New Year Ramblings

I have thought about this post a number of times. How do I want to sum up my hopes and goals for 2014? It is difficult to write a concrete list – there is a lot of introspection going on in my brain as of late and the path(s) I choose to follow will impact what I can accomplish.

The past few years have been defined in some ways by surviving the decisions made by others and the economy. I was laid off (twice) and took the only job I could find after 14 months of unemployment. As our household has recovered economically from the turmoil and our youngest is on the brink of starting Kindergarten, it feels like it is time to figure out what I want to do and how to get there.

Being the “silver lining” kind of person that I am, these challenges of the past 3 years have taught me a lot about myself and my skills. I probably know myself better now than I did before the big layoff, but I still mourn the “perfect” job that I lost. All I can do know is try to accept what I can’t control and focus on the things I can do something about.

The short term, smallish goals are pretty clear.
– Publish at least 12 patterns this year – based on my current plans I expect them all to be in locally dyed yarn and/or yarn available at my LYS.
– Get more sleep – staying up too late doesn’t help me at work, as a parent or in my fibery pursuits
– Streamline and prioritize my design process and better organize my teaching supplies
– Be more organized about the business aspects of designing and teaching – invoices, receipts, etc (boring!)
– Organize my studio and make it more usable

Just before the new year I went through an excel spreadsheet that I call “Design Database”. I started it as a way to track my design ideas and where I was in each process. It’s a visual way to see which designs need pattern writing, which need charts, which need samples, etc, etc. So, for example, if I find myself with two hours to work on my computer, I can look at the list to see which patterns or charts I should work on. Or if it is a sunny day, I can check the list to see if there is anything to photograph.

I don’t refer to the database as often as I should to make it totally effective, but it was a great way to take stock of the ideas that I have in the pipeline and my workflow. I’ve got 25 unpublished pattern ideas. Based on this year’s goal of publishing 12 patterns, that’s about 2 years worth of ideas. And I know there are more designs that I have sketched up quickly, but that haven’t made it to the database yet.

Trying to put those 25 ideas in a list by priority was very tricky. I’d like to make a month by month list of when I’ll publish them, but since my time to work on them is rather piece meal, I worry that would only be an exercise in frustration. I may try it, just to see if it helps me focus a bit better than I have been lately.

Some of them, inevitably, will be scrapped from the list. Especially ones that have been hanging out on there for a long time. Without a team of sample makers, there just isn’t enough time to bring them all to fruition before more ideas present themselves in my mind.

All in all, I am looking forward to 2014 on a number of fronts and I hope you are too!

About Structured Stitches

Designer - Knit, Crochet and Architecture
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