Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Plotting and Planning

I am, by nature, a plotter and a planner.

This does not mean I never fly by the seat of my pants. That happens quite often ... I will go smile at my stash, select some pretty colors, snag the ubiquitous set of 2.75 mm needles, look over a few graphs, study the corner of a doorframe, and cast on. One reason I knit quickly is self-defense. Without writing anything down, how will I make a second just like it? (Speaking of which, I really should cast on for Bug #2 tonight before I forget anything important.)

I plan globally, I suppose, and then wing the rest of it. So, although I know what we're doing this year in school (Henle Latin 2, NEM 2, Traditional Logic 2, Physical Science, Diogenes: Maxim and, um, something like a Humanities), that's about as detailed as it gets, and by mid-November will probably be as detailed as it is. Early September will have the most organization.

But the point of this post is, while I sit and knit (by the seat of my pants), I am plotting. And planning. And have you noticed, the Year of the Monthly Mitten is more than half over! I am keeping up with my goal of a pair of mittens per month. I am also being a good destasher and destashing each month. I may be overachieving a bit. Consider my project between needles right now ... the Bugs are destashing the yarn leftover from the Tour de Fleece mittens which were themselves a destashing of my fiber stash. So, not only am I destashing the destashings, but on a second pair of mittens in the same month. Don't think about it too hard, though.

My gaze looks forward to January. What will I do then? A year of shawls? Or sweaters? No, too big. I can knit a sweater a month, or a shawl a month, but the kind of sweater and shawl I delight in require DEDICATED knitting for a month, and I have no desire to spend an entire year making a scant 12 projects and doing so in a highly focused fashion. I like the freedom to make small things. Like a market bag. But another year of mittens seems unwarranted (any bets I'll be mitten knittin' anyways?) and socks aren't calling my name.

What about hats, you ask. Hats are a pretty canvas, and small. True, they are. And a year of tams would work nicely with destashing, but it does not inspire me. Nor does a year of baby stuff.

And then, I had an idea. A poll! Write down a lot of ideas, share them, and let my four readers vote. Being the dutiful daughter I am, I ran this idea past my mom. She liked it, listened to my options, and then told me which one I was going to do. (Well, not really, but by the time I finished discussing the options with her, it was the only one that sounded appropriate) And, because I can never sit on surprises, and love knitting company, I am going to toss the idea out here so you can think about it, let it stew, and perhaps join us.

2009: Knit from Your Shelf

The rules are flexible and fuzzy at this point, but here's the general idea.
  1. Look at your shelf (pile, bag, stack, tower, bookcase) of knitting books.
  2. Ask yourself if you have knit at least one thing from each book.
  3. If the answer to #2 is 'yes', invent your own rules.
  4. If the answer to #2 is 'no', consider these rules:
  • Start with the leftmost book which you have not used. Pick a project from it. Make it.
  • Move on to the next book on the shelf which you have not used. Pick a project. Make it.
  • etc.
There's no 'monthly' thing about it. That will allow me (and you) to pick Gorgeous Humungous Adorable Projects that will take most of your knitting time for 2 months, and not feel guilty. If there was a time limit, I'd be making the dishcloths from Knitter's Stash instead of one of the sweaters in there which is the reason I got the book. And I still may make the dishcloths, but only because I didn't want to buy the yarn for the sweater.

You need not include books you get during the year. Set your own goal. I think I have 7 books on my shelf in an 'unknit' condition, and I'd like to make something from each of them. My mom has a few decades worth of Workbaskets on her shelf, and I think she'll have a different goal.

Time to go cast on Bug #2. And think about what I should do for vacation knitting and hospital knitting. I've less than a month to plan the first!


twistedinstitches said...

I'm in!


Most of my books are mitten and sock books. I do have one shawl book. (I haven't made one yet)


Do magazines count?? :NERVOUS GRIN

Pensguys said...

I'll have to think about that. I have a LOT of sock books and I'm not in the mood for socks...maybe I will be by the time Jan gets here?

Holly said...

"...my four readers..." Funny! Bet you thought I'd disappeared, haven't commented in ages.
I'm a big planner, too. Weird, considering so few of my plans are ever actualized. I really like your goal for next, though-but it's a ways out so you'll have to remind me, OK?

Shan said...

I like you. I like you a lot.

I'm in.

Shan said...

That sounded a bit stalkerish - sorry....maybe I should have said "I like your style" or something. Anyway you make me laugh and I like how you think. Like this bit:
"If there was a time limit, I'd be making the dishcloths from Knitter's Stash instead of one of the sweaters in there which is the reason I got the book. And I still may make the dishcloths, but only because I didn't want to buy the yarn for the sweater. "

fleegle said...

The sheer energy you exude is more than I can handle :)

Harry had some rude remarks about eBay, his karaoke machine, and a blogger named Carolyn. I told him it was physically impossible.

Denise said...

I pine your academic planning. I can plan (not so much while knitting), but I fail often to do. I love that you do also.

I have no idea who Harry is but, let me just say, he better not mess with you - she says, standing up like a tough girl. You didn't know I was one of those tough girls, did you? Oh yeah, I am. : ) Let's tell Harry to be nice.

And I am so in your Knit Off the Shelf for 2009. I have too many books on my shelf to knit a project from each, but I will think of some personal rules. Please let's not include magazines (except Momma's Workbaskets); 2009 is my year not to have a nervous breakdown.

We will need a button, though. I wish I was a better button maker because we should really have a button.

Cindy Yeager said...

What a great idea! I am in!