How to Get Your Knitting Groove Back in the New Year

Did the end of last year leave you feeling a little burned out, knitting-wise? Check out my strategy for getting back into the knitting swing of things!

Knitting in the new year

I wonder if this happened to you…

In the waning weeks of last year, you were working super-hard on a variety of knitting goals. They might have been for charity. Or maybe they were gift knitting. Or maybe they were a bit of both.

You pushed hard to get it done. You hit your deadlines (or maybe you didn’t…). At any rate, you finished your projects as the year was ending. Or perhaps as the new year was dawning.

At the time, you felt a rush of achievement. Maybe it wasn’t exactly what you planned, or maybe you didn’t quite hit the deadlines as you’d hoped. No matter. Your projects were *done*.

And now we’re about halfway through January. And you’ve barely touched your needles. You have no idea what projects you’re going to do next. You’re not feeling much of a sense of direction or accomplishment.

What to do now?

My New Year’s Struggle

In case you’re wondering… the preceding paragraphs have absolutely described me!

During one December, I was working hard to finish primarily gift knitting, with a little charity knitting thrown in. On December 29, I finished the last of my knitting goals.

On the 30th, I did start a new project because one of my earlier projects didn’t turn out quite as I’d hoped. So I decided to try again.

Surprisingly, early on the 1st, I finished the project, a cowl for my mom. (I was on my way back from Michigan to our home in Oklahoma, and I had a lot of road trip time!)

And then… I had no idea what to do. I half-heartedly started knitting something with a yarn left over from one of my gift knits. But my heart wasn’t really in it. I was knitting just because I needed to knit while sitting in a car!

Once we were home, and the dust had well and truly settled from the preceding year, I had no idea what to do next.

A New Year’s Epiphany

Later that week, still wondering what I’d knit next, I remembered a little something.

Hey Nicole, you wrote a book about Knitting for Charity. With planning printables. Maybe, I don’t know… you could use what you created?

Oh… right!

If you’re laughing at me right now… it’s okay. I deserve it!

Out came two of my printables — my Preliminary Charity Knitting Planner and my Charity Knitting Checklist. And then I got to work.

I spent some time thinking about who I wanted to impact, and with what, during 2018. Current events had hit me hard during 2017, I realized. And I knew I wanted to help those who were hurt last year.

So on my Preliminary Charity Knitting Planner, I wrote the causes/people I wanted to support: Native Americans, homeless people, domestic violence/sexual assault survivors, and refugees.

I also made a list of my favorite project types, also on the PCKP: baby hats, adult hats (maybe I should’ve just written “hats”!), fingerless mitts, socks, and cowls.

Eventually I went back and filled in the blanks. At the time I made this, I still needed to find my favorite patterns for those project types. I also still had to decide what specific charity(ies) I would support with each recipient/cause.

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More Planning: a Project Checklist

Once I finished this, I sat down with my Charity Knitting Checklist to decide what I’d work on first.

Although it’s called “Charity Knitting Checklist,” I use it for all my knitting. So the first thing on my list was what I called an “Elena Doll.” That’s a doll that my younger daughter, Elena, wanted me to knit for her.

Second on the list was socks. I found a tube sock knitting pattern that I want to try out. I promised a friend who just started a new job that I would make her a pair of socks. This seems like an ideal way to combine the two.

Third was my husband’s sweater. (Which I did finally finish… well over a year later. Ha!)

Finally, I decided that for my first bit of charity knitting that year, I wanted to knit hats for Native Americans. I hadn’t knitted adult hats in a while, and I missed it.

Getting Your Knitting Groove Back

If a new year has you struggling to get your knitting groove back, I hope reading my action plan helped you! Let me sum up here some steps you can take to make this work for you, too.

  • Decide who you want to knit for.
  • Decide what you want to knit.
  • Figure out your first steps.

It’s best to do this all on paper. If you have my eBook Knitting for Charity, One Stitch at a Time, I think you’ll find the printables I’ve mentioned here — the Preliminary Charity Knitting Planner and the Charity Knitting Checklist — very helpful.

Why paper? Because science backs it up: when you commit plans to paper, you’re more likely to follow through on them. If you’ve struggled to knit what you wanted to in years past, I encourage you to give this a try.

From my own experience, I’ve learned that when I don’t use paper, I make myself crazy. I try to hold everything in my head, and then I’m shocked and dismayed when it leaks out. And I don’t do what I wanted or needed or hoped.

(I hope you’re reading the italics in sarcastic font, because that’s how I meant it.)

Even without my eBook, you can of course write your plans on plain paper. The important thing is to get it out of your head and onto something that you can look at, to remind you of your goals and aspirations. It can be on your phone or computer or tablet, if you like. Whatever works best for you!

Feel free to share below: have you ever had trouble getting back into knitting after the year ended? How did you handle it?

Are you ready to get your charity knitting in gear? Click here to find out about my eBook Knitting for Charity, One Stitch at a TIme! 

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  1. I am lucky to say that 2017 was my first year of knitting, and 2018 is my first year of wandering “what’s next?” I looks back and am so pleased to have created over 2 dozen crocheted and knitted items for family Christmas gifts. Such a blessing to have found such a soul-nurturing hobby!