Sunday, December 15, 2013

Organizing your Knitting Life

Organizing your Knitting life

I bet you the knitter probably doesn't always think that we have to organize our knitting that much, but you would be surprised that even organizing a little will help maintain your weekly schedules and keep you on task of what needs to be done.

Number one:  Make sure you save a certain block out of time of each day to devote to your knitting.  Now that I'm going to be writing more on the laptop, I'm deciding that I will spend a few hours each morning to my knitting and drinking my coffee.  Plus I've got my two cats who need their laptime with me.

I've got that knitting project of mine that needs to get done too.  I can't stop knitting because I like it, but it's going to be my goal to get onto focus with writing more here, working on the blog and my novels to be finished.  Which is going to put the knitting at the back burner for a change.  In a few hours time, you would be surprised at how much knitting can be done.

Say an inch or two a day is a good progress.  If you can do it longer, great.

Number two:  How you organize your yarn stash, needles and your patterns is very important to some of us.  I'm not big time organized as far as my yarn stash.  I tend to keep mine in large bags, tote bins, and other cool containers.  However, I'm not organized to the hilt as to what type of yarns are kept together.  I guess that should be a goal too to make sure all the skeins of certain brands are kept together. 

That way, you know how much of a color you have and are not later surprised that you had another skein hiding somewhere else.  That one has happened to me.  Darn it, means I could have possibly made something larger.  Organize your stash so you don't find you've done that.

And your needles are good to organize once in a while (whoops, I should do this one too). Mine are in different locations.  I've got one large tote bag that holds most of them and then my double points I like to keep in a smaller case.  The wooden ones.

Recently, I hunted down my really small size needles into one cool makeup case.  I had a smaller case like this and then the needles were a snug fit so I got a bigger size.  Some knitters love to put their needles into a binder or another type of file folder where you can see your needles in a clear zipped up container.  It would be especially good for the circular needles that can get into a disarray if not displayed right.

I've got mine in one of those cosmetic bags and it seems to work fine for now.

Okay, the patterns.  That can be a larger project to contain them all.  I think I've got to work on this too.  I was writing my own patterns for some projects I was going to include in my knitting e-book and it was a while before I could get the new laptop to work on getting them in.  Now looking at it, the patterns are un-organized and I can't tell what the patterns were.  I may have to actually do some of those patterns again to see which ones they were.  Thus, I'm going to rewrite what I can salvage into a notebook.

Notebooks and journals are a good place to write your patterns too or your stitch patterns.  When I first started going to a knitting group years ago, I started one little notebook for the class.  Over the years, I have used more notebooks so my patterns are in different places.

Another big one was putting my smaller patterns or stitch patterns onto index cards.  And many of those stitch patterns are ones I've copied out of library books etc..  which is a good way of gathering a reference for the ones you like to use.

Then there's all the downloaded patterns etc that are on your laptop.  Maybe you might want to consolidate them.  I might do a few different things with mine.  Evernote for one where I've sent a bunch from the tablet today.  I may decide to organize all my doll patterns in one place at some point.
I also have a binder which is good for the ones printed out or boughten.  If you have them displayed into those clear vinyl pages works really well.

I think within the next few months I will be thinking of printer ink so I can print some of the patterns I may want to make next.

It's also a good thing to weed out your downloads.  If you are a Ravelry addict like me, it's very easy to suddenly have so many patterns even though they are mostly free, it can really clutter up your device.  It's very easy to suddenly see that you've got say fifty patterns of gloves, mittens or scarves.  
That's exaggerating, but you get the picture.

If you are on an agenda where you've got to maintain what you are going to do next, maybe you want to spend a small amount of time looking for the ones you want to use and have them ready for when that other project is done.
Of course, it's fun to be thinking of new patterns while you are making one.  I'm finishing up a combination of a shrug, snood or hood or a cowl.  It could have those three functions.  Already, I'm coming up with ideas for how I want to finish it in a unique way for my own pattern.  And I'm constantly thinking of patterns of how I could make something really original and cool.

Do you ever just learn a new stitch combination and your mind wanders to how you could really come up with a very different pattern?

I've been thinking of a headband pattern where I'm going to utilize a cable stitch in a very different way.  Not sure how it's going to go yet.

Also, if you are the adventurous knitter, you may want to have a separate notebook where you just design your own combos.  A graph paper notebook is a good thing to have too if you are thinking up color work.  I've yet to really be able to follow or design my own charts, but I may try my hand at it.  I'm thinking that I may want the software to be able to put a chart into a typed up pattern.

Some knitters really excel at that.  I'm not a chart person, but I should try.  Actually, if I thought of it, I could read a chart and write down the pattern so I could read it in a different way.

Anyway, it's good to become a better organized knitter.  It can help make your life easier as we plug along with all the things we want to do.  Life does get in the way.  We need to eat, sleep and those dishes for me had to get done last night.

No fun looking at dirty dishes!

Oh, another thing I've thought of.  If you have your own knitting shop, either locally or online somewhere, or you are a regular at the craft shows, etc...  you need to organize all your finished knitting so it's ready to sell.  Meaning the tags and all the neccessities that go along with trying to get your things sold.  I recently did this and it felt good to weed out a few things I just wouldn't sell or put into my book.  

And I made way too many of those cool bangle bracelets!!!

Jennifer Jo Fay

Copyrighted December 15, 2013

Okay, this is a Triond post too.  I'm on a roll today.

This is the project I've been working on and when my last skein is done it's finished.  This is a simple ribbing pattern and I ran out of the baby blue that I double stranded with this and am making a tri-color with a multi-bluish purple added to the other blue.  I'm thinking of making it even more original when I finish the rest with a bobble bind off of some sort.

Sometimes I think of what I could do with that bobble stitch.  What if you turned the pattern and added an eyelet stitch before you turn it back and slip your stitches.  There's probably so many more ideas we could come up with for brand new stitches.

I've even thought of what would happen if you grabbed a few stitches from the row before or even one under that.  Hmmm....   new terms to knitting. Just things I think about as I'm knitting.  What if????

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