Begin at the beginning. When you can.

View of the tops of clouds over a green mountain top[the view from the top of La Palma]

Starting at the very beginning is, in general, a very good place to start. I’ve always been a fan of New Years Resolutions for myself, and enjoy the process of starting something new. The best thing about New Year is that you get a run up at it, which is also something I’m a fan of. There’s time to figure out what new thing you want to do, and play around with the idea for a while, before actually launching into it.

Works in theory.

In practice, over the last few years, my New Year has begun later and later. This year, I’ve decided on February. That’s from a combination of factors, the most prominent of which was a stressful work time in 2019. Things settled down in the last quarter, but all that did was give me time to be tired, right as my SAD kicked in. Christmas was busy, and all the thinking and planning I was sure I was going to do on holiday in the first week of the year didn’t quite happen. On the plus side, there was quite a lot of sitting and sleeping, which probably did me more good.

All of which is to say, I’m officially starting my 2020 in February. I’m only a month late, right?

In the run up to that, I’ve been thinking about what I actually want my plans to be, which is the pre-planning stage. That comes before the planning stage, and is followed by the post-planning stage. It’s possible I’m more fond of planning than projects, but that’s another blog post.

For this year, one of my goals is to Make More. I have a tremendous craft stash, of fabric, yarn, beads and sundry supplies, and it’s about time I got around to using it. Getting my making-space put together properly will be part of that, and I’ll update you on it as we get it finished. That will make sewing much easier, but for the crochet, I’ve already begun.

Four unfinished crochet shawls in greys and pinks on a table, along with a finished pair of brown mittens.

Why take one project on holiday when your case has room for five?

Both my pattern and yarn stash are a little overwhelming, if I’m honest, and it was difficult to choose where to start. The first decision (this is the pre-planning), was to limit my choices, and the obvious way to do that was by designer. I’ve long been a fan of the work of The Crochet Project, and I own most of their patterns. Given how prolific they are, that’s a lot of crochet! Matching them to my stash, I took five projects with me on holiday, to go with the one I’d already started. The goal was to get each of them to the point where they could be a travel project, rather than a ‘sit down and examine the pattern’ project. I accidentally over-achieved on that front, finishing the mittens in just a couple of days.

Rather than go through everything in detail now, I have a plan for the year. Each week, or fortnight, or month (to be decided in the planning stage), I’m going to talk about a pattern from Jo and Kat that I’ve made, and one that I have in progress. I’ll talk about why The Crochet Project, what the pattern is like to make, and some random odds and ends that have been in my mind for a while, like my favourite crochet stitch and making yarn substitutions. The idea of this isn’t to present some kind of critical study, but a gentle guide. If I struggled with something, I’ll say, but if I have problems, I’ll contact The Crochet Project directly. This is going to be about the stuff I love, and why I think you might love it too.

From above, a crescent-shaped shawl is on a circular table, still connected to seven balls of yarn which sit inside the curve.

I’m working on my arty project pictures.

I’ve already finished enough patterns from The Crochet Project to talk about at least one every month for the next year, and hopefully I’ll have double that number by the end of the year. Or maybe 50% more. Or only one. The idea isn’t to race through everything. The idea is to delve a bit more deeply into why and how I choose things to make, and stitch my way through my stash. I’ll be updating on Instagram as well, with the hashtag #thecrochetprojectproject, and I’ll try to create an index of posts here to bring everything together.

Oh look. Something else that I need to plan. It’s going to be a busy year!