The old year has ended, a new begun. As with the rest of our lives, we knitters can take this time to refresh, reevaluate and start anew. Is there something we want to accomplish this year? Something we always wanted to try out? Something we need or have wanted to make for a long time? Now is the time to plan, so we can make it happen.
This post is along the vein of my previous musings on planning and time management – but different. I like to take this time not just to figure out how to get stuff done but also to consider where I am in my knitting life and what I’d like to happen next.
Take a Step Back
First, let us relax. Many of us have been knitting presents like crazy for the holiday season. Take the urgency out of your knitting for now if you can. No hurrying, enjoy the process. If you’ve only knit presents for others recently, knit something just for yourself right now. For your own enjoyment and just for you to have. Pamper yourself; you’ve earned it. And don’t rush. Be mindful of your knitting for a little while, of how it feels and consider what you like about it. Be in the moment. I know, I don’t do that nearly often enough, but when I do, it resets my mind like meditation. It stops the “thought-carousel” and makes me feel refreshed. And unlike meditation, I don’t run the risk of falling asleep if I’m tired.
In a peaceful moment, consider your knitting life. Think about what you’ve learned within the last year, what you’ve learned so far overall. Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? Make a note of it, if something comes to your mind.
Now think about what you’ve knit – either in the last year or throughout your knitting life. Are there specific projects that come up again and again? If so why? Do you like them so much or do you drift towards them because you know you can knit them well? Who do you mostly knit for and why? Do you want to change anything about your knitting habits?
We can do this to become aware of where we are in our knitting. What we like to do, what we can do and what we might want to improve. It is always good to know where you are, otherwise, you won’t know where you’re going either.
Now we see what we have. We look at our knitting books, at the patterns we’ve purchased, at the all the magazines. Ravelry makes this very easy if you’ve added all of your books and magazines. If you go to the advanced Ravelry pattern search, you can filter the patterns and only display those you have in your library. If you haven’t done that (I’m also still missing a few things in there), don’t worry. Spend some time with the patterns you have, look through them. See what you haven’t knit yet but have wanted to for a while. Make a note of it and keep the pattern put away but easy to reach. If you always have to dig it out first, you’ll never knit it.
Furthermore look through your Ravelry queue (if you have one) as well. This will likely include patterns you do not already own. If you know what’s in there, you could pick out a few that you’d like to try this year (and work them into your budget). But keep in mind how fast you usually knit. You won’t magically be faster just because you want to knit 20 sweaters this year.
Now let’s take a look at our stash. Again, this is easier if it’s organized or even written down somewhere like your Ravelry or a simple written list. If you know what you have, you can figure out if you can knit any of the patterns you’ve previously marked without having to buy new yarn.
Now we can sketch out our year. You can plan as much or as little as you like. But it’s good to have a general idea of the things you want to get done.
Think about anything you need to make this year, by when you need to finish and how long it might take you. That includes presents you can already plan for (if you know what you’re going to make) but also things you might need. Most small children, for example, will grow out of clothes from one winter to the next, so you can already plan to replace the knitted pieces of their wardrobe. Make a list, so you don’t forget.
Also consider those patterns from before again. The ones you marked that you want to knit. Do you want to make any of these? As a present or for yourself? Do you already own yarn you would want to use for a pattern or project? Again, write it down on your list.
And think about what you might want to learn. Always wanted to try double-knitting or knitting with beads? Is there something on your list of patterns or projects that could include this? Do you need to practice something first before using it on a larger project?
Check in with Your Plan Regularly
Come back to your list from time to time. Put it on your weekly agenda if you forget otherwise. Plans only work, if you use them. See if something has changed, if you have new information or ideas or if you can scratch something off. Plans don’t have to stay the same throughout a year; you can add or change them to fit your needs at any time. It’s your plan, after all. Make it work for you, don’t work for it.
I do my planning typically by hand in my bujo. And it’s not all that detailed. As I’ve said before you can plan as much or as little as is right for you. You may find that just considering what you want to try out this year is already enough for you. Or that you may need a far more detailed plan than mine. Do what works for you.
I prefer to do a little bit of planning – even for my leisure time. If I know what I want to do and write it down so I can’t forget, I can keep it in mind and pick my projects accordingly. This is not my first time I’m making a list like this. And it wouldn’t surprise me if I won’t have everything marked off by the end of the year either. It’s meant to make picking the next project easier for me because deciding on one can take hours. If I have projects to complete by a deadline, I need my planning to be a bit less vague.
What is your first project of 2019? What do you want to knit this year? Do you think about what you want to accomplish or do you go with the flow? Please let me know in the comments below.
Did you enjoy this post? Then please share it on Pinterest!