Ripping Out & More

My first post this year was sort of a summary of the fact that I knew change was coming in 2014 and listing a few goals for the year. Since we are past the halfway point, I was curious to see where I stood on my goals.

“The short term, smallish goals are pretty clear.
1: 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.
2: Get more sleep – staying up too late doesn’t help me at work, as a parent or in my fibery pursuits
3: Streamline and prioritize my design process and better organize my teaching supplies
4: Be more organized about the business aspects of designing and teaching – invoices, receipts, etc (boring!)
5: Organize my studio and make it more usable”

#1 – Publishing 12 patterns seems rather unlikely at this point, though not impossible. My next pattern (due later this week) will be #3 for the year. I have several others in various states of completion. At the very least, I think that one pattern release per month is possible, which would get me up to 7 patterns. That, at least, is more patterns than I published in 2013, so it is momentum in the right direction.

Also, when I set this goal, I did not know that I would be changing jobs or that the change would put my design process on hold for several months. Our summer has also been seriously packed with fun plans – some of these allow for good car knitting time and some mean zero productivity all weekend. Example, trip to Washington D.C. when we needed to take two cars:

#2 – Nope. I suck at this. Still trying to get there. But I’m often with kids until 8:30 or 9 and then doing chores until 9:30 or 10. If I went to bed at 10, I would get very little downtime to myself, ever. I have been trying to limit morning weekend commitments, so at least I can sleep in occasionally.

#3, #4 & #5 – These items are a bit more general, but also the area where I feel I’m making the most progress. I have made great strides in cleaning up my studio. To the point that I was able to remove many bags worth of items from my bedroom and put the yarn/patterns/books up in my studio where they belong. So now only the projects that I am actively working on are at my bedside – limiting the clutter and making it easier to focus on what should be getting my attention. I also pulled out two full bags of yarn to donate to a local group that knits for charity. My stash feels lighter and better curated already.

All of my paperwork is in one place, ready to be filed and sorted. All of the files on my computer are better organized by project, and I recently backed up all of my project photos with the help of my husband. (He maintains our back-ups and archives.) And having a standard pattern template, as well as a template for invoices and receipts, has helped a lot in the streamlining of the work.

Lastly, we come to the reason for the post title. The fact that I have mostly given up teaching probably had the biggest effect on the curating of my stash and the de-cluttering of my bedroom. There were a lot of skeins of yarn that I was keeping “in case I needed them for teaching” or partial projects that I was hanging on to for demonstration purposes. Now that my teaching roster is very limited and sparse, I was able to rip a number of things out entirely and either reclaim the yarn or move it directly to the donation bags. It means that I have gotten some needles and hooks back in my cases and I have fewer tote bags packed with samples, yarns, handouts and books.

I also ripped out a few designs in progress. Some were second samples that I know I’m never going to finish. Some were original samples that were replaced by better yarn. The ripping was a bit cathartic, a sign that I am moving in a new direction. As much as I miss teaching, the advantage of giving it up is that my designing does not have to work in harmony with my teaching. So I don’t have to pursue a design idea just because it would make a good class. I can abandon the ideas that no longer excite me, no matter how awesome they would be for teaching.

2014 seems to be about resetting and refocusing on priorities! Will 2015 be the year that I self-publish 12 patterns?

About Structured Stitches

Designer - Knit, Crochet and Architecture
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