A guide to reflecting over your past year of knitting accomplishments and looking ahead to the new year
It won’t be too much longer till we’re ready to celebrate a new year!
How are you feeling?
Are you feeling reflective? That’s common around this time of year. It’s hard not to look back at the past year when you’re standing at the edge of a new one.
If you’re an avid charity knitter, you may be considering what you did over the past year. If you did everything you wanted to.
Do you feel like you left something undone?
If you do feel a bit dissatisfied with your charity knitting, it’s important to recognize why.
Because here’s the thing: just because you’re dissatisfied doesn’t mean you didn’t do all you could.
For instance, one year, when I looked back, I felt like I hadn’t knitted for charity as much as I’d hoped. But at the same time, I was constantly knitting! Occasionally that knitting was for myself. But mostly, I was knitting for other people. It just wasn’t “for charity.”
But at the same time, a lot of that knitting was in some way helping people in need.
For instance, in that year, I spent a lot of time the first few months knitting cowls and headbands for friends and family. These were gifts for folks who donated to my daughter’s Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser.
So, indirectly, I helped raise money for heart research through knitting. I wasn’t “knitting for charity,” but I was knitting for a cause!
Looking Back and Learning
Let’s say that you’ve looked back and really do feel like you could have done better. If you want to change that in the new year, there are a couple of things you can do.
One: consider the “why.”
In all likelihood, you had an excellent reason for not knitting as much as you wanted.
Maybe you or a loved one got sick, injured, or otherwise tied you up and kept you away from knitting. Maybe you had another project (at work or at home) and didn’t have time to knit as much as you wanted.
Or, maybe you had a knitting project that was so time-consuming that you didn’t have time for anything else!
My point is that you shouldn’t look at the results from the past year without looking at what contributed to those results.
Two: make sure you really didn’t do as much as you hoped.
That sounds strange, doesn’t it? What I mean is that our memories are fickle creatures.
Sometimes we’re such overachievers and perfectionists that nothing we could accomplish will satisfy us. Other times, we focus on what we didn’t do rather than what we did do.
I am able to look back at my year and see what I was able to achieve (and what I fell short in) thanks to this.
This is my Charity Knitting Checklist, and you can see that every time I start (or plan to start) a new knitting project, I write it down here. I’ve kept up with this checklist all year, and so I can see exactly how I’ve been using my knitting time.
If you’ve kept this checklist, or a similar list, all year… great! All you’ll have to do is look back on your list and see what you knitted this year.
If you haven’t? You may have other clues to what you’ve knitted this year. Perhaps you’ve been adding your projects to Ravelry, or maybe you’ve been posting them on Instagram or Facebook.
My point is, don’t beat yourself up about what you didn’t knit this year. Look at the evidence. See what you’ve actually done.
And, of course, if you haven’t knitted what you thought you should have… don’t beat yourself up then either! Instead, think about what you can do differently next year.
Looking Ahead: Planning Your Knitting for the New Year
For the past few years, I’ve begun thinking of my goals for the new year right around the time December starts. So I’ve already started thinking about my goals for the new year. Not just knitting-related, but related to all parts of my life.
But since we’re all about charity knitting here, let’s talk goals about knitting in the new year.
Now, you don’t need to figure out all your goals today, or even tomorrow. In fact, you shouldn’t be in a rush! In general, goal-setting works best when you consider why you want to achieve these goals.
And your knitting goals work the same way!
So feel free to take a week or two to really think them through.
I go into this in a lot more detail in my eBook Knitting for Charity, One Stitch at a Time. But when you’re thinking of your knitting goals for the new year, I encourage you to answer a few questions for yourself.
1. Who or what really touches my heart?
2. What do I love to knit?
3. Where would I like my knitting to go?
Answering these three questions will help you so much in nailing down your goals in the new year.
If you’ve never knitted for charity before, I’d also like to encourage you to get into my free email course called Getting Started with Charity Knitting. It’s a great way to deep dive into the answers to those questions!
I hope these thoughts and considerations have helped you! Reflect on the past year, and then get started planning for the new year. You can make this your most rewarding year in knitting yet!