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Knitters share their 2014 New Years resolutions

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The new year is the most common time to look back, reflect on past mistakes or opportunities, and try to improve upon a year whether it was truly great or truly awful. The resolutions range from great to small, and yarn crafters are not immune to examining their hobby and trying to adjust their outlook for the new year. When asked, some Chicago knitters were downright candid when it came to answering the question, "What are your knitting New Years resolutions?"

Knitters, a generally social group by nature, share their resolutions with each other in many different ways. Conversation in the knitting group inspires others to improve upon their own knitting or organization, but in the age of social media, some knitters share their resolutions in public forums such as on their facebook page or in their Ravelry group. Every year, the Chicago Knitters Unite group on Ravelry.com starts a forum thread dedicating to following up on previous resolutions and declaring the coming year's goals as well. While the group is limited to only crafters who have an account with Ravelry (new members can sign up here for free), members of Ravelry can peruse the group and get inspired for their own resolutions.

Socks are always a knitted object that creep into a knitter's New Years resolution. Becky from Des Plaines shares that she wants to try socks in the coming year, and Mariola from Des Plaines wants to finish the three pairs of socks she currently has on the needles. Galewood resident Karen Stelling, however, feels differently. She took a beginning sock class during 2013 and states, "I resolve to not only work on but complete three projects, switching up as the spirit moves me. But no socks!"

Stash organization and reconfiguration is also a popular resolution at the beginning of the year. Knitters tend to engage in a smaller version of spring cleaning with their yarn and needles. Chicagoan Karen Boykin would like to write more patterns for both knitting and crochet in the coming year, and she would also like to resume knitting socks. "Too much yarn!" she says. A knitter who identifies herself as Vocabulous on Ravelry wants to continue "stashing down," or using previously-purchased yarn to make items instead of buying new yarn. Another Ravelry user, who identifies herself as JoyofSaturn, wants to inventory her yarn stash and her needles.

Stashing down is not just for un-knitted yarn. Meghan Rock, an illustrator and knitting instructor from Oak Park, states that she wants to "re-home sweaters I don't have room for and don't wear." Sometimes, it is the process and not the finished project that matters, so knitters may accumulate more projects than they would ever need. Katie Jacob, a Chicago therapist, feels the same way. Her resolution? "To revel in, rather than feel guilty about, my stash. To enjoy the knit, rather than pressure through to the product."

Finally, knitters just want to generally reel it in. As a knitter, it is easy to start a project, enjoy it, and then start another one before finishing the previous one. Knitters all over Chicago have shared that finishing unfinished projects is at the top of their resolutions list. Mariola states, "My usual resolution is to finish SOME of the unfinished projects." Kori from Chicago wants to finish all of her lace "WIPs," or works in progress. A Ravelry user who identifies herself as drawclose wants to finish two projects before starting one project.

No matter what your resolution, know that as a knitter, you are not alone in either your addiction to yarn or your desire to learn something new. Happy New Year, and cast on anew.

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