is still a hobby that I keep investing in…
But! This year I decided I will spend less on knitting than I earn with designing. I don’t care if I still don’t get anything to pay myself a wage for my work, but I will definitely cut back buying new things. I will only buy yarn and tools if it is necessary. In the last couple of years I managed to pile up all the tools I need, so unless I break or loose some needles I should be fine. As to yarns, I think I still have enough to choose from if I want to design something this year. The only thing to spend on is education, really.
Finish the TKGA Knitwear Designer Course
I really want to do this one. I thought Module 2 would be easy-peasy but I am working on it since August and I am still not finished… I will take a deep breath and send all materials in by the end of March at the latest, so I can move on to Module 3 and finish it before the end of the year.
An that is all for 2023 :). What are your resolutions for this year?