To Learn List 2016

As some of you know, I love lists! And even my knitting and spinning cannot escape this desire to catalogue. So, each year, for the last few years, I have written an annual “To Learn” list. Yes, sometimes things on the list are tossed to the way-side; yes, the list is usually overly ambitious and sometimes downright ludicrous; yes, I add things to this list mid-year without a second thought. For all the planning and considering, I’m pretty chill when it comes to actually working with fiber.

My To Learn lists, themselves, have morphed and changed over time and, to be honest, this year’s list is more about making and less about learning–this is a bit of a shift for me, and maybe an indication that I am entering a new/different phase in the craft, at least for this year. But, I do not think this means I’m finished learning! Oh no! To me, it means I need to take some time to just *be* where I am–to spend some time practicing all of the new skills I have acquired in a flurry during the past year or two. Lists represent a moment in time–a little portrait of where we are and it’s super fun to look back at them and see oneself in the process of knowing.

So many of you have a similar practice of listing and to-do’ing, and I have been duly inspired by your posts about plans for 2016! Check out Knit Me For A Loop, The Gift of Knitting, and Traveling Sock Knitter as excellent examples.

If you are new to this practice or just want to try it out as an exercise, here is my quick and dirty guide to creating your own To Learn list:


  1. Take some time to *really think* about what you want. Consider what you have learned, things that need to be managed (stash!), and some of the realistic possibilities of time and space.
  2. Start fresh! Nothing has to be carried over. Past plans can come back into play . . . but they can also be abandoned. New year, new list.
  3. And finally, be realistic and fantastical all at the same time. Your list can serve as a practical motivator (whenever you have a slump, you can look back and find something to work on) AND as a mythic imaginary–a world in which you are a master of the craft and can tackle any challenge

In the spirit of lists-past and with an eye towards growing and changing and learning more, I present my 2016 To Learn list in all its promising glory:

  • Design and knit those hot pants for C (I have a swatch all ready . . . )
  • Continue the one year, one blanket tradition! This time, I think it’s with yarn from Feederbrook Farm; no pattern yet, but I will keep you (and me!) posted–maybe the Persian Dreams Blanket I have been dreaming about for 2+ years now–there is even a worsted version available!
  • Create a better pair of mittens–lined? thrummed? something that fits better and keeps the wind out . . .
  • Keep a pair of socks on the needles at all times
  • Knit one sweater from my stash (3-in-1; Flight; Epistrophe; I Heart Cardigans)
  • Knit another sweater from my Ravelry favorites (even if it means buying some luxurious yarn)
  • Knit a shawl I think I’ll love with Mithril from the Verdant Gryphon
  • Check out a yarn shop in every city I visit ( . . . if it has a yarn shop)
  • Spin at least 1/3 of the braids in my stash (whoa–that alone could take a while)
  • Card or otherwise process at least 1/3 of the washed fiber in my stash
  • Buy less yarn and fiber–remember, the sheep will grow more!

What’s on your list? Share a link or give us an update on your plans in the comments! Happy New Year to everyone and thanks for stopping by!

This entry was posted in inspiraton, journal, keeping track, learning, preparation, to-do, to-learn, tradition, tricks and tips. Bookmark the permalink.

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