For a long time, I’ve had an annual tradition on this blog of posting goals for the new year, and at the end of the year, I’d review what I got done and set new goals. But last year I found myself wondering if I’d even be designing by the end of the year, so making goals beyond just getting through the year felt pointless. I had recently found out that my old, affordable apartment building was sold to new owners who planned on remodeling, so all current tenants had to leave when their leases were up, and the tech boom in Seattle was and still is making rents skyrocket. At the same time, a new batch of politicians were voted in who campaigned on making changes that could make healthcare inaccessible for me as a mostly-self-employed person. I thought that there was a real chance that I’d have to get a full-time job with a higher paycheck and benefits by the end of 2017, and planning Untangling Knots goals felt really pointless.
But here we are! A year later and I’m still making it work. I found a new apartment in the same neighborhood, and thankfully my pattern sales have grown to keep up with my expenses. I had to end a big project that would have required more risks than felt manageable if it were to continue, but I’m going into 2018 with a mix of work that feels like it will be more easily sustainable through life’s rough patches.
So let’s talk about the stuff I managed to get done this year. I released six new garment patterns, and managed to hit all of the little subcategories I try to aim for and then some. There was a classic cropped cardigan, Ducket; a full-length sweater, Florham; a non-wool garment, Anaheim; and an Extra Options pattern, Adiantum. Extra Options are a new category of patterns that I tested the waters with through Zinone and are garment patterns with at least two length options and one or two variations on details. Tessellate and Julgran helped to add to my selection of pullovers. We also had all three of the annual Untangling Knots KALs, and I finished all of my projects for them, although I got my SSKAL 2017 project done about six months late and only finished it in time to take it on a trip to New Zealand. (That trip deserves a blog post or two of its own.)
Outside of knitting, I dabbled in my three favorite hobbies: baking, sewing, and gardening! My new apartment made it much easier to do more because it is laid out better. Halfway through the year, I decided to make the most of my nice new kitchen (my old kitchen was a nightmare), and stretch my baking skills by coming up with a list of different things to try. I made my first layer cake, cinnamon rolls, bread, and cream puffs and eclairs. I also could set up my sewing stuff in my kitchen so I could cut out patterns on my table instead of the floor, which led to much more productive sewing. I made 3 peasant blouses and three dresses, and I’ve got two dress WIPs to finish.
Last but not least, I did more indoor gardening and really developed my green thumb. My window sills are crammed with plants, and this year I got thrifty with my new additions. I successfully grew herbs from seeds, grew sundew seedlings from the flowers of my mature sundew, grew ginger from a sprouting eye, and rooted a pineapple top! It took a few tries to get a pineapple top to grow roots instead of rotting, and then it took daily misting to keep it happy while the roots developed, so I’m really proud of that one.
2017 was a strange year for me, and I’m not expecting 2018 to be any less weird, but that’s life! I made it through some lumps and bumps, and I’m feeling much more capable for it.
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