An uncreative week

Unusually for me, this week I lost my crafty mojo. There’s a few things I could site as disrupting my energy flow, and I have taken note. But even when you know why, although I believe you can work on it, you can’t necessarily click your creativity switch straight back on. Continue reading “An uncreative week”

Feeling Woolly

Firstly, thank you to everyone who completed my yarn colour survey. Your answers were very helpful and I’ve acted on what I learned from some of them already.

Last week I was also talking about the goals I set for this year that I’m not keeping up with. Since then I’ve been keeping an eye on what I’m doing/not doing to achieve them and come to the conclusion I’m being far too woolly.

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No, not this sort of woolly.

Right now a lot of things – not just those goals – that aren’t happening, because I’ve so much to do. Everything’s tumbling around in my head in a big woolly mess and as a result I’m overwhelmed by just the thoughts about how much I need to do. To untangle the threads, I’ve made a Next Step list – listing just the next thing I have to do for everything, prioritising it then getting on with working through the list and not thinking about any of the following steps until I’ve completed the first.

Another place I’m being far too woolly is in designing sweaters.

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I’ve now designed two, but not written a pattern for them, because I scribble everything on scraps of paper as I go along. Even when I manage not to lose half the scraps or use a notebook, my writing’s so bad I can’t read half of what I’ve written.

In future I’m not going to allow myself to knit any part of a garment until I’ve typed up my notes on it and printed them out. That way, I’ll also be able to spot typos as I go along, rather than after the pattern is written – which is always harder.

I’m hoping these two things get me a bit more organised, but I’m wondering what else I could do. What do you do to regain focus when you’re feeling woolly?

Bekki Hill

Thirteen Creative Goals for 2016

Last week I wrote about exploring what I had learned last year as a starting point for identifying goals. Having had a good rummage around in the empty space between my ears I’ve come up with a few for 2016. I’ll be using the SMART formula to make sure I have the best chance of succeeding and I’m also making myself accountable for my creative goals by sharing them on my blog.  However, I’m not so vain to think that if I publically commit to knitting a dozen sets of fair isle leg warmers for Mr Hicks, everyone will remember or chase me up on it.

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Continue reading “Thirteen Creative Goals for 2016”

Week Two – Four weeks four challenges

Last week I started my Four Weeks Four Challenges by challenging myself to design and knit a lacy jumper. Progress so far is posted here.

For my second 4 x 4 challenge, I plan to knit a pair of socks in one weekend…

Bekki Hill 4 x 4 Challenge Sock Knitting

This weekend I’ll be travelling a lot, so lots of knitting time. I’m going to knit while I’m travelling and in any free moments I can squeeze in a few stitches. I’m hoping to complete knitting by midnight Sunday 10th May 2015.

Most times I’d be more bothered about whether I’m setting a realistic goal, but this really is just for fun.

It’s not too late to join in and set yourself a May challenge (or two) if you fancy.  Let me know if you do.

Onwards and upwards!

Bekki

Four weeks four challenges

The beginning of this year has been pretty full-on and I’ve not had a lot of time to work on the things I’ve wanted to. Life now appears (fingers crossed) to be giving me a breather, so, as it’s the start of a new month, I’ve decided to set myself four challenges during the month of May. If you’d like to join in that would be fabulous. Joining in however doesn’t mean you need to do four challenges in four weeks. You could do One Month One Challenge or One Week One Challenge or any number of challenges you choose. Four Weeks Four Challenges - Bekki Hill

Why am I doing this?

It’s impossible to set yourself a challenge without learning something new. I’ve just made that up BTW, but I’m sure I’m right, because if you didn’t learn anything, it wouldn’t be a challenge. The great thing about new learning is that it:

  • Improves or adds to our skills – obviously!
  • Exercises our brains and improves brain function.
  • Pushes us out of our comfort zone and in so doing increases confidence.
  • Increases our motivation to learn (and therefore achieve) more.

Setting a Challenge the way I plan to can also help me:

  • Gain greater learning from what I do.
  • Increase my motivation to complete the challenge
  • Keep going when I feel like giving up.
  • Address ‘failure’ more effectively.
  • Use what I’ve learned more successfully.
  • Gain a greater sense of achievement, which in turn increases confidence.

My Plan

On each of the first four Fridays in May I’m going to start a new challenge – but not necessarily finish it that week. A challenge can be anything you want to challenge yourself to do. My first challenge is designing and knitting a lace patterned jumper. I was inspired by this… Four weeks four challenges - Bekki Hill - Lacy Jumper Four weeks four challenges - Bekki Hill - lacy jumper close up To gain maximum benefit from the challenge, I need to check I’m chasing after something I want. My reasons for taking on the challenge are:

  • I would love to have a jumper like this.
  • I will learn new skills/techniques
  • I want to become better at designing jumpers
  • I love knitting.

For a challenge to be a challenge it needs to stretch our boundaries in some way, but if we are to achieve our goal we don’t want to aim so high it puts us off. This challenge stretches my boundaries because, although I have designed the odd jumper in the past, I’ve never designed a lacy one and never one anywhere near as complex as this – however, I’m quiet confident I can do this.  To focus myself I’ve made an action plan with start and finish dates:

  • Start this evening.
  • Work out and cast on the appropriate number of stitches for the back and begin the rib.
  • Whilst starting back, identify other stitches I want to use and make test swatches.
  • Knit in my free time and other time I can squeeze in knitting , such as on car journey’s.
  • Complete by 15th June 2015

King Cole Cotton Yarn As I made my plan, I also considered the possible pitfalls, so I could plan to avoid/deal with them. The pitfall I identified was that I may get distracted by the other challenges as I take them on. I will also lose time to them, so I set a six week deadline to finish this challenge, so I have plenty of time to do it. If you do join me in challenging yourself this monthlet me know how many challenges you’re taking on and what your  plan to work. If you blog about it, please link back to this post. Thanks! I’ll let you know my second challenge and how I’m getting on with this one next Friday. Bekki

Procrastination Boot Camp Revisited: Have you started working in your boot camp projects?

In Friday’s post I talked about motivation being created by projects asking small questions, about what we can accomplish as we work through them, and a big question of whether we can create what we set out to achieve. Over the weekend I considered the  list of unfinished projects I drew up for the procrastination boot camp, the challenges they posed and what questions they asked me.

Continue reading “Procrastination Boot Camp Revisited: Have you started working in your boot camp projects?”

Hunger Games, Great British Sewing Bee and your Creativity

What, I hear you ask, has Great British Sewing Bee got do with Hunger Games? And what have either of them got to do with my creativity?  Well, first things first,

What on earth has Great British Sewing Bee got in common with Hunger Games?

Continue reading “Hunger Games, Great British Sewing Bee and your Creativity”