Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spring Cleaning from Start to Finish

The arrival of Spring can herald an upsurge in energy as the cold recedes and the days grow longer. For knitters, this can mean the urge to cast on some new projects. But before you rush to begin, stop and take a look at what you already have.

Having enough space for all our knitting yarns, accessories, and books is an issue for almost all of us. Spring cleaning can be an opportunity to re-evaluate how much you have and how much you need; what projects should be finished and what projects can be abandoned; what you’re knitting; and why you’re knitting it.

I find the excitement of starting a new project is addictive, and I keep wanting to do more. So I have more on-going projects than I can really handle. I decided that for my knitterly Spring cleaning, I would attempt to spend more time finishing or working on current projects, and not start anything major.

The first step was to go through my WIPs (which I had done for the February challenge) and prioritize them: what needed to be done first, what projects would follow, what projects could wait, and which small projects I could put by the computer to work on as I wait for stuff to upload or as I read posts. I also actually identified several projects that I either frogged or discarded, which was very liberating. I finally recognized that I didn’t have to work on something I didn’t like, and I didn’t need to keep every scrap of yarn that came into my possession.

Once the projects were identified, I could then organize their ‘space’ – how they were to be stored. I put my WIPs in plastic bags and hung them on a metal storage rack in plain view with easy access because then I find it easier to keep myself focused on what I need to work on first and to find what I need. By not having them stored all over, I also recovered a lot of ‘lost’ space.

My outstanding “to-be-finished’ project is an Aran sweater I started in August. I designed it and it is a commissioned piece that was supposed to be an Anniversary gift. So I have set aside a couple of hours a day to work on it, in an attempt to finish it by the end of the month. I also wanted to finish a shrug that needed to be sewn up – so last night I started seaming it up, but I sewed the wrong edges together – so my message here is – don’t rush and take a good look at what you’re working on.

Don’t let the term ‘Spring cleaning’ get you down. Remember, you like to knit. You can do this is small increments. You don’t have to sit down and finish everything all at once. Do what you can, and congratulate yourself for doing it!

What are your goals for April Spring Cleaning? Are you knitting? Finishing? Organizing? Frogging? What is it that you feel you need to do?

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