Saturday, January 30, 2010

Managing WIP's the Geek Way

I haven't been doing a lot of knitting lately. Mostly because I'm not always excited about knitting my WIP's and I don't want to end up as in times past with 22 WIP's at once. Mycki-2009 was all about finishing what I start. I'm down to eight projects on the needles now. That number feels a lot more manageable. Yet I'm not always in the mood to knit the same type of thing and if all eight of the projects are lace shawls, I have no variety! What to do?

Mycki-2010 is all about organization. I'm making great strides in organizing my home and everything in it. I decided that I should organize my WIP's. My knitting group may laugh and tease me mercilessly, but here is what I came up with:

I can have up to ten projects on the needles at any time. However, each project must fall into one of ten categories I have pre-determined. While one project may fit multiple categories, only one project is allowed per category. For instance, a sock may fall into the "sock" category or the "gift" category, but I can't have two projects in the "sock" category even if I leave the "gift" category empty. That defeats the purpose of having categories. I have figured out that I like to knit for others. But if all I'm knitting are gifts, I don't feel charitible, I feel cheated. The same goes for lace. I like it, but if that is all I'm doing, I don't have any social knitting or quick projects. I want to have a variety of projects going at all times so I always have something I want to knit. With that in mind, I tried to come up with general categories that would essentially give me variety in complexity, yarn weight, and finished projects.

Here are the categories I came up with:

-Garment (can be a sweater, vest, skirt, shawl, etc.)
-Accessory (can be a scarf, purse, wrist warmers, hat, sock, cup sleeve, teapot cosy, etc.)
-Shawl (can be triangle, circle, rectangle, capelet, poncho, etc.)
-Sock (can be any length, any construction)
-Lace (can be a garment, sock, shawl, tablecloth, etc.)
-Garter/Stockinette (no fuss projects: blanket, potholder, simple sweater, vanilla sock, etc.)
-Worsted/Chunky (can be anything using thicker yarn, a blanket, a sweater, a scarf, etc.)
-KAL (can be anything that is part of an organized Knit A-Long: sock, sweater, bag, etc.)
-Gift (can be anything as long as it is for someone else)
-Stash Buster (can be anything that uses left over yarn or single skeins from my stash only)

As I mentioned earlier, I only have eight projects on the needles now. I've put each one into a category listed above.

-Garment: Habu Giselle Sweater
-Accessory: Clapotis
-Shawl: Charlotte's Web
-Lace: Rona Lace Shawl
-Garter/Stockinette: Moderne Baby Blanket
-KAL: McGuiness Branch Socks
-Gift: Kaylie's Socks
-Stash Buster: Pinwheel Blanket

I now have variety to knit and I have leeway to start two new projects if I want! So what if I want to start a lace-weight neck warmer for my mom? Right now my open categories are "sock" and "worsted/chunky". I could wait until I've finished the project in the accessory category or (depending on how badly I want to start it now) use creative thinking. It could fit into the following categories: lace, gift, accessory, possibly stash buster. Can any of the projects I have in those categories be moved to one of my open categories? Kaylie's sock can be moved to the open "sock" category and I can fit the neckwarmer into the "gift" category. Yet strangely enough, I don't feel compelled to start any new projects right now in spite of the 'empty' categories. I'm perfectly happy to knit one of my current WIP's.