Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ruled by a knitting planner

It's one thing to say you're going to use a planner for your craft work, and quite another to do it.  If it's a good fit for your lifestyle, using a planner is easy; often it's not, and you can only stick it out for a few weeks.

The project planner I developed over the holiday seems to be a good fit for me so far.  In case you're considering starting one, or you have started and are wondering how it's going for others, I thought I'd talk today about how it's fitting into my schedule.

A quick weekly review

On the first Sunday, I took a look at my chart of what I planned to knit this year and considered those projects I'd hoped to do in the next month or two.  Some projects were obviously appealing or urgent (or appealing because they were urgent) so I picked the most exciting three and moved them into a new chart for This Week.

Looking ahead at my non-knitting week, I considered how much time I really would have, and which days would offer the most leisure time.  When I had a realistic sense of how much knitting I could do, I added up the hours my chosen projects would take.  Too long! so I took one out and put in another that would take a little less time.  I  didn't want to set myself up for failure; I wanted to buy some victories.

Then I gathered the materials for those projects - some in progress and still unfinished, some not even started - and set them out where I could grab them the instant they were needed.

The following week, I revisited the list.  I'd finished some of what I'd set out to do, and I took those things off the chart completely.  What I hadn't finished stayed on the chart to become a priority for the coming week, and again I added in other projects that were achievable in the time I expected to have.

Bonus impact

Looking at my schedule in such an ambitious way made me very motivated to get boring chores and errands done as quickly and efficiently as possible, so I'd have most of one day's free time available for serious headway on my list.  Hey, the less time spent on the borings, the better life is!

January time tally

In January, I hoped to spend between 31 and 62 hours being crafty.  Adding up the projects I finished and the hours I was able to put time in on not quite finishing others, it looks like I managed a little over 62.  Considering how little time I spent actually sitting to knit, that is pretty amazing!

Several times, I can only assume because all the listed projects had been brought out and were handy to get at, I finished something and felt at loose ends.  Then I'd remember to check my list and I'd be inspired all over again with no time wasted.

January's work list

Started and finished:
3 lip balm tubes (a story for another day, I think)
3 handspun hats, including the spinning
1 comfort cowl, including the spinning
1 woven scarf
1 pair fingerless gloves
1 tea cosy
1 cat toy

Finished or made progress on:
1 pair belated Christmas socks, finished from about the halfway point
1 ton of progress on three pairs of socks


Of course this is purely anecdotal, but I am pretty sure that is way more stuff than I normally knit in a month.  And when you consider I also researched and wrote and photographed images for an entire month's worth of blog entries on top of all that and did my regular job (but no housework, because something had to give) - I would say the planner is pretty fantastic, wouldn't you?

Hope your day is fantastic, with or without a plan - and I'll see you tomorrow.

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