I've been thinking about new year’s resolutions and yearlong challenges/projects for a few weeks now (yep always thinking ahead!). When I did the 28 goals before I turn 28 I loved how many different and varied goals I managed to complete during the year. But when I turned 28 and started thinking about setting some new goals I was stumped….I’d kinda already done most of the goals I wanted to do and actually couldn’t think of anymore. So I switched it up and did some smaller monthly goals instead….
….but these didn’t exactly work out either. They were meant to be simple little things like “read 3 books” or “finally get a haircut” but I ended up either not wanted to do the things I’d set or worse completely forgetting that I’d even set the goals. So I’ve decided to stop the monthly goal-setting for now (I’ll probably come back to it eventually).
Instead I want to do something a bit different – I want to set myself a challenge to be more creative, to practice and hone new skills, to try techniques outside my comfort zone but mostly to continue to improve my knitting and sewing skills.
Therefore I’ve set myself a 15 in 2015 project. The concept is simple: I plan to complete 15 Knitting Projects and 15 Sewing Projects within the year. That’s just over 1 a month in each category which doesn’t sound like a lot but I’ve actually only made 15 knitting projects to date in almost two years of knitting and only 12 sewing projects in 18 months. So the 15 of each a year is going to be a stretch for me – I’ve set myself a few loose guidelines for the challenge too, because the point of this exercise isn't to just make 15 things and say "ta-da - look at the pile of crap I made" it's to give me something to focus on to help me improve my skills while making things I actually like.
15 Knitting Projects: New Projects, New Yarns, More Wearable Items
With knitting I hope to challenge myself to make more wearable garments - more cardigans, sweaters, try some socks, hats etc. However, there are two things that I want to focus on. One, that I make sure that they are things that I would actually wear and two that I learn new techniques as I complete each project. I want to take the time to carefully plan each project, to try out new yarns and new patterns and generally become a better knitter.
15 Sewing Projects: Smaller projects,be less afraid to make mistakes
Sewing is a slightly different story. I'm nowhere near as comfortable with sewing as I as with knitting. I also didn't sew anywhere near as much in 2014 as I wanted to - I did make two quilts but I've realised that in order to improve I need to focus on smaller (less expensive) projects. I do still plan to learn how to sew clothes but at first I'm going to focus on things like cushion covers and other smaller things. Knitting is slow and the materials are expensive so I try to only pick projects I truly love and want to own to work on - but sewing is comparatively cheaper and therefore I can "afford" to be less picky about the projects I choose to make.....for example if making 10 cushion covers means I master zipper insertions and proper seam allowances then I can always keep the best and donate the rest without crying over the waste of money.
(But don't worry the 15 projects won't just be 15 cushion cover I promise!)
The biggest thing holding me back in my sewing is knowing that you don't get a do-over once you cut the fabric. This makes me hold back on trying things but this year I'm going to worry less about "big expensive scary projects" and focus on "cheap-doesn't matter if you need to scrap it twice and start over again projects". That way I'll have the freedom to test myself and improve.
That being said I already know that there will be at least one if not two quilts made during the year because I simply adore the process and the finished result.
What about everything else?
At first I was feeling stupid and adventurous and I thought about adding a few things like “15 books read” and "15 miles of running every week" but then I caught myself. For me, having too many goals is the same as not having any, I’d end up feeling overwhelmed and I’d more than likely flounder.
That being said there’ll be a few other things I’ll also be working on in the background:
- Getting 10,000 steps a day on the fitbit
- Eating fruit/vegetables with every meal/snack
- Go on more camping trips
- Save money
So I’m excited for this project to unfold. It’ll be really interesting at the end of 2015 to see how far I’ve come compared to where I am now. I hope you’ll follow along with me throughout the year both here and on instagram where I’ll be tagging my projects with #15projectsin2015