10 Ways to Use a “Word of the Year” in Knitting and Crochet

Many people choose, instead of making resolutions, to select a “word of the year.” The idea is that you choose one word that expresses an overarching theme that you would like to focus on for the year. Love, family, energy, health, growth, coziness, connection, community, peace … these are just a few of the big themes that people choose each year. Ideally, throughout the next twelve months, you keep coming back to that word of the year to help guide you in making decisions, moving forward, and centering yourself.

Knitting and Crochet Using Your Word of the Year

Knitting and crochet can play a surprisingly huge part in elevating your word of the year to a prominent place in your life. If you’ve ever had difficulty keeping resolutions or continuing to focus on your chosen word for the entire year, yarn crafting can help. You might also turn to knitting and crochet to find the word that you want to focus on. So much of what we do with yarn turns out to be a microcosm for the larger picture of our lives. So, here are ten ways to choose and use a word of the year with knitting and crochet to help.

1. Use Yarn Words as Your Word of the Year

There are so many different words to choose from that it can be challenging to figure out the theme for your year. As you look to the new year, narrow down your options by focusing on words that come directly from your craft. Here are just a few popular words related to knitting and crochet that might work well for you:

BullionCableCast OnChain
LaceLay flatLoopMotif
PopcornPull throughPurlRipple
WeaveWork in progressWorstedYarn

When choosing your word, don’t just think about the craft itself. Choose a word that reflects your goals and priorities for the year. Cluster, for example, is not just a type of stitch but also might relate to clustering together in a close group of people or organizing your space into clusters of like objects. Think broad as well as deep.

Another approach is to think about what your craft means to you. Then choose a related word: cozy, fulfilling, creative, inspired, family, income, hobby, warm … to name a few examples.

2. Knit or Crochet the Word to Display

The first project you can do in the new year is to knit or crochet your chosen word. Then you can display it in your crafting space. Alternatively, craft it onto a blanket or garment that you can drape around yourself as you craft, always reminding you of the intention for the year.

Here are some ways to knit or crochet letters and words:

  • Knit letters using stockinette stitch and a stitch placement chart
  • Use filet crochet charts to spell out your word
  • Knit or crochet individual letters as appliqués to add to fabric
  • Embroider your word onto a knit or crochet swatch

3. Come Up With an Affirmation

Use your word of the year to come up with an affirmation. You may choose one for the entire year. Alternatively, you may choose a new one each month or each quarter of the new year. Affirmations are simple statements that remind you of the focus you set for the year. A few examples using some of the yarn-related words above:

  • Mistakes are no big deal; I can always frog and begin again.
  • Everything I make is a form of self-expression.
  • With each loop or stitch, I add to my life.
  • Each increase adds richness to my life.
  • It’s okay to decrease for the right fit in life.

As you can see, these messages aren’t just for yarn crafting; they can encapsulate other areas of your life as well. If you’re not sure how to use affirmations in crafting, this article on prayer shawl crafting and intentionality with yarn will give you a good start.

knit or crochet word of the year

4. Choose and Use a Set of Related Patterns

Use your word to find patterns for items that you’ll knit or crochet during the year.

Did you choose the word “single?” Then find patterns that highlight the beauty of single crochet. Maybe you chose the word for the double meaning that you are embracing being single this year; explore all of the variations of single crochet (back loop only, front loop only, extended) and think about all of the different things it means for you to be single.

Did you choose “graph”? Learn to read new graphs and symbol charts, work from them, perhaps even design your own. Think about what it means to graph your own way in life.

5. Highlight The Word in Every Pattern

Print out the patterns that you use in the new year (or use a highlighting tool on digital patterns). Before beginning your project, highlight each time that the word is used in the pattern. It may only be once or it may be in every row.

This draws your attention to the word and reminds you to bring your focus back to it. This will infuse the rest of your life. Before you know it, you’ll catch yourself thinking about all of the ways that “knot” or “stitch” or “color” or “ends” show up in the world around you.

6. Create Your Own Hashtag

Use your word to create an original hashtag. Then find ways to use this liberally throughout your social media posts, particularly when sharing your knitting and crochet. Examples:

  • #katiepullsthrough
  • #askeininthehand
  • #freeformcrafter2022
  • #sashasincreasesanddecreases

If you create one, let us know so that we can follow it! And make sure that you follow #marlybird #marlymademedoit #mmmdi and #bicraftybootcamp!

knit or crochet word of the year inspiration

7. Find and Accept the Challenge in the Word

Your word is an opportunity for growth. Figure out ways to challenge yourself in knitting and crochet using it. For example, if your word is “weave” then you might learn how to weave, find ways to incorporate weaving into your knitting / crochet, or (gasp) work on embracing the process of weaving in ends. Work with the word instead of against it to challenge yourself towards growth. Yarn is a safe space for that kind of challenge, but the effects will emerge in other areas of your life as well.

8. Your Word of The Year Can Guide Growth

Figure out ways to grow in your craft using the word of the year that you’ve chosen. For example, if you chose “lace” then you might spend the entire year learning new lace techniques. Likewise, “motif” could inspire you to knit or crochet one motif each day, learning new techniques along the way. How can you grow in your craft using the word of the year? How can you allow that to both stimulate and signify growth in other areas of life.

9. Use a Variation of the Word for Your Yarn-Related Passwords

For example, change your Ravelry password to a version of the word of the year. Don’t auto-save it on your devices; instead, enter it each time as a reminder of your focus. Do be careful with this one, though; if you’re sharing your word of the year publicly then make sure you add extra letters and numbers that will secure it against hacking.

10. Craft With Others and Discuss Your Word of The Year

Whether you do this in person or through an online craft group, knitting and crochet together is so powerful. Join CALs and KALs. Knit or crochet in public. And when you have the opportunity, talk about your chosen word of the year. Talk about how it relates to the craft. Moreover, discuss how it relates to the rest of your life. Make the word prominent in your life all year long.

Not every word lends itself as easily as others to these challenges and approaches. However, with some creativity and ingenuity, you can make the most of the word of the year through knitting and crochet. SHARE WITH US: What’s your word of the year?

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Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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