New Year, New Resolutions
When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.
-Lucius Annaeus Seneca
I've been on an academic schedule essentially my whole life. Even residency has an academic year (which ends on June 30th and begins on July 1st - some summer vacation!). And while people may pop the champagne in January, to me the beginning of the school year is the real beginning. Fittingly enough, multiple long-term projects came off the needles in June - most notably The Chuppah, and Rowena. So today being July 1st (ish), it's time to take stock, re-examine the knits, the stash, and, well, more stash. Also the queue. (This post was supposed to have photos, but to no avail.)
The Knits (UFOs by any other name . . .)
With The Chuppah looming over my poor overworked head all year, I was A Focused Knitter. I had a plan. It was on a legal pad next to my computer (source of all knitting temptation in the known universe). The UFO Resurrection has also been a driving force in this. Each month, I listed my WIPs, with the % done next to them -
- The Chuppah
- UFO o' the month
- Book Project o' the month
- Maybe another sock or baby knit
In this way, I had a mangeable list of knitting projects, including several long term investments, a sock or something to pick up on the way out the door, and good progress with my other plans. And I listed all the UFOs at the bottom. Deferred until later. Gone was the guilt that would have me knitting one or two rows a month on something. And of the 5-6 projects, I would usually finish 2 or 3. Not bad.
Previous to the recent 6 or so months of (relative) discipline, I would cast on for an finish projects as inspired, or as deadlines approached. No plan. No system. And thus, 13 UFOs when the UFO Resurrection Challenge begun. I have actually exceeded the stated goals of this challenge and not just worked on but finished a project every month. That's good. The flip side is that all the remaining UFOs are much much less far along than the first 6 I picked off. And then consider a UFO like Lizard Ridge. Obviously, this won't get done in a month. Finishing one block a month would be a nice way to move it along, but it would be lame to count that as my monthly UFO requirement. What to do? What to do?
I could keep generating new UFOs of a smaller nature and then finishing them, but methinks that defeats the purpose.
Several have asked (teasingly, right?) if I was going to finish my Book-a-Month project until I'd gone through all my books. The answer is no. Not because it wasn't helpful - it was immensely useful at helping me try new things, and sort through old things looking for things to keep or save. But I'm down to about 4 or 5 "unknit" books, and they are all keepers for one reason or another, but none of them are urgent. So there goes a line from my list.
What to do? After all that introspection (if you're still with me here), I think the plan will be as follows -
- Keep the list. It's good to see at a glance what's going on.
- Divide the list into WIPs and UFOs. Again, it helps.
- Continue the UFO Resurrection Challenge. Larger projects can be split into smaller goals - e.g. the back of the sweater, one of a pair of barely-started socks.
- Start the Christmas list. Uh oh.
- Allow myself some freedom for fun after all those months as a Focused Knitter. Cast on at will. Knit fast. Try to reduce the stash.
Speaking of . . . I have a problem. When I counted my 108,000+ yards, I didn't even include any partial skeins or leftovers of that sort. Which means when I gave away 1700 yards of Zephyr, I hadn't even added it. So I couldn't subtract it. And none of my current projects are in the stash. So none of that knitting is counted either for stash reduction purposes. Help. I want less of it, but I want to knit almost all of it. How fast can I knit?
Probably I need a plan. Suggestions are very helpful. I've already been listening to Stash and Burn, but they want me to give away yarn. Eeek!
This post is far too long, and I have thoughts on future knits coming soon. But have you seen the "add it to my queue" section at Ravelry? This is everything that's ever been missing from my life (except you, dear fiance, of course). And it's really helping me focus my plans for summer knits. I should have a great list. Just in time for fall . . .