Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Follow Through

How is it that I can feel restless and tired at the same time? How can I feel like I could sleep for hours, yet my head is spinning with ideas for projects and my fingers are itching to do something?

The problem is that I’m a great planner, but I’m usually not so good at follow through. I love planning. I love the excitement of those early moments in an idea. The gleam of “what if I . . .” completely redirects my attention me from whatever I’m doing.

For example, I decided that I needed a knitting journal. I have a spiral journal/notebook thingie (with sheep on it, of course) where I keep notes on what I’m working on. OK, that makes me sound sooooo much more organized than I am. Let’s try that again: When I think about it, I write down notes about what I’m working on, such as what yarn, what size needle, and any changes I’ve made to the pattern. But the notebook is haphazardly used, writing something down when I think about it and I have trouble finding the info later. So, I decided I needed a little more organization.

I thought about making my own first, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to look around the internet to see if there was already the perfect one out there. There were knitting journals, but back when I was looking at them, there weren’t that many and they all lacked a little something. They all had the basic info describing the project on a page, but somehow they just weren’t user-friendly enough for me, mostly I couldn’t take the pages out to categorize the projects so they’d be easier to find. Time to make my own!

I got a pretty binder and sat down with Excel to create my project pages. I tried different ways with different information, but finally ended up with something I liked. I made a lot of copies of blank journal pages, put them in the binder, then put the binder on the shelf of my knitting bookcase. And there it sat for I’m embarrassed to say how long. I did fill out a few pages, but for the most part, I didn’t want to take the time out of working on my projects to actually write all that stuff down. But when I got back from Virginia, I decided I needed to get out that journal and update it. I printed out photos of finished projects to tape to the pages, then filled out as much information as I could remember. While doing this, I realized there was a little more organizing to do: putting in dividers for projects in progress and projects completed. Then there was the growing list of projects I want to do. I decided I needed a page (or 20) so that I could list possible projects and where I can find the patterns and what yarn I would need. I even went through my magazines and tore out patterns, put them in protector pages, and I now have a “Wanna Do Projects” binder.

I’m so pleased with myself! Sure, I have new magazines I need to go through and patterns that I downloaded are still on my computer, but I have a good basis to build on. I do wish I was a better wiz with a computer and design programs because there are some things I would change about those journal pages, make them prettier. Also, right now, the binder is for 8 ½ x 11 paper, but I’d really like a smaller sized one, such as a 5 x 8 so it would be easier to carry around. It would come in really handy at the yarn shop to just pull my journal out of my purse and double check how much and what weight of yarn I need for that hiking scarf. I have a binder that size, but I can’t figure out an easy way to type up my journal pages on paper that size. Oh well, it’s nice having all the room on a page for my notes an pictures.

A quick Google search shows there are lots of journals out there now, even a woman who offers on her blog pdfs of her journal pages to download; they look a lot like mine, but are much prettier. Plus, there’s Ravelry, where you can keep an online journal and talk about your projects, even keep an inventory of your stash. I could be uber-cyber-organized, but I really like pen and paper, so I think I’ll stick to what I have.

Of course, there are more magazines coming in and several yarn companies offer free patterns for downloads, which are on my computer and need to be printed out. It seems like organization is an ongoing chore, I mean task. I shouldn’t think of it as a chore. OK, it’s a chore. It was fun to think about it and play around with the idea of having the journal, but now it’s a lot of work to keep that sucker updated. But in the end, it’s worth it.

It’s nice to have an idea and actually follow through with it for a change. Hmmm. Maybe this a brand new start to a whole new me! A disciplined, organized, and projects-completed kind of person. A person who finishes her projects instead of letting UFOs pile up around her. A person who keeps . . . hold on a minute. I just got an email from Knitting Daily. Maybe there’s a new pattern! Sometimes they have articles about spinning and weaving. You know, I’d love to learn how to spin. That would be so cool, wouldn’t it? Of course, I’d need to learn about the different types of yarns and understand better what “ply” means, but it would be so interesting. Then I could knit with the yarn I spin! Oooooh, oooooh, then I could start dying my own yarn! Yeah, I could try my hand at my own hand-painted yarns. Where’s my color wheel? What colors go well with sage green?

Sorry, I gotta go! You guys can let yourselves out, right? I got things to think about!!

P.S. Clip art from


Betty said...

I have been trying to think of a better way to organize my Book List. I'd like to be able to keep it in a smaller binder, too - one that would be easier to carry around with me, maybe in a purse. I'm proud of my book list. It's the only thing I've ever kept up to date and organized - ever.

Dianne said...

You made incredible headway!

I was just having similar thoughts about follow through - I still have the digital photo frame I got for Christmas - almost a year now!!
taped to the top of the box is the list of photos I want to download to the frame, ideas for editing and framing them and so on.

It sits there like an accusation ;)

I hope you're going to post some photos of your knitting projects. I love looking at that stuff, it's like art.

Oh and uh - where is Cossette!? LOL

Anonymous said...

I'm guilty of leaving projects of all kinds unfinished. I'm trying to finish them all-or at least one, so I have something to show for all that time!

little wanderer said...

well you make me feel so unorganized for sure!

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