Year in Review: 2017
Yeah, I know. We're quite a ways into 2018. And also I haven't been blogging, like, at all recently. I know. But let's forget all of that for a minute so I can get all sappy about the things I learned and made this year, and the goals I have for 2018. K?
Here is a list of my finished objects for 2017:
- Color Pop Granny Square Blanket for a friend's wedding (March 2017)
- Pop Life Cardigan – pattern and yarn by Wool and the Gang (June 2017)
- Sneffels Triangle Scarf – original pattern (August 2017)
- Fourth Wall Throw – original pattern and collaboration with Koigu (September 2017)
- Juliet Tee – pattern by We Are Knitters (September 2017)
- Flat White Throw – original pattern, yarn provided by We Are Knitters (October 2017)
- Hayride Scarf – original pattern (October 2017)
- Bonfire Scarf – original pattern (October 2017)
- Pokéhat – pattern by Mrs. Leudeke (November 2017)
- Storm Trooper Beanie – first free original pattern! (November 2017)
- Kari beanie – pattern forthcoming (December 2017)
- Kari cowl – pattern forthcoming (December 2017)
- Cable Knit Pillow – pattern by Alison @la.reserve.design (December 2017)
Phew. It really doesn't feel like I accomplished much, but I guess when you list it out like that, it's quite a bit. Most importantly, I learned so much this year. I went from never having knitted anything of substance at the outset of 2017, to falling in love with it thanks to continental knitting sometime in March, to taking on techniques I fully did not expect to ever be able to accomplish, like cables and fair isle colorwork (both of which are super doable, as it turns out). I learned a lot about garment construction that I plan to take with me into future designing projects. So basically, it was a pretty stellar year in terms of learning skills and gaining confidence in my craft.
Projects to Finish
Not surprisingly, I brought a few WIPs from 2017 with me into the new year. The holiday season forced me to put these down mid-project, so I'm going to list them here, for me as much as for anyone else.
- Moody Cardigan (original pattern, yarn by Autumn & Indigo)
- Poplar Scarf (kit by We Are Knitters)
- Final Countdown Cardigan (kit by We Are Knitters)
- Fox Shawl (original pattern, forthcoming)
And of course, there are plenty of projects on my to-make list, but we won't go into that now.
2018 is going to be a big year for me, I can already tell. 2017 was all about laying the foundation for what's to come. Business-wise, I did some experimenting, some hustling, some learning, some stalling, some winging it... And now I feel like I have a much more clear sense of what I want my business to look like. Most importantly, I feel like I know how I want it to balance against other work, personal projects, and my social/family life. I have discovered the products I love to make and sell, and those that really just don't do it for me (see: mugs. Sorry, guys). I have ideas for a realistic, balanced model of business that I feel will work well with the changes coming in my life. And the nice thing is, I'm learning that it's cool to take my time in setting those plans into motion.
My biggest goal for the coming year is to slow it down. The truth is that I am a naturally anxious person. And if I'm being honest, I spent too much time this past year feeling incredibly anxious about my business, caught up in wanting Bundle to be competitive and "trendy." I churned out products that I didn't really like, because I felt that they would sell (and I wasn't always right about that, either). I cranked out Instagram posts that were forced and without heart. I spent money creating things that didn't make me feel happy or creatively fulfilled.
Don't get me wrong, I did a lot of important connecting and creating, too. But the reality is that this business is not my full-time gig, and that means I need to learn how to create a model of work that fits with the rest of my life. It means I need to accept not being able to do everything, essentially. So I want to keep moving slower, focusing on making myself happy and creating space for balance and peace and connections with other makers (because those were really the highlight of this year). I want to take the time to "selfishly" knit and teach myself new skills. I want to create maker accessories that I am genuinely excited about sharing with the community (many are already in the sketchbook). I want to disengage a little bit from the social media hustle and focus on fostering deeper – not more – connections (that means lots of newsletter and blog writing). I want to give myself the space to create and share at a comfortable pace.
Basically, I want this next year to be much more relaxed and focused on genuine creativity and connection. I have making goals that are all centered around embracing a slow fashion wardrobe (much more blogging about that to come throughout this year), but if I don't meet all of them, that's okay. If 2017 was the year of hustle for Bundle, 2018 is the year of learning to be happy right where I am.
Be sure to sign up for my newsletter if you are excited to follow along with the coming year and want the company of a fiber-loving friend in 2018. And get ready for lots more blogging, newsletter-writing, and unapologetic selfish knitting. It's going to be a fun year.