Another Year Of Blogging!

Blogging, I think, is always a work in progress.  It develops with you and your aims when you started may not be relevant and may evolve as your blog develops.

When I woke up this morning and realised that it was two years ago that I started this blog I realised I had a convenient post waiting for me to write.  I’ve not been so good with my blogging this year.  Planning my wedding definitely took a lot of my energy and so I’ve at various points left you, my lovely readers, with nothing to read.

I’m not planning a long post today, I’m going to look over my goals that I set this time last year and see how I got on with them, I’m going to set some goals for next year and finally share my project of the year!  As a side note, my knitting series is still in the workings, I have so many posts lined up that I’m knitting swatches for.  I’m not sure which the next post will be, so it’ll be a surprise for you all!

Goal Review and Setting

I think its important to have goals in mind when blogging, it helps to keep you accountable and keep you posting regularly.  I think its okay not to reach your goals – we’re all human after all – but to reach towards them is the important thing.

1. To blog more regularly rather than sporadically throughout the year
So I’ve done even worse this year than I did last year which is a shame, but life is what it is, and I can only hope to gradually improve on this as time goes by.

2. To continue to improve on my photography skills for photographing crafts
I feel I have definitely made progress here.  I’m happier with setting up shots, working out the light, even using a tripod if necessary.  I feel I succeeded in achieving this goal although I think that there is always more to learn in photography so while it’s not on my goal list, it will be something I hope to constantly improve.

3. To have less WIPs this time next year
I’m not planning on working out a lot of random statistics for this year, but currently my Works-In-Progress stands at 2 sewing, 2 crochet, 1 weaving, 6 knitting, 1 spinning WIPs.  So that’s 12 WIPs currently which is sadly 4 more than last year!  So that goal failed drastically sadly and will definitely be continuing into next year!

4. To use up more stash
Rather annoyingly I forgot to record anything about what my stash was actually like at this point last year so I can’t really judge this accurately.  I have been making a concerted effort to use up my stash, which is also why I have quite a few WIPs at the moment, but I’ve also accidentally brought yarn and fabric over the year so I think I probably managed to break even on stash.  I’m intending to keep this goal going into next year too.

5. To spend more time interacting with other bloggers
This one I very definitely failed.  Sure, I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts, but I’ve been hopeless at commenting and general interaction.  This is something that I do plan to improve and will continue on my list for next year.

So from this, I’ve concluded that this years goals will be:

  1. To blog regularly and not sporadically
  2. To have less than 12 WIPs this time next year
  3. To use up more stash
  4. To interact with other bloggers more

Wish me luck as I hopefully aim to succeed with these goals!

Project Highlight

I also wanted to share with you the project that has been the absolute highlight of my year.  It has gotten me so many lovely comments and I am (for once) amazingly proud of it.  At the start of the year, I announced my engagement and that I was getting married.  For my marriage I knitted myself a beautiful shawl that many people couldn’t believe I actually knitted!  The details of the pattern, the yarn and how I changed it can all be found on my ravelry project page.  I don’t have a good photo of me wearing it that I am happy to share yet, but here are a few of the shawl itself.

Thank you for sticking with me on this journey in the blogosphere and I hope you will continue to stick around and enjoy the things I share.  As ever, let me know of any posts you’d like to see or any questions I might be able to answer!

A Year Of Blogging

Its quite scary really.  I’ve been writing this blog for a year now!  Its been a fantastic year though and I’ve learnt a lot of new skills, opened an Etsy Shop (go check it out!) and published a few free designs in my Ravelry store (go check them out too!).

Update (30th Nov 2015): For various reasons, my Etsy shop is currently closed for the foreseeable future but I am taking commissions so please do contact me.

Project Highlights

I’ve completed a number of projects this year, some blogged, some not, mostly sewing, knitting or crochet and spinning.  I have two particular highlights from my sewing projects, firstly the kilt and secondly the cloak.  These were both tricky, time consuming but very enjoyable projects!

This year has also seen me uncover my knitting needles and also to learn the art of crochet.  I now do a lot of both these crafts and am rarely found without one or both!  My favourite knitting project for the year has to be the adorable shrimp while my favourite crochet project for the year is probably a cat decoration for a birthday card!

My best new skill for the year has to be learning to spin on a drop spindle.  This has been incredibly satisfying and has given me a much greater understanding of difference fibres.  My spinning has progressed in leaps and bounds from this cotton yarn (knitted into a seashell)…

…to this mulberry silk rainbow fractal yarn (knitted into part of a hat)!

Finally, I’ve also been working on improving my photography skills.  Like all my skills this is still very much a work in progress and the biggest thing I’ve learnt is that natural light is the best thing for taking photos of sewing or knitting!  I’ve so far been mainly concentrating on nature photos in photography and in May 2015 I decided to move this onto its own separate blog, so you can follow my progress there!

So I think you’ll agree that I’ve certainly had a productive year in terms of learning new skills and revising those I had already!

Interesting Stats

Just a bit of fun to see what I’ve managed this year and give some insight into things to work on for the next year!

Number Of Blog Posts: 42
Where People Have Viewed My Blog From: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Philippines, Poland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, USA

Number Of…
…Sewing Projects Completed: 21
…Knits Completed: 28
…Knitting WIPs: 3
…Crochets Completed: 39
…Crochet WIPs: 2
…Completed Projects Using Both Knitting and Crochet Completed: 3
…WIPs Using Both Knitting and Crochet: 2
…Weaving WIPs: 1
…Spinning Projects Completed: 5

Total Projects Completed This Blogging Year: 96
Total WIPs From This Blogging Year: 8

Estimated Length Of Fabric Used This Year: 75 m (a conservative estimate)
Estimated Length of Yarn Used This Year: 3.5 km
Length of Yarn Spun This Year: 60.2 m (I actually measured this)

Goals For The Next Year

When I started this blog, I didn’t really have any goals in mind other than to blog and showcase what I make.  So in the spirit of trying to improve, I’m going to set some goals that I’d like to try and achieve by this time next year.  Life has a nasty habit of getting in the way, so we’ll see what comes of this, but these are my goals for the next year of blogging and creating:

  1. To blog more regularly, rather than sporadically throughout the year
  2. To continue to improve on my photography skills for photographing crafts
  3. To have less WIPs this time next year
  4. To use up more stash
  5. To spend more time interacting with other bloggers

So I think that just about concludes my summary of my first year as a blogger.  I have thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to the year to come!