Keeping Track

Organization has never been my forte. You might even call me organizationally-challenged. I get these “great” ideas, get busy, head off on a tangent, and totally forget about the original project.

Lately, my knitting and crocheting projects have been showing me how much a little organization might help. When I went to wrap up a little something for Christmas, I stumbled across a lovely yarn project that I’d completed, wrapped, and then promptly forgotten. I hate it when that happens.

This summer, I started a journal. Not the regular kind of journal in which you pour out your deepest thoughts and share your emotions. That’s way to uncomfortable for me. What if someone actually read any of it? Instead I started documenting my yarn projects.

I had an old journal someone gave me when one of the girls was born. Since they’re 18 and 15, I think it’s safe to assume I’m not going to be writing down any thoughts about their early days and can use it for another purpose.

Then, I set a completed project down on the coffee table–a mass of granite tiles makes the perfect background–snapped a photo, printed it off and glued it into the journal. For future reference, I wrote down what type of yarn I’d used and where the pattern came from. If I was feeling extra fancy, I added the yarn label and a bit of yarn to the page. Then I shared my thoughts on the project. You see sometimes sweaters, scarfs,  or whatever turn out really well, but they were a major pain to make. These are good things to know–cause let’s be honest, sometimes all I remember is how cute something is rather than the struggle it was to make.

I made a sweet, nautical sweater for the girls’ FFA advisor–well actually for her new baby boy, but you get what I mean. The sweater turned out great, but I hated the pattern. After a few rows, I want to know where I’m at and not have to constantly check a chart. This was not a relaxing project, so I wrote it all down. If I’m tempted to make it again, I’ll know it’s cute, but irritating, and be able to make an informed decision on whether I really want to make another one.

So bit by bit, I’ve been cataloguing my projects upon completion.

As I was getting ready for Thanksgiving, I realized I may need to start this journal business a bit sooner, so I can stay on task and complete a few more projects. When I grabbed chairs from the guest room, I noticed the cardigan pieces that have been waiting to be blocked for months, possibly years. This is good cardigan weather, and I have a long weekend. It could happen. As I was tidying up in our room, I was quite surprised to see a red string behind the hope chest. No, it wasn’t a string, it was another forgotten project. A lace scarf  in a really complicated pattern. It just needs to be blocked and then I could wear it instead of storing it behind furniture. After all that work, wearing it seems a better choice.

Perhaps, I’ll write down the info, add a little yarn, and then finish the entry off with a picture once the project is completed. When I check my journal, I’ll notice those projects and get busy finishing them. Then I’ll have a few less of those “oh yeah, I totally forgot about that” moments… It might work.

Now that I’ve got a plan for my knitting and crocheting, I’m going to work on my sewing and craft projects. I have some really cute seersucker that’s been waiting to be sewn up for about five years, and I bought red and white felt for Christmasy pillow covers. Maybe it’s time. Now that Christmas is around the corner, I have lots of things I really want to get done if I can just stay on track.

How do you keep organized? Are you haunted by half-done projects? For Christmas is it homemade or store-bought?

Bonus: Thanksgiving

Our first Thanksgiving in the big, white house was lovely. We celebrated with 23 friends and family sharing food and fun. I would like to say I took fabulous photos to commemorate, but I was a bit busy with turkeys, sweet potatoes, and giving orders.

I am thankful to have Sweet Miss home for the weekend–full of energy and life. I’m thankful for my sweet, handsome man who is always helping and for my kind and silly Baby Girl who makes me laugh and smile every day. We are looking forward to getting a Christmas tree this weekend and to start decorating for the holidays and for some family time.

I did get capture this photo of two of my favorite people in that lull between dinner and dessert.

Baby Girl and Auntie celebrating Thanksgiving.

Hope your Thanksgiving left you happy and blessed.

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5 thoughts on “Keeping Track

  1. I like your journal. I have a ring binder with plastic sleeves. I store a photo, a copy of the pattern, sample of wool or material, and write down when, who I made it for, how much it cost!, and whether I enjoyed doing it or not. It makes life a little easier (and the piece has to be finished before it can go in there)… I still have various UFO’s hanging around! 🙂

    • I like the idea of adding the price. I usually have no idea what it costs since I’ve lost the receipt long ago. I have a number of patterns in plastic sleeves in a 3-ring binder. A friend and I have been touring the local yarn shops each spring for the last four years. The shops each offer a free one or two skein pattern, sales, drawings, and treats. It’s a bit of an all day party.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one with unfinished projects. 🙂

  2. ravelry.com is great for knitting/crochet projects. It lets you record pattern/yarn info, look at what your friends are working on, find great new patterns, what other people are using a specific yarn on. Only problem is your “to-do” list grows and grows as you find so many great patterns 😀

  3. Pingback: November Revisited « bigwhitehouseonthehill

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