Thursday 3 October 2013

2013: The Year of the Finished Project – October edition

During September I came to realise two things: one about me, one about my lack of fore-thought!

Firstly, I am addicted to my iPad. Seriously! If I pick it up in the morning and start using it, I can still be on it when WM comes home at 2:30pm. Whole days have been spent (wasted?) browsing the internet, reading blogs, reading emails (and not even in answering them, sorry) and playing games like FreeCell, Spider Solitaire and Jumbline 2: Star Tower. I will now no longer allow myself to turn my iPad on until after lunch. Hopefully, by then, I will have started on some crafting project, and be keen to get back to it!

As for my lack of fore-thought: I have come to realise that it is a very good idea to check the calendar before deciding on how many projects can reasonably be completed in the month! This may sound obvious but I have gotten into such a habit of listing six or seven items that I just didn’t think about my schedule in combination with how much work needed to be done to complete each project!

I didn’t allow for the fact that I would be gone for one weekend teaching at The Knitters’ Guild of NSW biennial camp. I didn't allow for the fact that one of the two classes I was asked to teach needed a great deal of preparation time in writing notes, preparing patterns, knitting samples, etc. In fact, all the preparation, knitting and so forth, swallowed up most of a week!

I didn’t allow for the fact that we had a Conference at church for the last five days of September or for the fact that we would be billeting people for those five days. Preparation for those visitors in terms of making the spare bedroom habitable (we have been de-cluttering!) took more time than expected!

Basically, I really only had about fifteen days of “normal” life during September and all of the projects I listed for the month needed a great deal of work on them to bring them to completion. I did have the sense to realise that number seven wasn’t possible so took that off my list in the first couple of days.

Here is my September list and how I fared in my progress towards finishing:
  1. Scrappy Log Cabin quilt (50” x 60”) – goal: quilting and binding
    finished 4 September (see this post)
    2013 Scrappy Log Cabin finished and washed
  2. Westall cardigan, aka as “Cardigan for Me” – goal: get it done and on my back
    – I didn’t get it finished but I did pick up the stitches for the first sleeve, and knitted the sleeve cap twice. I wasn’t happy with my short rows (they looked very messy) so I did it all again. Eventually I got the sleeve done to the elbow where the lace pattern begins. This requires concentration so I didn’t get any further!
  3. Scrappy Heart blocks – goal: enlarge all thirty and turn them into a flimsy
    – I didn’t get all thirty blocks enlarged, I have done a total of twelve, nine in September and three in August
    (show in the two pictures below)
    2013 pink blocks with borders 2013 red block with border
  4. Country Houses quilt – goal: get it off the shelf and on to our bed
    – this project wasn’t touched; I never remembered to measure it for the amount of wadding I needed! I only ever remembered when I was already in my LQS for classes!
  5. Gift of Hope quilt #2 (24” square) – goal: backing, quilting and binding
    finished 19 September (see this post)
    2013 #2 front
  6. Purple Cocoon Socks – goal: just get them done, they've been on the needles too long!
    – I finished the first sock on 19 September and cast the second one on at Camp on 20th September; I also knitted on the way to Conference one day but was too tired the other two mornings (the fourth morning I had to drive myself and have not yet mastered the art of knitting and driving at the same time!). I am almost at the heel of the (toe up)socks; I am still finding using the shorter needles of 40cm (16”) circulars quite clumsy – I much prefer dpns!
    2013 Purple Cocoon Sock #1 finished
  7. turn another set of blocks from the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2012 into a flimsy – unrealistic and removed from list!
So that was September – not too bad considering my lack of time!

Now for October. Let’s see, I have not had any crafting time in the first three days and have my grandsons here from tomorrow night until at least next Thursday so there’ll be no crafting during that week. That leaves me about 21 days of “normal” life. Realistically:
  1. Scrappy Hearts quilt – finish enlarging blocks, make flimsy, make backing, baste, quilt and bind!
  2. Country Houses quilt – get it off the shelf and onto our bed!
  3. Purple Cocoon Socks – to be finished
  4. Westall Cardigan – sleeves to be finished
  5. turn another set of blocks from the 2012 Rainbow Scrap Challenge into a flimsy
That seems reasonable for the amount of time I have.

What about you?
How did you go in September? Did you learn anything about yourself along the way?
What are your plans for getting those UFOs done in October?

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  1. You got a lot done for only have 15 days for crafting last month. Your October list looks reasonable, good luck with it.

    I'm enjoying this challenge. Setting monthly goals has been helping me find some focus in the sewing room. I may not be finishing projects every month, but I am making steady progress on several of my WIPs.

  2. Sure looks impressive to me what you achieved in September!

  3. Good luck with your goals! I can totally relate to what you are saying. It has taken me months to get back here after my first post, hopefully I will do a bit better this month!

  4. congrats on your finishes. September was not a good month for me at all. Good luck with reaching your goals for Oct.

  5. Well, you learned a lot and have some finished projects, too, so it was a good month! I like the new list-and the restraint on the ipad time! (sometimes you need to have down time but it can be dangerous to have too much!)

  6. I admit to an iPad addiction too... so handy! I did however drop all Facebook games cold turkey when I started quilting again a year ago. They were fun but took over my free time. I feel much better having quilting take over my free time!

    I've learned that I like having more goals than less and don't sweat the ones I don't get checked off (too much). In a perfect world they might all happen but in the real world I'll take as many as I can get - which is still more than what I'd get done without setting them. Good luck in October.

  7. Like the layout of the log cabin quilt. It almost has the feel of a southwest indian blanket.

  8. Love your scrappy log cabin quilt. I have a log cabin quilt in my UFO goals for this month. I try not to be too ambitious in my crafty goals. I'm also trying to not "just have a quick look" at my iPhone on the train as it eats into some of my most productive knitting time. Your experiences with checking the iPad sound so familiar!

  9. I think you have done quite a lot considering the interruptions. I wasn't surprised when there were few posts as I knew you had the two grandsons.


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