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I’m a fence-sitter when it comes to New Years. On one hand, it does provide a motivational jumping-off point, a starting gun, a clean slate. On the other hand, it’s a bit contrived, arbitrary, and really no different than the previous day. Resolutions seem naively hopeful; like the first day of school, when you have your day-planner filled in neatly and colour coordinated, your new pencils precisely sharpened, your notebooks crisp and inviting. Two months later, however, the planner has been abandoned and your notebooks are sullied with illegible scrawlings and doodles and torn out pages. At least, that’s how it always happened for me.

I’m not disdainful about resolutions – just ambivalent. I do enjoy making plans and writing lists. I’ve found the middle way is the most useful to me – and this is generally true in all aspects of my life. In recent years I haven’t really written out resolutions, but rather a list of things I would really like to accomplish. The list can be lengthy, but not always particularly SMART. It doesn’t have the… well, resolve. It’s not “I must do this,” it’s “I would really like to accomplish this, if possible.” Some people require the decidedness of the former, but I’ve found it doesn’t really make a difference in the outcome, other than affecting how negatively I feel about it if I “fail.”

I was reading a Buddhist forum on Ravelry, and some of the members there are working on their New Years “intentions” rather than resolutions. Perhaps I’m quibbling over semantics, but I think the difference is subtle yet important.

re⋅solve
[ri-zolv]
verb, -solved, -solv⋅ing, noun –verb (used with object)
1. to come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine (to do something): I have resolved that I shall live to the full.

in⋅tend
[in-tend]
–verb (used with object)
1. to have in mind as something to be done or brought about; plan: We intend to leave in a month.

Set goals, be effective, but be gentle with yourself.

And so, without further ado…

My 2009 Knitting Intentions

1. Lace. I would really like to complete a large lace project. Something like Girasole, or Frost Flowers and Leaves from A Gathering of Lace (which I may give myself as a New Years gift.)

2. Fair Isle. I would also like to complete a significant fair isle/colourwork project. Something like the Venizia Pullover, or a project employing one of the many beautiful Baroque style charts I’ve seen floating around teh interwebs. They’re so beautiful I want to melt into them.

3. Socks. Finish the socks.

4. Sweater. Finish my first sweater. Yes, the Asymmetrical Cabled Cardi will count for this one.

5. Sweaters. Oh my word, sweaters. I LOVE sweaters, and I have about a hundred favourite patterns. I think completing at least 4 sweaters in 2009 is a realistic goal. This does not include the Asymmetrical Cabled Cardi.

6. Mittens. I can’t believe I still haven’t made a pair of mittens. I think Bird in Hand will be the first order of business, followed by Fiddlehead Mittens.

7. Designing. I want very badly to get down at least a few of my ideas into actual, comprehensible PDF format and finished objects. This scares me because I know that it will involve a lot of frogging, and boy do I hate frogging. Must come to peace with frogging. Is that a separate intention?

8. TOYS! I have favourited about a hundred of these as well. I want to make an Elijah, and a Sheldon, and an Octopus. And maybe a Jellyfish. They’re perfect – small, interesting, challenging and charming. And I’m sure completely frustrating, considering my difficulty reading patterns. But that’s okay. Bring it on.

9. Speed up. Work on my technique, particularly with purling. If I’m going to accept and embrace that I am a project knitter (vs. a process knitter), I need to work on being the most effective knitter I can be.

10. Slow down. Being project-oriented is okay, but don’t forget that I do indeed love the process. Keep things in perspective. It’s so easy to say that my knitting is frustrating me for one reason or another. It can be boring, tedious, challenging, confusing… but I always love it. Don’t forget to smell the roses.

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2 Comments

  1. I’m just like you… instead of resolutions, I definitely have intentions… though I hadn’t called them that before, that’s a great word for it!

    Oh and I am totally making a Girasol myself! I’m trying to make it for my mom’s birthday in February… hopefully I will be able to finish it in time! :)

    Good luck to you in all your wonderful intentions and Happy New Year. :)

    • bitchnstitches
    • Posted January 3, 2009 at 15:07
    • Permalink

    Thank you! And you as well. I have a feeling I won’t get to the lace project for a while, so I’m excited to see how yours goes.

    I can’t decide if my list is horribly unrealistic or totally doable. I guess that will really depend on how all the other aspects of my life pan out… which is part of why I don’t like “resolving” in the first place, I guess :)


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