5 New Year's Resolutions That Will Improve Your Handknit Wardrobe
2017 is mere days away and as usual, many of us are reflecting upon our lives and what the new year has in store for us. January is not the only time to set goals, but there is something "fresh" about a new year that makes resolutions so appealing: akin to starting a brand new notebook.
As you might know, my goal for this blog is to encourage you (and myself!) to knit a more wearable wardrobe. That is: to actually wear what we knit with pride.
With that in mind, I have come up with five new year's resolution ideas for knitters who want to improve their handknit wardrobe. I'm not suggesting that you adopt all of them in 2017; one is more than enough. Choose the one that you think will be most useful to you and start your journey towards a more wearable wardrobe.
5 New Year's Resolution Ideas for Knitters
1. Declutter your yarn stash.
If you're anything like me, you have probably accumulated a substantial yarn stash since you started knitting. Some of it, you might not have even looked at in years. Not only does this cause clutter, but it also stops us from making considered choices when deciding what to knit. We end up making wrong yarn/pattern choices in order to use up some yarn that we feel guilty about not having used yet.
This year, go through your yarn stash, skein by skein, and ask yourself whether this yarn is something you will ever enjoy wearing. If it isn't, it might be time to sell or gift it to someone who will use it. If you really can't bear to get rid of it, promise yourself you will knit a gift from it by a certain deadline. If you don't meet your deadline, it's gone.
Once you have decided which yarn you are keeping, store it carefully to protect it from moths. I keep my yarn in large zip-lock bags, categorised by weight. I also try to keep my stash updated on Ravelry, so I can see what I have at a glance. This year, I intend to knit through my stash and keep it as small as possible in future.
2. Knit your own basics.
When you first start knitting, it's so tempting to only knit the exciting patterns; those stand-out garments with unusual construction methods in the fanciest of yarns. Unfortunately, these are the garments that are rarely worn. They're quickly forgotten and left at the back of the wardrobe.
Instead, I challenge you to knit your own basics. Think about those basic garments that you wear every week - these are the cornerstones of your wardrobe. If you want to knit a more wearable wardrobe, focus on these. Whilst they might not be the most exciting projects to knit, the end result will be incredibly rewarding and will stand the test of time.
If you're not convinced, I wrote a whole blog post on the topic, sharing seven reasons why you should knit your own basics.
3. Create a capsule wardrobe.
The capsule wardrobe is a concept that was invented by a woman called Susie Faux in the 1970s, that has gained popularity in recent years. One of my favourite resources on the topic is Un-fancy, a blog written by Caroline Rector. According to her, a capsule wardrobe is, "a mini wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you totally LOVE to wear."
If your wardrobe is overflowing with clothing that you no longer like nor wear, you should consider a capsule wardrobe. I've been loosely following my own for approximately a year now. It's a great way to have a brutal clear out, plus (if you do it properly) you gain a much greater understanding of your own personal style.
This means that when you want to knit something for yourself, you will be able to identify silhouettes and colours that you enjoy wearing. You will also be able to see what is missing from your wardrobe so that the garments you knit are actually useful. No more impulse knits hiding at the back of your wardrobe!
If you are in desperate need of help with your wardrobe, Caroline has kindly put together this wardrobe planner that will be useful in getting you started. I also run a Ravelry group on this very topic! Come and join us.
4. Learn new finishing techniques.
Often seen by knitters as the most boring part of knitting a garment, the finishing is the most important part of the process. Poor finishing can make a handmade sweater look homemade. Not only does it look unsightly, but it can affect the longevity of the finished piece.
Finishing techniques can make or break a garment, so if you are dedicated to making your handknit garments more wearable, invest some time into learning the best finishing techniques. It will take some trial and error to figure out which techniques work well for you, but the results will be worth it.
5. Frog unsuccessful garments.
We've all been there. You finish knitting something that you think is going to be absolutely beautiful and for a multitude of reasons, the finished object is a major fail.
In 2014, Felicia from The Craft Sessions wrote about "Ripping with joy" in a fantastic blog post about her experimentation with colourwork. At the end of the post, she shared this truth: "Ripping is not a waste of time because mistakes are how you learn."
The same truth can be applied to frogging entire garments. Admittedly, I really don't like frogging as much as anyone else, however, it's much better than leaving those unsuccessful FOs glaring at your reproachfully from the back of your wardrobe.
This year, follow Felicia's lead and frog for joy, knowing that the yarn can be recycled into something much more useful. It feels good, doesn't it?!
Whilst our desire for progression and growth is admirable, many of us do not succeed in our new year's resolutions, allowing them to slip after only a couple of months or even weeks! In fact, 24% of people fail on their new year's resolution, year after year.
If one of the new year's resolutions that I've suggested here resonates with you, you are going to need to take some action to make it happen.
3 Steps to Taking Action on Your Knitting Resolutions
- Write your resolution down in the comments section below. Studies show that you are up to 42% more likely to achieve your goals by writing them down. Sharing them with me also creates a bit of accountability, which is helpful.
- Make a plan. It won't surprise you to hear that making a plan increases your chances of succeeding with a goal. Plan how you are going to achieve your goal, but also plan for the inevitable stumbles along the way. Doing this means that you are less likely to give up when things don't go as planned. If you have a blog, share your plan there and send me the link. I'd love to cheer you on!
- Don't procrastinate - start right away. Starting is the hardest part, so get it over with now. Once you've started, you are more likely to continue.