2020 Reflections – agirlandherwool

Well, it’s January 2021. It’s crazy to say it that’s for sure. I hope you all had fun ringing in the new year and setting yourselves up for a new year. Last year, I wrote a post reflecting on 2019 and setting goals for 2020. You can read it here. In this post, I plan to recap my 2020 and then touch on any goals I had set last year. Next week, there will be a post with my 2021 goals.

2020 Project Recap

In 2020, I finished 23 projects. This probably doesn’t sound like a lot to some of you, but I’ve been in the 20-30 range for the past few years. I don’t knit toys or wash cloths and so I tend to have bigger projects. I will say the 23 is actually higher than it should be because I do have a couple of preemie hats in there so… projects can’t be much smaller than that. It’s all the same and the number doesn’t matter, but for me, this feels like quite the accomplishment. I had a busy year and knitting has fallen off the radar and so I am happy to have hit 23 projects. My goal was 25 projects, but I knew that could be a bit of a stretch. More on that later.

22 Knitting projects and 1 Crochet project
This is new to me because this was my first crochet project. I really did enjoy that process and want to crochet more, but I always turn to knitting.

Here is a link to Ravelry with my project pages.

7 Pairs of Socks
This is low for me. I usually knit way more socks, but after 2019, I was a bit socked out. In the end, 6 is not surprising. I didn’t necessarily intend to knit any at all, but I always seemed to have a pair on the needles. One pair was tube socks for my niece and those went really quickly.

2 Sweaters for me
I finished my Altheda sweater and the Pavement sweater and so far this winter, these have been my go to wears. The Altheda sweater came out big, but for the first time ever, I’ve been using it as a throw on sweatshirt type of thing around the house. It is so comfortable and not too warm and I have been living in it. So much so that I’ve gotten the comment “weren’t you wearing that yesterday…?” My Pavement sweater is also comfortable, but a little nicer. I would definitely wear this one back to work when that day inevitably comes. I love the yarn (Once Upon a Corgi on the tweed base) as well as the style.

5 Shawls/Wraps
Again, not surprising. I do love knitting shawls. 3 used my yarn for shop samples and two were fun projects for me. I’ll talk about this a bit later, but the Drachenfels shawl achieved a big goal for me this year. I also crocheted my first project, which is my Rainbow Showers wrap with Manos del Uruguary minis. I love this wrap as well. The samples for the shop are: Neon Bricks (my first Stephen West shawl), the Mimeograph Scarf (collaboration with Pam Grushkin) and the Time Trades shawl using my Rose Gold collection, which was a mega hit. A good assortment of projects there.

3 Hats
I knit 3 hats this year, 2 of which were samples. The non-sample is the Sam’s Hat with yarn from Tidal Yarns. I definitely recommend checking these kits out. I love the yarn and the pattern. I will be wearing this! The two hats for shop samples were the 103 hat by BostonJen with my Graffiti colorway on the DK base as well as the Kentia Hat by Ambah O’Brien on my Silk DK base.

1 Cowl
Cowls are definitely underrated in the knitting community or maybe it’s just me. They are so great to tuck under a jacket for warmth without creating all of the excess wrapping round and round and your hair gets stuck and then it’s choking you… Is it just me? I knit the Escarpment cowl with yarn that I bought from my local yarn shop. It was a fun quick project and with the yarn being made with cotton, it’ll be a great spring/fall wear (when I leave my house).

5 “Other” projects
The remaining projects were scrap projects to use up leftover yarn, which I’ll touch on it a bit. I also did some other miscellaneous shop samples.

