Year of Projects Week 1

I made this silly little graphic myself. Thanks, Canva!

A Year of Projects: Blog-A-Long

I stumbled upon a Ravelry group, A Year of Projects, via another blog: Backstage Knits. Most members’ year runs from the first Sunday in July until the last Sunday in June; they are on week 8. As you can see, I’m a bit late, but that won’t stop me from joining in! The group is a loose collective of bloggers who make a plan for the year, then discuss their progress via blog for the next 52 weeks, modifying goals as needed. There are no strict “rules”. You can plan to work through your WIPs, your stash, a pattern book, all of these, none of these. Cool, yeah?

I don’t know about you, but I like an amorphous challenge. The choose-your-own-adventure type of challenge that has no rules, few guidelines, and is more or less completely arbitrary but you personally need to tease out what you want to accomplish. I also know that “SMART” goals are the most effective, so I try to incorporate that kind of planning into my challenges.

SMART Goal Planning

What is a SMART goal? They are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely. Personally, I struggle with the specific part. “I want to make all the things” is not quite specific enough. I have multiple running lists of fiber related things I want to accomplish at any given time- in my head. I jotted them all down in my planner. Bonus for this planner, I can move my list from month to month because the pages are not permanently affixed.

My SMART Goal will be: Complete 20 items off my Total List by the end of June 2021. Since these items are tangible, completion is easy to measure. I have the skills to complete all of these projects, and the materials on hand to complete most of these projects. The goal is realistic in scope, some of these tasks are relatively quick; I just need to DO them. Bam: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely.

Lofty Goals

Sewing

I have more fabric than I know what to do with. Considering I don’t sew all that often. Making masks for my family, and now for donation, has been GREAT for destashing! I’m trying to find a positive spin for this pandemic. I want to be able to house my ENTIRE fabric stash in one bin. (This is a long term goal that may or may not be attainable)

I also have fabrics I purchased for specific intent: my Nightmare Before Christmas knit fabric for PJ pants, and some cotton to make my daughter longer PJ pants. I’ve never sewn a knit fabric before, but I purchased a new piece for my machine so it doesn’t eat the fabric and I have the ballpoint needles. Just need to over come the FEAR.

Spinning

My spinning wheel has been out of commission for about 2 years. The treadle connector broke, I have another one. I just haven’t taken the 10 minutes to swap out the piece. Laziness. I have a partial spin in the works too. I want to finish that this year. I also have 2 bobbins of plied yarn “resting”, also for over 2 years. I need to hank it and soak it and give it a good whack to set (2 hours of “work”, tops).

Stash

Self explanatory. For 2020 I’ve 55/100 balls worked. I don’t count the ball as used/worked until the project is complete.
I have a goal of 100 balls to destash/work for 2021.

WIPs

I’m pretty lukewarm on my old WIPs. My 2020 goal is to complete 8 OLD projects, I’ve completed 5 thus far. Most of these projects are on my Ravelry projects page.

Design Projects and Yarn Designation

This is the most exciting part for me! I have a bunch of stash I caked up last month, and have been making plans for it. I have some ideas, but no real planning…. except Chaos Cables. That will be my next design project- once I get my outstanding patterns written/published!

It appears I have quite a few sweaters on the horizon. Not all of the sweaters will be design publications- discontinued yarn is not really a brilliant choice. I want to make sure the yarn is attainable, even if the colorway is discontinued. Its highly likely I will make my own design up for the yarn I have on hand- its how I roll.

Progress:

This week I got the “big kid” sized mask pieces cut out. I ended up with 13. This week I want to sew the fronts and backs, but not necessarily sew them together. 2 lining layers, and the top. I’m going to experiment with sewing both layers of the lining together, as opposed to sewing them separately and then managing 3 different layers. It will definitely take less time to sew by sewing them together- at the very least.

Ready to be sewn!

I’ve also been making a little progress on the Sunspots Blanket, HPW Stripes sweater, and a few rows on my handspun ribbed cowl.

300 stitches of ribbing.

Published by Cinna Knits

Enthusiastic teacher. Voracious fiber artist. Perpetual creator.

17 thoughts on “Year of Projects Week 1

    1. I’m really excited to have some accountability for my goals! Some of the yarn is stash from over 10 years ago- I’m super thrilled to make the effort to actually it! I also have 50 yards of angora from 2003 that I am itching to work this year!

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  1. Welcome to our group. I think your list sounds achievable and fun with ticking off 20 items from a larger list. I like the flexibility that gives you. Using 100 balls of yarn in a year is way beyond my knitting speed, that would be nearly 2 balls a week, but you’ve already done so many so seems like you could achieve it. Do you knit continental style, I keep hearing how much faster it is?
    My spinning mojo comes and goes, I’m sure yours will be back once you’ve got the boring bits done on fixing the wheel.

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    1. I’m so thrilled to be a part of this group! Its going to be nice to have 52 posts a year already with a topic!
      I knit and crochet, when I knit I’m an English-style thrower. I recovered some throw pillows for my bed worked with up to 8 strands held together, that used A LOT of yarn, upwards of 1600 yards. I use continental when I do colorwork. My tension for continental needs some work, even though I hold it the same when I crochet, it still isn’t right. Practice makes proficient!!
      Same with my spinning mojo. I want to knit through a bunch of my already spun yarns before I add more handspun to my stash. Right now, I think that is my biggest hurdle, besides a minor repair.

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  2. Welcome to our great group of Yoppers. I can tell you will love it here. You are organized!! I love your lists, and I love your dinosaur header. My goodness that material with all the funny faces is perfect of a mask I think. A conversation starter for sure. I am a spinner too – Tour de Fleece on Ravelry is starting next Saturday. Maybe you can fix that treadle and join us for a month of daily spinning?

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    1. I always THINK I’m going to do Tour de Fleece, but then BAIL. I think next year I’m going to add it as one of my Goals for the year. If I make the time before next week, I’ll try to get in a little bit all month. I think I have 5 pounds of roving and batts waiting for me, I haven’t purchased any since the Shenandoah Fiber Fest in 2018.

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  3. I run January-December so don’t worry. I’m exactly 6 months behind everyone else, which is perfectly fine. Again, no rules!

    I should do things the SMART way but really, I want to make all the things and life has been changing off and on so quickly that I just do what I do. Oh well. It’s fine.

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  4. I am very familiar with SMART goals and I have always had problems with the “specific” part….by the time I write them down I just want to get going on them! LOL! I love your whiteboard. I painted my inside back door with chalk paint and that’s where I list EVERYTHING….grocery list, menu, weekly goals, monthly…yada yada….and, of course, the ‘making’ goals. Welcome to our group and I hope you find inspiration and motivation from it which is what I love about it!
    I love the masks and the yarn for your cowl is scrumptious! Have a great week and stay well!

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    1. You have given me a great idea for my laundry room redo! Chalkboard paint the back of the door. And here I was going to hang boring mops on it. Renovations won’t happen for another year or two, but I’m gathering ideas.

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  5. Welcome to the group-looks like you are going to be sharing an eclectic year with us. As a one trick pony {aka knitting only person} I am always fascinated by the variety of projects other people manage. I love the mutability of the project list YOP affords us. Which is good because when I am in a funk I can switch it up a wee bit. Not nearly as much as you with the spinning and sewing but at least I am not forced to finish a specific list of projects.

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    1. I used to only knit, in the old days of 2001! I’m compulsively creative; I have to be working on SOMETHING.
      With all my creative outlets, sometimes I feel I don’t get projects done fast enough!

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