Friday, April 27

Part 4 : The Organized Woman's Guide - Projects

This series is about discovering time you already have that maybe you just aren't using as wisely as you could.  I decided to do this series because I've learned some things that work for me, some things I'd like to improve upon, and some things I still need to learn!

Whether you want more knitting time, time to spin, crochet, paint, or read.  There are sure to be some tips and techniques you can use for better time management.


We knitters, we love our projects.  Big projects, little projects, travel projects, mindless knitting projects, new technique name it, we've got a project for it.

It's rare that I have less than 2 things on the needles at any given time, and it's usually closer to 3 or 4.  And that doesn't count the projects I'm thinking about knitting, planning to knit and getting ready to knit.

It can get messy.  And un-organized. 
So, how does an organized woman  arrange her knitting projects?

In a word:  

Project bags are the best thing since wool for the multiple-project knitter.  There are multiple uses for bags in knitting: 

The overall knitting bag-
Ideal for holding your tools and projects in progress.  Most knitters have a "knitting bag."  For some it's a dedicated, made-for-the-purpose bag, for others it's also their purse.  I fall into the latter category.

It's rare for me to buy or make a purse that doesn't have a divider in the middle, so one side can be my "purse" side and the other my "knitting" side.  And pockets!  Knitters love pockets, and lots of them.  They're great for holding needles, notions, patterns, extra yarn, and anything else a girl might need.

My current bag is shown below.  It's roomy, has lots of pockets, 2 main sections with a zippered divider in the middle plus I love the color. 

Individual project bags-
These are the true workhorse bags of the knitter's world.  A couple of years ago, I made myself about a dozen small & medium bags with a drawstring closure.  They are my favorite project bags, as well as being great for getting upcoming projects ready to go.

I love the box bags I've seen around, but I haven't made any yet.  Whatever you choose, it should be smaller rather than larger and have "squishability" - soft enough to compress and fit in your knitting bag, suitcase or purse.

I use my project bags to hold my current works-in-progress (a separate bag for each):
I keep the pattern, the item and extra yarn in the bag. 

I might also  have a travel project in my purse (usually a sock).

And I use project bags to get upcoming projects ready to go.  I have a basket that I keep just for upcoming projects, and it holds a few bags that have the pattern, yarn and needles ready to go.  That way the next pattern is ready when I am.

Tools & notions bag-
I've also made a few smaller notions bags (or pouches).  Below is a picture of the one that stays beside my knitting chair and all its contents.  It holds a lot in a small space, and I always know where all the little bits and bobs are.  I've got a smaller version in my purse and another ready for travel or whatever. 

Stash bags-
I don't have any stash bags, since I prefer baskets and shelves.  But a lot of knitters swear by the large vacuum bags for holding vast amounts of stash yarn and fiber.

And the other way to keep your projects organized?   

It's hard to imagine that there are any knitters out there who haven't heard of Ravelry.  But if you have not, go join right now.  It's free and it's wonderful.  I'll wait.

I could go on for days about all the perks and wonderfulness that is Ravelry, but let's stick to Project Organization for the time being.  And in that regard, it's a knitter's best friend.  You can:

Keep track of current projects on your own project page (and thereby have an online record of everything you knit).                        

Keep notes and necessary information about each project.  Each project page lets you record the pattern name, designer, yarn you chose, needles and any notes you want to include.  If you make changes or modifications to a pattern, here's the place to record the details.  This helps and you and everyone else who views your project.

Queue things you'd like to knit.  Some people put everything that catches their eye, others only include things they definitely plan to knit, and others fall somewhere in between.

Favorite items that strike your fancy, then categorize them as you choose (socks, sweaters, shawls; or lace, cables, colorwork, whatever works for you).

Keep track of your yarn stash, your needles, books, magazines and patterns, and your friends (and all of their stuff!).

There is much more to Ravelry, but the organization options it offers are unbeatable.
So dig out those bags and fill up your Queue! 

Next week:  Avoiding Distraction

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