Welcome to 2017, crocheters! The New Year means fresh patterns, skills, and supplies, but where to start? If you’ve been in a bit of a rut or just want to embrace the goal-setting spirit, here are a few recommendations for embarking on a productive and exciting year of crochet.
- Game plan your future designs (and keep some of your favorites) in a pattern portfolio
Keeping up with patterns can be as much of a hassle as stray yarn scraps. Random scraps of paper, online bookmarks on your computer, dog-eared pages in a magazine—it can be daunting to try to remember where exactly you last saw that gorgeous scarf or hat design. Whenever you see a pattern you like, make a copy or print it off, then hole-punch it and keep it in a binder or portfolio. With this portable and handy collection, you’ll have a waiting list right at your fingertips next time that you’re having trouble deciding on your next project—and if one of them turns out to be a huge hit, you can easily return to it.
- Move beyond just yarn and hook
Blocking boards, fiber wash, product tags, stitch markers—if you have ever thought “Hmm, it would be so much easier if I just had…” then you are more than likely to find a product that has been dreamt up by a creative crocheter. Our top “Product Picks” in each issue contain a bountiful selection of tools that will help you find the best supporting characters to your yarn and hook, so set a goal to add to your 2017 supply closet.
- Treat yourself to a little something special
While you’re looking for those extra supplies, don’t be afraid to splurge a little. There’s nothing quite like getting ready to crochet and feeling extra inspired by the tools you are using. Set the tone for the New Year with a classy yarn bowl, a specialty dyed yarn, or a custom made hook. These can all infuse your crochet time with your personal flair and will make you feel like the crochet royalty that you are.
- Get your supplies organized
“Decluttering” is often the mantra of the New Year, and that doesn’t just apply to our closets or stash of junk food. Keeping your supplies organized will make your life so much easier, and there are some very stylish ways to do this. Virtually anything can become a yarn organizer—a cute little bookshelf, a tote bag, or even a hanging shoe organizer. You can also crochet some baskets that will be the perfect size to fit your stash. Plus, there are plenty of products out there for storing your hooks, or you can upcycle a cute vase or ceramic bowl for some extra flair.
- Create a dedicated crochet spot for yourself
If you have taken step number four and organized your supplies, then you’re halfway to creating a spot of your own. Pick a little corner of your home where you can feel free to arrange your collection of crochet gear, adjust the lighting, and fluff the pillows so you can feel like you have your own little haven of yarn-y goodness. Plus, a dedicated spot means you’ll waste less time unpacking, untangling, and adjusting, and more time crocheting your favorite pattern.
- Pick an adventurous project
The New Year is all about setting goals, so aim to add something new to your repertoire of skills. It’s the best time to challenge yourself with an advanced pattern from our collection or to select a design you may have never tried before. If you’re relatively new, try working up a larger project like an afghan, which still has a consistent repetition of stitches but will push you with its larger size. If you’re a crocheter that has already tackled the basic projects, branch out and try an amigurumi.
- Visit a local yarn store—or take a road trip to one
Sometimes it’s more convenient to just grab a skein from a larger craft store or order online, but you have to experience a local yarn shop at least once. There is nothing quite like walking into a room dedicated solely to your passion, filled to the brim with yarn, patterns, and customers just like you. Each shop has its own distinct personality, so go out and investigate a nearby hidden treasure.
- Read a book about crochet
Many New Year’s resolution lists include reading more books, so why not combine your goal to learn something new with your crochet resolutions? If you have always been tempted by our “Hooked on Reading” section but never gotten around to ordering any of the recommendations, now is the time. Crochet books contain collections of cutting-edge patterns as well as invaluable tips, tricks, and exciting themes that will revive your passion and expand your knowledge of crochet.
- Take a class
Beginners and pros alike can gain so much from taking a crochet class. Whether you want to learn a new stitch or need help mastering the next level, all crocheters can benefit from an outside perspective. In addition, classes are great community events where you can meet other people who share a common interest and can encourage you as you work.
- Teach someone else to crochet
I’m sure you’ve heard it before—one of the best ways to truly learn something is to try to teach it to someone else. Share your skills with a loved one or your community to bond over a cute pattern, and spread the excitement that will encourage more people to fall in love with the art of crochet.
- Try out a new yarn weight
There are at least seven official yarn weights currently, and some of those categories have other variations within them. Worsted weight is a classic, but there are more skeins in the yarn bowl. Visit either end of the spectrum: work up a delicate scarf with lace thread or join the trend and use super bulky yarn for a heavenly fluff-ball of a blanket.
- Donate a project to a charity
Coming out of the holiday season, we emerge with a newfound desire to be generous and kind. There are so many charities that need warm donations, and you can choose to help local, national, and even global communities. Check out this article for inspiration on organizations that need your support: Spreading the Crochet Love.