At the beginning of this year, I thought about setting a goal to make one hat per month during this year. The major ideas behind this were that I wanted to learn new techniques, knit something for myself, and support independent designers.
The more I thought about this project, the more excited I got about choosing to support individuals doing good work in the fiber community. It's hard work to be a designer. I know this, and I've only dabbled in designing- self publishing one or two patterns on the side while I go about my day job. Of course, I appreciate the free pattern now and then, but I don't want to make a rule of knitting from free patterns.
Sometimes I hear knitters exclaim proudly that they do not knit from patterns but rather only make their own designs. It's no secret that I love to knit up my own designs- there's something so liberating and exciting about imagining something in your head and then creating it just as you've envisioned. But I think knitting from other people's patterns is a great experience- it challenges you to learn new techniques, maybe knit something in a new way, and to make items or learn stitches outside your own comfort zone. AND it gives you the opportunity to support someone else's hard work.
But back to the hat project.
I quickly realized that what excited me most about this project was the opportunity to support others in this community. And here's the thing- I just don't need that many hats. So, I'm changing up the idea a little bit, shifting my focus to fit with what's getting me excited right now. Each month I will choose a project that is either a paid-for pattern written by an independent designer, OR knit from hand-spun or hand-dyed yarn purchased from an individual or small business within this community.
My hope is, that at the end of the year I will have 12 treasured hand knit items for my handmade wardrobe. That I will be able to see how my knitting has progressed as I've improved and learned new techniques. And of course, that I will have been able to, in my own small way, contribute to and support the fiber community that I love so much.
I'll share January's project next week!