2020 Other Goals Recap

  1. Knit more for charity
    This definitely started off strong in the new year, but when my knitting time became more devoted to shop samples, I fell off the wagon. I had the ambition of going through leftover yarns and knitting them into charity items. I still love this idea and intend to continue doing this. I just need to prioritize a knitting day to it. I won’t call this a fail because I did knit a few items for charity and for a first year, it’s a great first step.
  2. Continue spinning 3x per week and maybe more.
    I’m definitely not in this habit now, but I did finish my first ever handspun project this year and so this is a win. Again, there was a time when I was spinning more than 3x per week and devoting 15 minutes to it was such a great thing. I just again, knock that off the list when things get busy. I do want to get more fiber on the wheel though, of course!
  3. Knit through my untouched yarn in my stash.
    This didn’t happen completely, but I also would call this somewhat of a success. The Drachenfels shawl was knit with yarn that I’ve had in my stash since 2016, I believe. Those skeins are basically all used up at this point and so that was one of the projects I had in mind and I accomplished it. I also knit the Honey Bee Dance Socks out of yarn that was gifted to me in… 2014? 2015? One of those. Definitely was happy to use that up. I also knit the Sam’s Hat, Fish are Friends not Food socks, Altheda sweater and Gingerbread House socks out of stash, which yarn purchased in 2019 and prior. The charity items were with yarns from 2015ish? Definitely a success even though I still have a few skeins left in stash.

2020 agirlandherwool Recap

Man oh man, quite the year for agirlandherwool. THANK YOU EVERYONE READING THIS. Whether you read my blog, watch my channel, follow me on Instagram, shop in my store, or just chat with me about knitting and yarn, thank you. I’ll touch on my overall theme for 2020 at the end, but you all are amazing and I appreciate all of the support in all of the ways.

  1. Continue to work on the shop and introduce new colors
    Definitely hit this. I was able to bring in new colors throughout the seasons as well as new gradient sets. I also introduced clubs, which have been a big change in my shop and I love creating the clubs each month. More always coming soon! I also set up my dye studio, which has allowed more time for me to dye. I also launched my shop here at agirlandherwool.com!
  2. In person shows
    Well, it’s the first mention of the pandemic here. I set myself the goal of vending in person. While a scary thought and a “I don’t even know how to do that” type of mindset, I knew that I needed to get my yarn out there and people needed to see it in person. I sent a bunch of applications out and was so excited when I was invited to vend at two festivals in September. When the pandemic hit and it came to be that they weren’t going to happen, I was relieved that I was offered acceptance for 2021. I knew I was “in the club” now as in general, returning vendors get first pick at vending openings. So, I didn’t vend this year in person, BUT, I put myself out there and if festivals happen in fall 2021, I hope to see you there!

2020 Overall Theme

My overall theme for 2020 was to connect more with the knitting community. I wanted to participate more in my lys, A Knit Sheep’s, Sunday sit and stitch sessions. I wanted to reach out to the community more and get to know people. I have to say, this was my biggest success this year. I think that a lot of us turned to the internet community during the pandemic and I’m so glad I didn’t shy away from it.

As a way to further my ability connect with my community, I started my YouTube channel. I’ve loved the conversations we’ve had, sharing my love of yarn, dyeing, crafting and my kitties with all of you. There are certainly plenty of internet friends I have now that I didn’t have at the beginning of the year.

I have been a more active participant in the sit and stitches, which is fun too. It’s so nice to connect and root for each other with our projects and during the pandemic.

I also did collaborations this year!!! I collaborated with Ambah O’Brien for the advent season. Didn’t see that on my 2020 goals list? Yeah, didn’t dream big enough there Lauren. I was so honored to work with such an amazing designer and it led me to meeting even more of you. I also collaborated with Pam Grushkin on the Mimeograph Scarf, which is a great pattern for gradients. I sponsored the Splash Pad party and the still-going Pigskin Party with BostonJen. I was interviewed with Ambah and Jana on the Purl Together podcast. I just am in awe of the year I had from a collaboration perspective.

All in all, I’ve met and chatted with so many of you and so I definitely am so proud that I hit my goal of connecting with the community more. I’m a naturally shy and anti-social person and I have to talk myself into these things. I can’t really explain my ability to put myself out there for the business, but it makes it easier. The things I’ve done for the business are things I never would have done otherwise. Thank you all for the support.

Check back soon for my 2021 goals. I’d love to hear your reflections either here or on my recent instagram post.

Check out me chatting about these topics on my channel here…

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