We don’t know what 2021 has in store for us yet and it can be hard to find joy and a sense of optimism amid the uncertainty. The answer for me is to spend this part of the year planning the creative projects I want to pour my time into over the next twelve months. Perhaps for you it’s a list of books to read or maybe you’re planning home renovations, planting a garden or organizing your sock drawer. Creativity and growth takes many forms. One thing I have learnt over the years is that if I don’t make time for making then the days turn into weeks, weeks into months and before I know it years are slipping past and I still have the same pair of socks on my knitting needles.
Today I’m going to share a personal list of projects that I want to delve deeper into in 2021 – perhaps it will give you some ideas or inspire you to make your own, completely different list?
1. Getting back into knitting. Since moving to SoCal knitted jumpers are no longer pride of place in my wardrobe. Even on the coldest day it is too hot for wool so this most therapeutic of pastimes has slipped from my life. As all knitters know, the act of knitting is about so much more than the end product – getting lost in color and texture as we plan projects, the mind-clearing meditation of counting stitches as we work and the slow burning joy of bringing something into existence row by row. I need this kind of joy back in my life – perhaps I’ll knit cup holders, perhaps I’ll knit stuffed toys – I am just happy to be part of the knitting community again.
2. Lino cutting and print making – I have been dabbling in lino cutting and block printing fabric on and off for a couple of years but this year I want to re-wind a little and take some time to master the basics. I love the work of Emily Louise Howard (thediggingestgirl on insta) and am starting the year by working through her book Block Print Magic.
3. Sketching and pen and ink drawing – if you didn’t go to art school and therefore feel like you’re not allowed to pick up a pencil and start drawing (I’m sure I’m not alone in this?) then consider this your permission slip. Drawing is the gateway to so many art forms – to get yourself off to a good start I recommend investing in a set of drawing pencils, proper artists eraser and a sketchbook. Try sketching things around you by really looking at them – don’t fall into the trap of drawing how you think they should look. Keep your marks quite loose at first and hone the final shape gradually. Unhook from the idea of getting your drawings to look perfect (or even good) – the goal is to show up and try and fill up that sketchbook.
4. Watercolor painting – another technique that has been on my to-do list for ever. I’ve bought myself The Joy of Watercolor by Emma Block and am planning on working through it in the Spring once my mind is filled with sunshine and color again.
5. Last but not least, let’s not forget that to move forward we must discard the old baggage that is weighing us down. Releasing ourselves from old goals can be surprisingly hard to do – I’m going to take a moment this week to identify the things that are no longer serving me and then bid them adieu. Hanging in my utility room are a dozen or so bags containing half finished projects of mine from the last 10 years – I am going to go through them one by one and return most of them to their respective supply boxes or just straight up throw them out!
2021 may have plans for us but we can still have plans of our own – it’s never to late to start, or start again. Time spent creating is never a waste of time no matter what else the year brings. I’ll be rooting for you this year!