Hello, 2023. I'm ready for you.

When I first started this blog, the year was 2015. I was over a year out of my undergraduate degree, and about to embark on a one-year backpacking adventure. The future was looking bright. I used Wooly Ventures as a means to document my travels and worked on growing a steady stream of followers, using the magic of Pinterest. Over the course of 2016 and 2017, traffic to the blog grew - but it became harder and harder to maintain consistency in posting, after my travels had ended. I took a long break from Wooly Ventures, with only a handful of sporadic posts published from 2020 to 2022.

But although blogging slowed down,  knitting and sewing did not. Spring of 2020 marked the start of the pandamic. Like many makers, I sewed up some masks. I took up fishing for a short while. I moved from Vancouver to Calgary with a return to school. Personally, I didn't mind the requirement to stay at home. It suited my introverted personality just fine, and provided the priceless perk of being able to attend countless classes and meetings all while having a cat snoozing in my lap, and the occasional knitting project to get me through. I rediscovered the beautiful Canadian Rockies. And I ran - enough that I managed to complete my first ever virtual solo marathon in September (there are no plans for a second). I also learned to make sandals, thanks to a thoughtful gift from a family member (who received said sandals later that year).

2020 in a nutshell. Lots of knitting, with fishing and hiking in between.

Finished Objects (F.O.'s) of 2020 (most are shown above):

A look back at 2021

2021 felt like a repeat of 2020, with a tad more international travel and a tad less running. I bought a house with my significant other and attempted to learn German on Duolingo. I scattered seeds across my new garden bed and harvested beautiful golden beets in the fall. I visited family in Atlanta and attended the AGU conference in New Orleans. Overall, I knit less and I read a lot more.

Below photos are of a few 2021 highlights, along with a visit to the beautiful Quarter Stitch shop in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Finished Objects (F.O.'s) of 2021 (and a U.F.O scarf) shown above:

2022 was a whirlwind of work and travel

When 2022 rolled in, I decided to focus more on my studies and less on other things (knitting, sewing and blogging are all included in the latter). Although I like to think that this focus helped me achieve bigger and better things in the academic world, it also felt as if my life revolved solely around my research project. There was a lot of time spent sitting in front of a computer screen (and first attempts at sourdough bread) rather than going on adventures. The apple tree in our backyard produced a bounty of apples, most of which became apple butter. That said, 2022 was also the year of travel. Mexico, Australia, the U.S., Canada ... it felt like the amount of plane rides this year more than made up for the lack of them in 2020. I'm grateful for the travel - it allowed me to reconnect with family I hadn't seen in almost five years, hike through the Blue Mountains, take in sights such as the Australia Zoo and the Sydney Opera House and forge new connections at conferences. But the topic of travel (particularly by air) also brought on the uncomfortable feeling known as flygskam ('flight shame' in Swedish). I was (and still am) feeling some serious flygskam, prompting me to start purchasing carbon offsets and consider other ways I can reduce my footprint (more knitting, less stashing).

Highlights from Canada this year
Snapshots from Mexico
Beautiful Australia

Finished Objects (F.O.'s) of 2022 (shown above) included:

Which brings us to 2023.

While 2022 was a mix of work and international travel, 2023 promises to be even more so. I have two exciting research visits planned for the first half of 2023: the first in California and the second in a knitter's paradise (Norway).

Earlier this year I came across a quote. I don't remember the exact words (what irony), but it went something like this:

"The only thing you need to remember is that you will forget."

This is why I write. I know I can't trust my memory to recall very well, especially if I don't have something to help jog it along. Each time I go back and read earlier notes, blog posts, journal entries, I'm always struck with how little I remember from the past. Yet the simple act of looking at old photos and reading earlier entries reinforces these memories. What are we without our memories?

With this in mind, part of my resolution for 2023 is to document. I'm using a web application called 750 Words, which, if you've never tried it, is a fantastic writing tool. I also plan to read more books (you can follow me on Goodreads to see what I'm currently reading) and run more consistently. Not to mention take the time to go on spontaneous adventures and enjoy the simple pleasures in life, such as reading by the fire with a cat in my lap.

Wishing everyone a peaceful and harmonious 2023.