Sigma 21 … well not exactly …

let me explain …

Last year was a low production year for me in terms of knit and crochet. I didn’t do any of it at all in 2020. Outside of COVID, there were some personal things I had to deal with which left me with no energy for anything except spinning. As 2020 ended, I found myself being able to think about crafting again, planning projects other than spinning ones so I registered for the Sigma 21 project challenge in one of my favourite Ravelry groups. I like that you can set your own goals — fibery and non fibery. I also like that there’s a longer timeline to complete your projects so the pressure is less than with some other project challenges.

The challenge itself is a play on the sigma mathematical concept (sigma 5 means 1+2+3+4+5) so for the challenge, the setup is:

  • 1 of item a
  • 2 of item b
  • 3 of item c
  • 4 of item d

This challenge has gone on for more than a few years so rather than do Sigma 21, the group moderators circled back to 11 this year. Sigma 21, can you imagine trying to get through that in a year?!!!!! πŸ˜€

I’ve also started blogging again, documenting my makes here as opposed to on Instagram (if you’re interested, you can read why here) and thought my Sigma 21 project list would be perfect for my bloggy adventures with the Year of Projects blogging crafters group also on Ravelry. I joined the YOP challenge late so I appreciate that the group has two versions of the challenge running — one that’s on a calendar timeline, the second — a July 1st to June 30th of the following year timeline.

My Sigma 21 (but really 11) list is below:

  • 1 — crochet blanket/throw — In Progress
  • 2 — read at least 2 non-crafty books per month (25 as the minimum yearly goal) 2/25
  • 3 — pairs of knitted socks
  • 4 — knitted adult garments for me
  • 5 — new techniques — intarsia, brioche, steeking, short rows, yarn embroidery
  • 6 — destashed items per quarter (25 as the minimum yearly goal)
  • 7 — weeks to organise paper clutter (end date 2.28.2021)
  • 8 — new recipes
  • 9 — completed Craftsy classes
  • 10 — create at least 10 created by me rolag packs for spinning
  • 11 — (x2) handmade gifts for my Hope Holders


  • Spin 21 skeins of yarn — minis or full skeins 12/21 already completed here so I’m increasing this to 30 handspun skeins for 2021
  • Sign up for Moderate Merino but work towards 12 months of cold-sheeping
  • Learn to use my rigid heddle loom and make at least 6 items
  • Knit/crochet exclusively from library patterns.
  • Create container garden for balcony
  • Add all stray yarn and fiber to Ravelry db (Completed)
  • Create non Rav Excel sheet of all spindles

I love lists — I like making them, I like working through them but life sometimes gets in the way of my crafty lists. My goal this year is to do as much as I can from the one above.

On to the current project … after all the spinning I’ve done last year and recently, working on my crochet throw has been a joy. I started this throw a week or two ago but decided when I was almost at the end, that I wanted it wider. I’m currently 1/3 the way through version 2.0 and am loving how it looks. This is a project I can’t wait to see what the F.O. (finished object) looks like.

Happy cozy Sunday to you friends, and cheers for a great week ahead.

This post is part of the Ravelry Group: A Year of Projects crafty blog hop (Week 5)

29 thoughts on “Sigma 21 … well not exactly …

  1. annbh356 February 5, 2021 / 8:03 pm

    What a wonderful approach to planning projects. You are an inspiration!

    • Nicky February 6, 2021 / 12:29 pm

      Thank you so much! I really want to make this year count craft-wise. Plus it’s therapy for the lengthened lockdown the world is on.

  2. February 5, 2021 / 8:56 am

    oh, Nicky….that list has left my head spinning!!! That is the most ambitious list of lovely things to look forward to. I must admit, I most likely….in the course of a whole year…may come close to accomplishing that, but seeing it all written out like that sends me into just the slightest panic mode!! Good luck to you.

  3. highlandheffalump February 2, 2021 / 5:16 am

    It’s lovely to have someone else join our group who has an eclectic list of crafting hobbies and things to achieve. I also love lists and that Sigma 21 challenge sounds like something I’d enjoy the challenge of. I also like re-knitting some of the same patterns so that would make it easier to choose things. Perhaps at some point in the future I will join in. What is β€œ12 months of cold-sheeping β€œ you mentioned?

    • Nicky February 2, 2021 / 8:09 pm

      It’s lovely to have joined you all. Such inspiration of crafts and writing.

      If you love lists, you’d probably love the Sigma 21 challenge. Good thing about it, you can join at any time, let me know if you do.

      Coldsheeping is a term coined by Toni Sutton of blog Yarn on The Side. She used the AA format to stop buying yarn and using her stash only.

