#amreading goals Year in Review

Reading & Crafting in the midst of the Pandemic

Two of my earlier posts from 2020 focused on my love of reading and fiber arts. Since I had set goals for these two hobbies and we’re at the edge of 2020 ending, I figure this is a good time to reflect upon my progress from the year and see what I have in store for 2021.

Reading, Re-focused: Book Club Selections & Audiobooks

As soon as I had written up my goals in my blog post earlier this year, I forgot about them–I wish I had written down my reading goals in my OneNote to better track what I had intended to do, but oh well. I had only gotten around to reading one book off of my shelf, and then read/listened to mostly library books (and purchased a couple new books, too).

One of my co-workers had started up a book club, and since it had been awhile for me to participate in a book club, I was hungry for the community and getting to know more of my co-workers. I read two of the book club selections and enjoyed the discussions afterwards; in the summertime I took a break from the book club since I was feeling overwhelmed with my pregnancy.

I also had an unofficial “mini book club” with my mentor, where we read through Amy Jen Su’s “The Leader You Want to Be” together. We worked through all the exercises together and finally wrapped up discussing the book and its effect on our outlook right before my maternity leave.

During the second trimester of my pregnancy, my brain was craving somewhat easy reads/listens, so I checked out a couple of audiobooks from the library (Sunrise on Half Moon Bay and “Big Magic”) . However, in my third trimester and postpartum period, I have laid low on book consumption due to coping with the huge life change.

Over the summer, I signed up as a member of via Tattered Cover and have accumulated a few audiobooks that way. My most recent (physical) book purchases are Barack Obama’s “A Promised Land” and Shellye Archambeau’s “Unapologetically Ambitious”. I hope in 2021 I will actually read the two books since they’re quite hefty yet certainly full of inspiration.

Overall, I consumed eleven books throughout the year, which is fewer than what I consumed in 2019. However, as we all know, 2020 has been an unusual year both for the world and for myself. Hopefully once I get into a good rhythm with my new normal as a parent, I will find time to read/listen to books again.

Knit, Crochet, Sew: Baby on the Way!

Shawl in blue and white patterns
Section 4 of the Metamorphose Shawl completed (right before going to the hospital and giving birth).

Meanwhile, on the crafting front, I actually ended up making more projects than I had expected: baby projects go relatively fast compared to other types of projects. I even dusted off my sewing machine and made face masks for Ryan and me, plus a few items for our baby.

I accomplished a few crafting goals along the way:

  • Use laceweight yarn – I finally took the plunge and started crocheting my friend Dorian’s Metamorphose Shawl, which requires two skeins of laceweight yarn. I don’t know why it took me three years to finally try laceweight yarn–it is thicker than crochet thread, and only slightly thinner than fingering/sock weight yarn. I’m nearly finished with the shawl (I’m crocheting the final section), and will need to wash/block it before I add the edging.
  • Self-striping socks with afterthought heel – I had always been fascinated by the concept of self-striping yarn, and participated in a KAL (knitalong) in late summer to work on a pair of striped socks for myself. The pattern required an afterthought heel, too, which I luckily had little issue with executing (picking up stitches, oh my!). I’m happy with how my socks turned out!
  • Amigurumi – I hadn’t originally set out to crochet amigurumi this year, but once I learned of my pregnancy, I wanted to make a couple amigurumi for my son. I didn’t know that amigurumi was both super simple yet also fiddly: just single crochet stitches, but a lot of small pieces to sew together. Ryan bought my a Star Wars amigurumi kit, so I will be crocheting more amigurumi next year.
Socks in gradient stripes
Self-striping socks for myself

In terms of my statement of crocheting/knitting projects more for myself this year: I was mostly successful with this! Currently two out of three works-in-progress are for myself, so that’s an improvement from previous years. Also, even though I was not challenging myself to finish a certain number of projects, I still managed to complete 28 projects.

Reading/Crafting in 2021

My goals for 2021 will stay mostly the same, with a focus on skill-building in crochet/knit projects and reading what’s on my shelves (both physical and digital). I also plan on doing some stashbusting/one-skein projects to help reduce my yarn stash (you should see how much yarn I have…better yet, let’s not look at the three bins!).

On a related note, I did some calculations based on my average project completion rate from the past several years, took into account the number of queued projects I currently have plans for, and realize I have at least five years worth of projects to work through–eek! So yes, I should keep myself well occupied with projects these next five years.