• Kat Zimmermann

Crafting 2022: Resolutions & Reflections

🎉 2021 is finally over and it's time to ring in the new year! 🎉


For me, New Year's Eve has held a lot of different meanings and I've celebrated it in different ways.


A 16 year old white girl with curled auburn hair in a shiny white shirt and plastic purple lei playing Scrabble on the floor.

When I was a child, my parents would throw a party every year. When I was in high school, the party became a much bigger thing for me as I invited many friends over to celebrate with us and sleep over - it was a huge deal every year and holds some of my favorite memories.


Behold: NYE 2008 - playing Scrabble, apparently.



A white woman with auburn hair and a bearded white man with brown hair sit in front of a Christmas tree with their small tan dog. All are wearing matching Christmas pajamas.


As an adult and, of course, during the pandemic, NYE has been much quieter. Still marking midnight, but while sitting on the couch with my husband and my dog. I don't mind it, actually, seeing as I tend to get tired around 10pm.


As we rev up for this year's quiet celebration, I thought some reflections and resolutions would be in good order.







 


Reflections on 2021

Reflecting is something that I feel we are not encouraged to do enough. We often focus on the road ahead and, while the future is important, we can't be guided in the future without learning from our past. If you haven't done so yet, take this paragraph as a sign to reflect on your 2021.



A bridal facemask - a white cotton facemask embellished with white lace applique which has a floral pattern, sequins, and small white beads. The mask is sat on a blue backdrop.

For me, the last year has seen the beginning of this blog and my Craftematics adventure (ok technically a year and 2 months but who's counting). Before I started this blog, I didn't have an Instagram and only sometimes remembered to take finished photos of my projects. My crafts have always been for myself and the people for whom I make gifts.


The idea of writing a blog started when I realized I was able to answer a lot of people's questions in a few pattern-based Facebook groups. I started thinking "I should just make a little doc on how to do this so I can link it because people keep asking the same things!" That put the thought into my head and, after mulling it over for a few months during the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, I decided to just start doing it.


I won't lie and say that maintaining this blog is an easy thing or that learning how to make a website (even using a drag-and-drop platform like Wix) has been a cakewalk, but I will say that it's been rewarding. I'm a teacher by choice and by trade and, even though I'm not in the classroom anymore, I still want to teach. This blog has given that role back to me.


A white woman with purple hair basking in the sun. She wears a crochet top which is changing colors from white to light purple and a pair of teal shorts.

When I launched the blog, my goal was to make enough money in pattern sales to pay for the website and I gave myself 1 year to do that. Poor choice. When I hit the 1-year mark in October, I wasn't even close and it sent me spiraling. I seriously considered whether there was a point to keeping Craftematics up. At the bottom of the spiral, I made a post on Imgur that went to the front page. I cannot thank that community enough for their words of encouragement and continued support. I decided that my 1-year goal made more sense as a 2-year goal, with a potential extension into 3-years.




I also now continually remind myself that yes, this blog is for me, but it's also for the handful of people who keep coming back. And for the people who find just one post when searching on Google. And for the people who literally just need that one paragraph of information and bounce after 30 seconds of reading. So even when I'm not seeing the traffic that I hope for or comments at the bottom of my posts, I know that I'm still teaching someone something, and that is enough.



 

On a happier note - the last year of starting this blog has been the most productive crafting year of my life! Some fun stats I pulled from my Row Counter app and this blog for 2021:



A small tan dog with crazy eyes stands on a sewn box cushion with his purple dinosaur toy.

Blog posts written: 27, including this one

Patterns written and launched: 11 (not including tutorials)

Crochet projects completed: 11

Knitting projects completed: 9

Sewing projects completed: 10, not including face masks


Time spent doing crochet/knitting: 420 hours, 16 minutes

Time spent sewing: ??? I should start tracking this better.




A very large blanket overflowing on a king size bed. The 3 by 4 panel blanket is made up of star charts identified by their zodiac symbols.

Largest project completed: The Zodiac Blanket (AKA Erika Gets Very Cold)


Started stitching September 2, 2021

Completed December 25, 2021


Time to complete: 184 hours, 17 minutes


Number of stitches: 177,870


Side note: pattern e-book coming soon!




A ball of handspun wool yarn in a blue ceramic yarn bowl. Some of the yarn has been knit into a small swatch.


New things learned:

  • How to restore a spinning wheel

  • How to hand spin wool

  • Knitting on double pointed needles

  • Quilting basics (definitely a lot of room for growth here)

  • Writing accessible patterns


Mistakes made: so, so many. Like, just so many.

Mistakes fixed: most of them







 


Resolutions for 2022

Typically, I avoid making New Year resolutions because I have never in my life managed to keep one. But this year? This year, I realize I can make craft-based resolutions and those sound much more attainable.


In writing the goals below, I'm sticking to the SMART structure (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely). If you're not familiar, the basic concept is you should be able to hand the goal to a complete and total stranger who has zero context for the goal and they should be able to understand what the goal is and how you'll know when it's been completed.


By December 31, 2022, I will:

  • Write and publish at least 5 patterns

  • Write and publish a new Craftematics blog post every 2 weeks, excepting major holidays

  • Hand spin a skein of yarn with a fiber other than wool

  • Dye a skein of yarn using a historical method and plant-based dye

  • Knit or crochet at least one project using handspun yarn

  • Restore my Antique 1920 Singer 66-1 Sewing Machine to working order

  • Sew one project on my antique sewing machine

  • Write, film, and publish to YouTube at least 2 videos teaching the basics of crochet

  • Complete at least one current Work in Progress


Now that it's written down, y'all will hold me accountable, right?



 

An antique 1920 Singer Sewing Machine model 66-1 with treadle. It is dusty and has some noticeable water damage on the right side of the tabletop.

Did you catch that one about the sewing machine? I was gifted a project for Christmas and I am very excited to begin. I originally planned to hold off working on it until this post went live, but I'm not patient enough for that! Progress, of course, will be forthcoming as at least one blog post, probably a short series.



Remember to follow the blog by filling out the form at the bottom of the page! You can keep up to date with me (and some things I don't blog about) here on Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube! I also attempt to maintain a Pinterest.


If you like the blog a lot and want to support its continued existence, you can buy me a cup of tea here.


What are your New Year Resolutions?



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