Sunday, January 06, 2013

A Year of Small Indulgences

There is a flurry of New Year activity across the blogs.  Lots of people are starting 2013 by making a regular commitment:  to read a book a week, knit a pair of socks every month, take a photo every day - the list goes on.  I love projects like that!  I am a very goal-centred person and I like having milestones and project plans (...and Gantt Charts and Excel Spreadsheets - what a geek!)

Please ignore crumbs on the tablecloth... Cranberry Orange Loaf since you ask!

I was thinking about what I might want to do, and how it needs to fit in with my other goals: having less clutter, creating permanence.  It mustn't be a gimmick.  It has to be fun.  It has to serve a purpose.

Over the holidays, I went through my collection of Knit Now magazines and made of list of everything I wanted to knit.  It came to 54 patterns.  FIFTY FOUR patterns in 16 issues - that's amazing!  But realistically, I have no immediate use for that many cowls / mitts / socks / scarves / baby jumpers.  So I was thinking that what I could do is to start a stock-pile of hand-made gifts.  How many times a year am I caught out by birthdays / babies / Christmas?

And it has such great potential for stash-busting too!  I can indulge myself in knitting up all the pretty stuff that isn't necessarily "me" but is bound to suit someone sometime.  And as I work my way through the stash, I can reward myself.  So when I knit something altruistic, I am allowed a little treat :)

What sort of treats, Roo?

This is where it gets fun!  I am far too strict with myself and rarely indulge in "girly consumables" like make-up or flowers or funky stationery or posh tea or smelly candles.  My plan is to reward myself with something lovely every time I finish a gift for someone else.  This is a multiple-win scenario:  I get the pleasure of knitting the item, the satisfaction of completing a queued project, the joy of stash-busting, I save myself a future gift-gap panic AND I get a present for myself!  Just a little something that I will use, so it won't add to my burden of stuff.

It is very much in the spirit of Romancing the Ordinary, a book which has brought me such inspiration and comfort in the past, when life has felt difficult.  It's not about going crazy and buying all of the stuff, in a mad supermarket sweep of retail therapy, it is about caring for others and caring for myself at the same time. And I reckon we all need a bit of that.

My first Small Indulgence project is the Acorn Mitts.  I am 3/4 of the way through the second mitt.  Ooh!  Soon I can choose a prize!  What will it be?  A bar of hand-made soap?  A notebook?

This is fun!

15 comments:

Judith said...

Noooo, pick more wool as your treat! You know, the wool that you wouldn't normal purchase for yourself...
I am stuck knitting at the moment on a pair of fingerless gloves. I have whipped up to the thumb section and quickly lost the plot. Not just a lost acorn - lost the whole thumb!!! 4 needles, 1 ball of wool and no thumb - not the best way to start the New Year...

Clare said...

I love this idea! That's such a good plan! I might need to do something like this this year - I'm the opposite of you, I 'treat' myself too often, so perhaps this would limit my treats and mean I've actually deserved them.

Thanks for sharing such a great idea - hope you don't mind if I 'borrow' it and adapt it?

Lorna A said...

Fantastic idea. I'd love to make a resolution to blog and comment more. I can probably manage the comment bit, the blogging might be more difficult, my memory fails me these days.

.x.Helen.x. said...

I think having a stockpile of handmade gifts is a great idea. I have started doing something similar with my daughter and making her things which I know are too big or for a different time of year, because sometimes it is easier to just make it while the yarn and pattern is to hand and then put it away until its needed. This Christmas I made her a sparkly bolero from some leftover yarn. But I still have tons leftover! So I'm going to just make the next size up now and put it away until next year. If it goes back into the stash I will forget its there!

Sølvi said...

That is an excellent idea! I might borrow it from you, if you don´t mind. :-) And those acorn mitts are looking lovely!

MrsAlex said...

Great idea and frees you from the tyranny of "must do" which can really hang over some new year resolutions.

Karen S said...

Great idea. I have 3 nieces and 2 sisters. When Christmas ended, I thought I should really dip into the stash and knit scarves, cowls and hats throughout the year so I'd have gifts for next Christmas, but I hadn't thought about treating myself. I just may have to add that bit to keep me motivated.

indigorchid said...

Great idea! I'm cleaning out house, er, apartment too, which is in dire need since it's such a tiny little apartment. I hope your treats will be a driving force for you, and I can forsee that knitting what *you* find enjoyable and not on a deadline will make for some lovely times putting a dent in your stash!

Anonymous said...

And of course the knitting itself will be a treat (in most cases, anyway), so this is a lovely plan.
-- stashdragon

Scruffybadger said...

What a great idea. I've stockpiled 'gift ideas' that never come to pass due to too much inspiration and not enough planning. Just to avoid a Christmas making frenzy has to be worth some altruistic making during the year.....that to me would be my reward. Hmmm. Thank you for starting something !!

Vicki Kate said...

What a lovely idea! A stockpile of hand made gifts but no time pressures. I agree whole heatedly with Winnie

Mary inTN said...

What a great idea! Thank you for this inspiration. I'd like to have 2013 be the year I truly work on decluttering, finishing knitting WIPS, and becoming more organized in general. And I like the idea of the reward being something that does not end up defeating my efforts.

Marie said...

What a genius idea! It's the best mix of selfless and selfish, but without the selfish guilt! And what a great way to truly enjoy and appreciate each of your rewards!

LinB said...

I'd vote for the soap, my ownself. There's something so luxurious about it, so much better than ordinary soap. I tend to "reward" myself by allowing myself to check in on my favorite bloggers, so you've already been my treat today.

sarahp said...

It's hard when your passion is creating not to make superfluous items, everything needs to be used to be enjoyed right? Then again I was delighted to get a compost bin for Christmas...