The online knitting community has a lot of traditions and events. Christmas Eve Cast On, FiberShare, countless knitalongs and makealongs, and the Make Nine Challenge are just a few. Even though these can be great ways to participate in the community as a whole, sometimes it can feel overwhelming.
Make Nine is a fantastic idea and if it’s your thing, by all means, embrace it and do it. I love seeing people’s grids and even thinking about what I might possibly put on mine if I were to create one. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Make Nine is a challenge inspired by the “Top 9” Instagram photo collages that people put up at the end of the year. I have one of those from 2019:
That, combined with people wanting to make all the things (I so understand) created this challenge where you make a grid of the nine things you want to make in the coming year. The project is run by the amazing Rochelle of Home Row Fiber Co and you can read more about it here. There’s even a super inspiring Instagram page and you can also check out the #MakeNine hashtag. It’s geared towards people who want to create their own handmade wardrobe, but I’ve seen it used for all kinds of creative projects.
Now that I’ve gone on about how awesome Make Nine is, I’m going to explain why I’m not going to do it. Shh, it’s a secret: I don’t really like these kinds of challenges. I like the idea of challenges. I like signing up for them and getting hyped about them but then I don’t actually like doing them. It took me a while to realize this, because I’d continue to sign up for various challenges (NaNoWriMo! Inktober!) and not finish them. It’s not that I’m not good at achieving goals, I am, but it’s different. It feels arbitrary, and since they’re my goals I can pivot when needed.
I like having the freedom to change my mind. I’m constantly updating my Ravelry Queue and completely ignoring it and casting on something different. I don’t find challenges motivating; I find them constraining.
Perhaps when I’m a good enough knitter that I can whip out nine garments in a year without breaking a sweat, I’ll reconsider. Because those boards are quite pretty.
If you’re doing Make Nine this year, or you’re not doing it, let me know your reasons in the comments!