Knitstant Gratification

The crafting adventures of a knitter, music lover, and hockey fan.

Project Management

Posted by Andi on August 30, 2011

The biggest challenge I have with knitting has nothing to do with knit stitches, purls, cables, or even fair isle.

It’s project management.

Here’s an example using my current situation. I currently have 4 projects on the needles:
1. A pair of socks
2. A lace weight cardigan
3. A double knit scarf
4. The Beekeeper’s Quilt

My goal was to finish the lace weight cardigan in the late summer/early fall when it’s not too hot out but maybe gets a bit cool at night where a loose knit sweater will be nice. Well, it’s late summer and it’s not done. I had been making good progress. It’s bottom up, and knit in one piece to the underarms, then the back, then the two fronts, still all in one piece. Then the sleeves. I’ve finished the bottom, and have started the back. So what’s the problem? I am at the neck shaping, meaning I have to use two balls of yarn. So it’s an at-home project until I finish that part. It really shouldn’t take very long. But I haven’t done it. Maybe this should be my goal this weekend, because once I pick it back up I really don’t take a long time to finish it. Why haven’t I finished it? Because I just can’t be bothered monkeying around with two balls of yarn when there are other things I can do.

My goal for the double knit scarf is to have it done by winter, so on its face it seems like the cardigan should be the first priority. However, I really think it’s going to take me much longer to finish the scarf than the cardigan. So why am I not working on the scarf tonight? Because I can’t look at the chart and watch television at the same time, and right now watching Rafael Nadal is more important than knitting the scarf. I can work on it while talking, so I sometimes take it to knit group, but I haven’t really worked on it there either. Why?

Because I’ve been working on the socks. Normally I don’t do a lot of sock knitting at home. Some, but not a lot. For me socks are my portable project. Those times I choose to knit on the train instead of reading, I’m knitting socks. I take a sock project on all of my business trips. Ah, the trips. They make project management even more difficult. I do not take scissors or a darning needle on the plane with me, so I don’t really want to finish a sock while I’m out of town. I like to have just cast on a project, and knit a couple of rounds. That way, I probably won’t finish the sock when I’m gone. No need for cutting or for kitchenering toes. All knitting, all the time. Since I like to have just started a sock before leaving, sometimes that means scrambling to finish a sock and cast on another one before I go. I thought I was going to be leaving on a trip in a few days, so I’ve been trying to finish this sock (which is the second sock in the pair) and decide what the next project could be so I could start it before leaving. But my trip was canceled, so that’s not a problem. So I should put the socks aside, right? Work on the cardigan? No, because I want to finish these socks before the end of August, since that’s my goal for the Sock Stash Knitdown I’ve been participating in. That should be no problem. I will finish the sock tonight. And since I don’t travel again for just under two weeks I won’t cast on another sock project until the weekend after next. That should leave plenty of time to work on the cardigan and scarf in the meantime, right?

Wrong, because I’m addicted to knitting hexipuffs. Even though I vowed the Beekeeper’s Quilt would remain in the background, only making puffs when it is convenient, it has quickly become an obsession. And let’s face it, by the time I finish the sock tonight I won’t break out the cardigan, and I’ll still be watching tennis so I won’t break out the scarf. I will make another hexipuff.

With all of these projects, some needing to be finished by certain times but perhaps not convenient projects to knit in any given situation, I spend an inordinate amount of time analyzing my spare time, what I’ll be doing with it, and which knitting project is most compatible at any given moment. Honestly, I wish I was as good at knitting project management as I am at time management at work.

So I’m saying here, now, publicly, so that I actually do it. No socks this weekend. I will be working on the cardigan and the scarf. And maybe a few puffs, but just a few. Not eight like I made two weekends ago. Cardigan. Scarf. Focus.

(But maybe a few puffs.)


One Response to “Project Management”

  1. Tinyowlknits has a way of sucking you in, doesn’t she? 🙂

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