Last December, I joined the NaKniSweMoDo group on Ravelry. The goal was simple: knit 12 adult-sized sweaters within a 12-month period.
At that time in my life, I was ready for a long-term challenge (especially one with a focus on the future!), and I like knitting sweaters. I was all in! I didn't think it would be too difficult to manage --- after all, I had knit 11 sweaters in 2008 - with no "official" challenge or group to join.
#2 Rib Warmer
But I was wrong. This was an incredibly difficult challenge for me. But not in the ways you might think. I clearly had the time to knit 12 sweaters .
It was more . . . a general grumpiness-about-sweaters kind of issue. Somehow, feeling like I had to knit sweaters. . . made me want to knit other things.
I realize this was entirely my own sense of obligation/expectation. I mean, there are no repurcussions if NaKniSweMoDo participants don't knit 12 sweaters. And there are no prizes or accolades if we do knit 12 sweaters. It's just a goal. A personal goal.
I could've let it go. And, in retrospect, I probably should have. I'd still have knit the sweaters. But I'd have been happier about sneaking in a hat here. . . or a pair of mittens there.
I think it all comes down to "free will." What I learned about myself is . . . I want to knit what I feel like knitting. Not what I feel like I have to knit.
As people close to me know. . . I really (really) don't like to be told what to do. ("You're not the boss of me!") I tend to fight authority. I think that came into play here with NaKniSweMoDo. Even though . . . it was ME telling ME what to do!
So. I won't be signing up for NaKniSweMoDo 2010! (If you're interested in giving this a try yourself, there is a 2010 group forming now on Ravelry.)
I'll still be knitting sweaters, though!
And I won't hesitate to sign up for interesting KALs. Like NaKniMitMo 2010 (knit a pair of mittens during the month of January). I like challenges and goals. I like deciding to do something -- with intention.
#11 Long Lucky
I just don't like the intention . . . when it feels like a chore.
#12 Ode to Picasso
This process has given me a couple of important insights. First, yet again, I have revealed my stubborn nature when it comes to setting personal goals. And second, I have discovered that I need my knitting to be more . . . free-flowing. And that's a good thing to know . . . about something that feeds your soul!
This process has also given me 12 pretty great sweaters! But, boy, am I ready to knit some hats!