Back near the beginning of this year, I wrote a post about my intentions to be more intentional in the area of hobbies. I talked about how I’m a dabbler, and that while there’s nothing wrong with dabbling, I thought it would be nice to devote some more focused time to a few hobbies, to dive a little deeper, to see if a hobby (or multiple hobbies) would become more of a passion — something in which I could excel.
So. How has it gone?
Very much like you might expect, if you remember that at heart, I am a dabbler.
I did choose a hobby for January and another one for February.
And I did devote more time to those hobbies than I might otherwise have done.
But…I did still feel restless, called to dip my toe into other hobby waters, discontent to stick with just one. I made progress, but not as much as I had hoped, perhaps.
January’s hobby was knitting.
The good news is, my husband got a scarf out of the whole deal, and he seems to like it very much. He wears it regularly and has told me on numerous occasions how glad he is that I made it for him. I know that if I hadn’t been very deliberate about setting aside time to knit, the scarf would never have been finished. It would still be “in progress,” and most likely sitting — in its unfinished state — next to my favorite seat on the couch.
I also made a hat for C.(13). While he thanked me and seemed pleased, I know it’s not a great hat. It was a rather plain hat (since I have rather plain skills when it comes to knitting). And my fitting and finishing abilities are greatly lacking, so it’s a little big and not the most sturdy of items.
Finally, I began a baby hat that promised to teach me a variety of knitting skills since it contains multiple panels, all done in different stitches
Notice I said I “began” a baby hat. It is unfinished. What can I say? January ended and I was on to the next hobby. I do still plan to finish the hat, but I’m not making any promises as to when.
Things I learned during my month of knitting:
- Knitting can be a relaxing way to spend an evening. It gets me off my laptop and is a nice way to pass the time if I’m hanging out with someone who is watching TV.
- I have no desire to knit large items. Afghans? No thanks. Sweaters? Nope. Any knitting I do will most likely remain small-scale: hats, scarves, etc.
- I do not have a deep and abiding desire to master knitting. It’s true. While I enjoyed the process and the results, I didn’t approach my knitting with zeal or excitement. I think it will remain, for me, a nice pastime, something I’m glad to know how to do, but not something I truly love.
On to February…
February’s hobby was bread-baking.
I do not have a bread machine at this time, so I divided the month between using the method from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and making sourdough bread from a starter I purchased from King Arthur Flour. The results of both approaches were yummy and satisfying. I’m growing more confident in baking with yeast (something I feared for many years), and my guys were always excited when another freshly-made loaf came out of the oven.
Unfortunately, I like bread. A lot. And a fresh loaf is practically irresistible to me. I want nothing more than to slice it and slather it with butter. All of it. Which, as you might imagine, would not be the healthiest choice I could make. So admittedly, as the month went on, the frequency of my bread-making lagged a bit. But only because I was trying to make wiser food choices…and sometimes that required me to not make bread.
Things I learned from my month of bread-baking:
- I genuinely enjoy baking. I knew this before, but this month of extra baking just reinforced it. I definitely get more fulfillment from a loaf of bread than from a knitted baby hat. Don’t ask me why; I just do.
- Baking with yeast isn’t so bad. Yeast doughs can be a bit temperamental, but if I don’t get hung up on precise times and volumes and doubling and so on, and just work with the dough a bit more…I can still get very good results.
- I think my guys prefer bread to knitted products as well.
March is just around the corner. So what is next for me?
It’s an aspect of the hobby I kept dabbling in during January and February (while I was supposed to be focused on knitting and baking): Photography. I haven’t been able to put my camera down. One reason is because I’ve committed to doing a “picture a day” scrapbook again this year. But another reason is that I really do want to improve my photography skills. It’s something that interests me, appeals to my detail-oriented nature, and allows me to better capture life with my favorite people.
I’ve already taken an online class in basic photography, so in March, I’m going to explore “post processing” a bit. In other words, I’m going to learn more about how to use Photoshop to enhance the color, white balance, contrast, etc. in the photos I take. I must admit, I’m rather excited.
Maybe this hobby — the one that’s been calling to me so far this year — will be the one I settle in with and stay with for a while. We’ll see.