Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Busy Season

It's happened again.  The LYS has its most tempting fibers in the most dreamy colors, and as the leaves turn colors we start lining up the 87 patterns we plan to have finished by the first of the year.

The only problem with that, of course, is that there aren't even 87 days left until the first of the year!  That complicates fulfilling this fantasy, unless we're making tiny projects out of big, bulky yarns.  So, what to do?

Well, as tempting as it is to caffeinate within an inch of my life and knit straight through, my family and dog expect me to spend time with them, my boss thinks I should go to work, and frankly, I'm a total psycho on no sleep.  Instead, it's time for a plan. 

Short of some of those very helpful fairies who help finish my work while I sleep, I need to accept that I'm not gong to finish everything I want to.  Here's what I do:  First, I try to get real about the number of projects.  It makes sense to adjust the priorities and shorten the list. (This is tough when everyone you know asks for knitted stuff for the holidays, but there really is only so much you can do.)  Than I plan my workflow: gifts first, alternating less technical patterns with complex ones.  I check the patterns against stash yarn, and see if I can save myself some shopping time.

Next, I make a queue, alternating big projects with little ones.  When I can't stand one more stitch on the blanket or sweater, it's great to pull out baby booties or a pair of mittens. (There's faster gratification on little projects.) Once I feel good about finishing my (much shorter) gift list, I'll let myself cast on a project for myself.  Then, a few rows on the project for me is a reward for meeting a knitting goal on some other project.

I won't finish everything.  I know me:  I'll keep adding things to my list until New Year's Eve.  But that's part of the fun, really.  I'd hate to wake up one morning and not have twenty things I'd love to knit that day.  I'll get my gifts finished, though.  That's a start.

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