Saturday, October 1, 2011

the battle rages on.

...surrendering isn't supposed to be hard, right? or maybe it depends on the battle. or the personality of the fighter.

my bet is on both.

I chose to surrender a battle that has been beating me since I retired and started knitting "professionally" (please excuse the quotation marks - my husband thinks it's a hobby, but it pays for my yarn, so I think it's more than that). key point here is that knitting is now the only thing I really do. yes, I still meet friends for coffee, I keep house, I walk my dog, I teach, I read, I study, ... but really... most of that takes a back seat to the knitting. it's certainly the only thing I do - besides blogging and photography - that creates something that lasts outside of me. so I take it seriously. and that's my personality.

I like to take things seriously. I like to set stretch goals and meet them (I taught a seminar once in my former life that "exceeding" stretch goals meant you hadn't set the goals right ... simply meeting a stretch goal is a victory).

so there we have the perfect storm to setup this battle.

and in my first month, I've been defeated.

but I've learned.

I almost hate to revisit the campaign, but maybe I'll learn more from it if I do!

remember september 2? a few days before a 3-day weekend (when I wasn't working or teaching), a week before my planned beach trip, and a month off from teaching two of my classes. knitting time seemed abundant. I was excited about the projects. I could do anything!

funny, when I posted on september 16 about my surrender, I didn't actually surrender any of those earlier deadlines. in my head I was still planning to finish a shawl and two sweaters and maybe let the vest slide to october. really?!

yes really?! what was I thinking! I was setting myself up to fail. and I don't like that. that's why I'm surrendering the battle. I said it. and I wrote it. but I didn't do it.

crocus. modeled.I worked like crazy to finish the crocus shawl so I could share it with my students (that worked, they're excited about the pattern and two of them have started it).

getting closenow I'm working like crazy to finish the nantucket vest (so I can start the next sweater). I'm close, but really, I have at least a day's more work to do.

and now I have birthday and holiday knitting to start. I refuse to let those projects become part of my battle this year. over the last few days, I've been re-working the "deadlines" in my head. trying to be realistic about how much knitting time I really have and how much knitting I get done.

my new rule of thumb is about 75 yds of yarn a day. more if it's straight stockinette or heavier yarn. and less is if it's not. that means I can knit about 2,250 yards a month.
so for october, I'm going to:
  1. finish nantucket - this is mostly finishing now, not knitting, but say 200 yds
  2. start & finish sara's birthday gift - TBD
  3. start & finish creature comforts - 1,000 yds
  4. start & finish the sunflower shawl - 450 yds
  5. start katie's birthday gift - TBD
 I think these goals are realistic, and depending on the gifts, maybe even a stretch. not that I'm looking for stretch this month. I'm just hoping to get back to a saner place.

do you set time goals for your knitting? if so, does it work?

9 comments:

  1. You always manage to pull it off. I know you can achieve your goals and everything will be beautiful!

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  2. i want a saner pace (and place) for you! btw, the pictures are beautiful. i'm just lucky to get any knitting done! :)

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  3. Fortunate or unfortunately the thumb has put a real damper on achieving any real goals. I am knitting a vest rit now and gave myself until thanksgiving to finish it. That crocus shawlmis spectacular! I must...look...away! ;-)

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  4. And my typing on this iPad is horrendous!

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  5. Wow, that's a lot of knitting on your schedule! I do set deadlines for finishing projects but those deadlines are pretty fluid. Your crocus shawl is beautiful.

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  6. Those goals sound like the goals of a "professional!" :-) I always have knitting goals -- but mine are pretty fluid. I've never actually thought about setting goals based on yardage. That seems like a really smart way to manage things -- and forces a realistic element into the mix. Good luck with the surrendering; remember -- there are lots of ways to surrender. (And that crocus vest is simply beautiful.)

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  7. Love crocus. Can't wait to knit Comfort Cardi with you.

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  8. i like to think it's more re-assessing the plan of attack AND it's OKAY if you have to re-shuffle the stack and re-prioritize the list.

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  9. As prolific as you are...!" if only you could bottle it and sell some over the drugstore counter." I am always impressed with your knitting output: quality especially and quantity- as well as all the other activities in your daily life. You seem to manage and accomplish much. This new way of tackling/ finishing those projects will be interesting to watch. I'm sure the finished output will be a treat for us all. Knit on!
    Cheers~

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Thanks for the feedback!