My word for the year & making goals for 2017

As I have the past few years, I am setting out some general making plans and goals for the year. I’ve also noticed a growing trend of people choosing a word for the year, so I think I am going to jump on that bandwagon as well.

This is the first year where I have felt like choosing a word for the year, and it is the first time when I have felt like a single word fits with what my priorities are. My word for this year is going to be grow. I chose this word because it encapsulates what I’d like to focus on this year when it comes to my making, creative projects, and career goals. I want to build and grow my relationships with some of the artists and makers that I have come to know locally and on the internet. Being a major introvert, growing relationships that feel fulfilling and comfortable can be a big challenge. I want to expand my handmade business and develop some more concrete goals for how to successfully mesh my full-time career with a side passion project. Growing our homestead is also a major goal; I’d like to become a more successful gardener and continue to prepare to bring more fiber animals onto our property. Continuing to build and gain confidence in what I do and what I have to offer is another area that I hope to focus on, and it is something that I have really neglected in my career, personal life, and passion projects. I suppose my aim overall is to grow my skill set and expand my knowledge-base across my many interests: knitting, weaving, sewing, spinning, gardening, homesteading, and speech-language pathology.

Specifically, related to making my goals are to:

  • knit/spin/weave/sew from the materials that I have accumulated — making from both patterns and materials that I have in my stash is always a lofty goal
  • make items that I will actually use and wear; I’d like to knit at least four sweaters for myself, and I’d like to sew most of my summer wardrobe
  • make knit and sewn clothes for Little One
  • plant a dye garden and become more familiar with plants that can be foraged for dyes in my area to continue to develop my natural dyeing skills
  • take the time to watch and learn from the classes that I’ve queued on CreativeBugCREATIVELIVE, and Craftsy

Feel free to share your goals for the year in the comments or link to your posts. I love to hear what others are focusing on as they enter into a new year of creativity and making.

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Watching: True Cost

Last week, I finally sat down to watch True Cost, a documentary about the fashion industry, and specifically low cost fashion. I highly recommend it. It is available on Netflix. The film’s website also lists other platforms for watching. I think the film does a beautiful job of highlighting how the fashion industry is hugely exploitative of both people and of the environment. The interviews and footage are unforgettable. After watching the film, I don’t think anyone could look at a table of $5 shirts at Target in the same way again. 

Such low cost clothing has almost made it feel like it’s disposable, and that is not a socially or environmentally sustainable attitude. The notion of a handmade wadrobe becomes increasingly appealing as you watch the film. I hope the industry might begin to feel the impact if more people commit to more sustainable clothing options, whether it is through people making more clothing or choosing to buy from companies with more sustainable practices. The tags tell us where our clothing comes from, and it is time to stop ignoring those tags. 

In some areas, I’m definitely making progress toward a more handmade wardrobe, but I have a ways to go in others. As I have started to clean my wadrobe of the inexpensive shirts and pants, I’ve done my best to reuse the fabrics in some way. I try to use old shirts to make clothes for my daughter or to make shopping bags. We pass clothes from my daughter to younger kids to prolong the life of those items. We donate well-loved items as well, but the fate of those pieces is not completely clear. I hope that in the next year, I can find a sweater to unravel and give some yarn new life. I am grateful that I am able to sew and knit sweaters and shirts. As I buy yarn and fabric, I am also beginning to research the companies and their environmental and social practices as well. I am trying to move away from the big-box stores as much as possible and turn toward more local options. In terms of wardrobe, I find pants to be a big stumbling block. They tend to come from some of the areas with the most egregious practices. Obviously, I am not going to knit myself pants (it would be weird).  But, my sewing skills are not quite up to the task of making pants quite yet. But, it is something to begin aspiring to. 

In any case, watch the documentary, share, and discuss.