      Coldsheeping has evolved over the years … you can learn more about it from this link:
      It’s basically committing to no yarn acquisitions for a certain period of time. Moderate Merino allows some flexibility. It’s all in good fun so people join which ever challenge works for their situation.

      • highlandheffalump February 3, 2021 / 7:24 pm

        Thanks. I had a yarn buying ban last year and it was a total failure as I kept introducing caveats during the year…but I bought less than I would have done so that’s something.

        • Nicky February 3, 2021 / 10:57 pm

          Yes!!! Take whatever wins you can!

  4. Cinna Knits February 1, 2021 / 7:30 pm

    I also belong to the Ravelry Stashdown group too!
    Great goals, btw! Welcome.
    The blanket looks really cozy! Is it keeping you warm when you work on it?

    • Nicky February 1, 2021 / 7:47 pm

      Thank you for the warm welcome Cinna!

      I wasn’t sure how this blanket was going to be with the holes but the yarn makes it very warm and cozy. Even better now that I’m working on it during a major snowstorm. LOL!

  5. Ella February 1, 2021 / 3:32 pm

    I love your list. I had never heard of the sigma challenge before but it does sound interesting, I might have to give it some more thought. I’m looking forward to your container garden adventures and the recipes you are going to choose.

    • Nicky February 1, 2021 / 7:26 pm

      Thank you for visiting Ella. I look forward to sharing my adventures and reading about yours this year. πŸ™‚

  6. debsfibers1 February 1, 2021 / 12:18 pm

    I love your list and you clearly have a wonderful year ahead!!! I had never heard of this and I love this approach to goals!
    PS- what a cool blanket! Stay safe and warm under it while you make it. ❀️❀️❀️

    • Nicky February 1, 2021 / 7:28 pm

      The blanket project is really cool and super easy. A crocheter beginner could easily get this done.

  7. pumpkin sunrise February 1, 2021 / 10:35 am

    what a detailed exciting goal list you have there! I am doing a monthly challenge (I just dream up stuff) this month is to write a daily haiku-wish me luck!

    • Nicky February 1, 2021 / 10:38 am

      No luck needed! From your projects (I’ve been shyly following your blog for years) I see once you commit you execute! Looking forward to the updates! πŸ˜€

  8. Sarah February 1, 2021 / 8:33 am

    This is such an interesting concept! I have a list of 21 things to do in 2021, but it’s not nearly as detailed as your list. I look forward to seeing how this goes for you!

    • Nicky February 1, 2021 / 10:29 am

      I’m excited about it too. Time management and not procrastinating would be key for this list to work. I’m a huge procrastinator … πŸ˜€

  9. Mary-Anne February 1, 2021 / 2:31 am

    As a math geek/nerd I love the sigma 21 challenge. I am glad you have joined us and I look forward to following your posts.

    • Nicky February 1, 2021 / 10:30 am

      I look forward to connecting with everyone too! Glad you told me it wasn’t too late to join. πŸ˜€

  10. Marsha Noce February 1, 2021 / 12:46 am

    Goodness, that is a fascinating way of making things happen. It will fun to watch you whittle your way through your list of 11. So glad you have joined the YOP group.

    • Nicky February 1, 2021 / 10:32 am

      Thank you Marsha! The first time I saw the challenge it seemed overwhelming but broken down, it can be doable all things being well.

      Happy to connect with you all! πŸ™‚

  11. Becki February 1, 2021 / 12:11 am

    What a fun challenge that looks to be. I will enjoy watching you progress through it. That is one gorgeous, and comfy-looking blanket you’re crocheting there. Welcome to YOPping!

    • Nicky February 1, 2021 / 10:34 am

      Thank you Becki, I’m happy to join! πŸ˜€ The blanket was what I needed this weekend, a few hours after I started, huge snowstorm rolled in. I can’t wait to get it done. πŸ˜€

  12. knittingissofun January 31, 2021 / 9:38 pm

    OMG!! That’s quite a challenging list! 2 books a month, I only get through 1 book a month and that’s only if they are available on audiobook so I can listen versus sitting and reading. Good luck on the Craftsy classes. I’ve signed up for the $5 year but still haven’t taken a class!! Sounds like a very interesting year. I look forward to hearing how it goes.

    • Nicky February 1, 2021 / 10:37 am

      If I had to pick a hobby that’s my first love, reading would be it. There have been years when I’ve read more than 60 books.

      I tried to incorporate things I know I will do anyway — like the container garden, recipes — things that I incorporate in my days for a greater chance of success.

      Nice price on the Craftsy sub! I want to go through my spinning classes again especially.

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