Here's to a Well Spun 2020

At this time of the year, many of us try to set our intentions for the next few months, and year. Some set resolutions, other make goal/achievement lists, and some simply reflect back and try to use that reflection to move forward into the new year. Generally, I don't put much thought into "Resolutions" but due to the timing - new calendar, new paperwork year, etc., I do tend to look ahead, make some plans, and set some goals.

I end up with two sets of fiber related goals each year - personal and shop related. Often the two are intertwined, pun intended, because let's face it, most of my projects are for shop samples, class, to learn a new technique, to show off a new yarn, or to work the newest popular pattern.

I use Ravelry's annual Project Challenge to help keep me motivated. You can set your own goal, and Ravelry tracks your progress when you mark a project as completed. This is the third year I'll be using this feature. I've come close, but have yet to reach my goal, and that's OK. To set your goal, find the Challenge tab on the menu bar in the upper right of your Project Page. Don't worry about setting it to high or to low, you can always go back and change the number.

I set my goal lower this year, due to my ongoing issues with tendinitis. Part of this goal, for me, also includes using Ravelry to make more notes about each of my projects as well as documenting more of them. I already use a paper notebook, and will continue to do so because I'm better at grabbing a pen/pencil and scribbling a note than opening and app and typing. However, being the shop owner, I feel I need a better presence on Ravelry, and that includes documentation of my projects.

Even if you don't use Ravelry, setting a goal based on the number of projects is a fun way to keep track of your progress. As I mentioned, I still use a notebook to track my projects, that always works. Some people use spreadsheets or other online documentation. Use what ever works for you. You just might amaze yourself when you look back and count your projects at the end of the year.

I'd also like to finish all my current WIPs - a few are older than I'd care to admit. This is the hard part of my personal goals - finishing my current WIPs. As new classes start up, patterns are released, techniques or stitches are learned, and patterns run through my head, I tend to start new projects, and then the older ones languish. Again, I'm hoping that by using Ravelry to track my progress on these projects, next January when I'm looking at my WIPs and setting goals, the WIPs on that list won't be the same ones on my current list.

Finishing my WIPs can also be a challenge for me, due to the nature of many of them - they require uninterrupted time; meaning I can't work on them at the shop. Like many of you, my free time is limited, and many of my WIPs require me to pay close attention, so they're progress is slow because I simply don't get blocks of time to work on intricate cables or lace - even though I enjoy doing it. Currently two of my older WIPs are a cabled sweater and a lace wrap. I will be over the moon if I manage to finish them this year.

As for the shop, well, 2020 marks our 10th anniversary, so over the next few weeks we'll be focusing on 10 years of creativity at Darn Yarn! February's going to be a busy month at Darn Yarn. Prizes. Parties. Spin-ins. Sales. We'll give you more information as we get closer to the celebration. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for some fun updates, flashbacks, and Darn Yarn trivia.

Also, we'd like to get back to focusing on American made items. We've let that slide a bit lately, and there are so many great lines out there, by companies we already carry, and ones we don't yet, that we want to try and do our best to stock our shelves with more American made items. I'm not yet sure what that's going to look like over time, but in the next few weeks look for more items from some of your favorite companies as well as a few new offerings - like February's yarn of the month from Teresa Ruch Designs.

We'd like to find ways to continue growing our fiber community as well. So again this year, we'll be collecting blue hats for the #hatnothate project. This is an anti-bullying campaign. It's pretty simple, make a blue hat, drop it off at Darn Yarn, and we'll get it to the organizers for distribution in 2019. See this previous blog for more info.

We've also added two new groups to our schedule; Newbie Night for new stitchers on the first Tuesday of the month, and Cricket Club, a group for weavers, on the fourth Sunday of the month.

Newbie Night is not a class, but a group for those who already know how to knit or crochet but are still learning, as well as those who are unsure of what attending a knit/crochet group looks like. We'll help figure out patterns, sort out what you think you're doing/did wrong, get you started on your next project, and answer any questions you may have.

Newbie Night is also a great place for more experienced stitchers who might be hesitant about joining a group - for any reason - to get comfortable with the idea of a stitching group. Like Planet Fitness, all our groups are judgement free zones, but we know that sometimes the act of simply joining a new group can be daunting, so this one is just for people new to stitching or unfamiliar with the group atmosphere.

Cricket Club is a group just for weavers! We'll meet at the same time as our monthly spinner's group - fourth Sunday from 1 pm - 5 pm. We had a Cricket Club a few years ago, but had to cancel it due to scheduling issues. When thinking about how to put it back on the schedule, we had an "Aha!" moment when we realized we could simply double it up with our monthly spin-in. After all, spinning an weaving go together like traffic and weather or peanut butter and jelly.

Like our Spin-ins, this isn't a class, but you don't need to be an expert, do anything fancy, or even know all the right terminology. Beginners are welcome to attend. Simply bring your portable loom and weave a few rows in the company of other fiber lovers. Even though it's not a class, fiber crafters tend to learn much from one another in a group settings, making groups like Cricket Club and Newbie Night a great place to learn a few tricks, tips, or get inspired.

So, whether you rang in this new decade loudly with thousands of your closest friends, quietly at home binge watching your favorite show, or doing something in between, we hope your fiber goals include visits to Darn Yarn because we love being a part of our fiber filled life.

Here's to a well spun 2020!

Keep on stitchin'.

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