Making Time for Knitting: Organization and Inspiration

Carving out time for knitting has never been a problem for me, until now. I used to knit every evening for two or three hours while watching TV or listening to books on tape (and in between changing loads of laundry).

With my new position here at Knitting Daily and the classes I teach at my LYS, I think about knitting all the time, but I find I'm having trouble finding the time to actually knit! I guess it all comes down to time-management, right? And priorities . . .

Organization and Inspiration

I decided that the keys to getting my knitting time back are organization and inspiration.

First the organization part. I spent a couple of hours organizing my projects last week, and I ended up with two projects that floated to the top in "I-must-finish-this-before-I-start-something- new" land. I put each of those projects, with all of their accoutrements, in their own zip-up project bag and put them in my fab Kate Walker knitting tote. I carry my tote with me everywhere, and now I can pull one of those projects out whenever I have a moment of downtime.

I also organized and restocked my notions bag, which was a sad state of affairs. Here's what was in there:

  • various ends of yarn all tangled together with stitch markers and a paperclip
  • nail clippers that I've been using as scissors (they've never been used for their true purpose, only for clipping yarn)
  • a dried up-pen
  • a receipt with a list of patterns for "the next project"
  • a size 13 double pointed needle (no idea why. . .)
  • a paper tape measure from Ikea
  • a packet of stitch markers (all types in one packet)

Here's what's in my notions bag now:

  • stitch markers, each type in their own little plastic envelope
  • scissors
  • a real tape measure
  • a set of cable needles
  • two crochet hooks (a size D for fixing mistakes on small gauge projects and a size G for bigger gauge projects)
  • a pen that works
  • a little tablet of paper
  • two types of row counters (the clicker kind and the kind that fit on circular needles)

It's amazing how a little organization can make your life easier. If I could only apply this principle to my desk. . .

Now for the inspiration part of the equation. First off, we need to have something we want to knit! I mentioned the receipt with the list of patterns written on the back–I had forgotten about these patterns and how much I loved them when I saw them; enough to actually write them down and carry the list around for months. As I looked through the list again that inspiration came back full force.

Many of the patterns are Interweave patterns from Knits, and as I was going through the list I decided to seriously consider the Nantucket Jacket(photo at left). I wrote down the pattern names on my list, but not the specific magazine issues so I looked up the Nantucket Jacket on the website and found it was from the winter 2006 issue. I pulled out my back issues of Knits and found I was missing one–that one. I know that this issue sold out quickly, though, so it's actually no surprise that I didn't have it.

Then I realized that I do have every issue from 2006, on the Interweave Knits Collection CD! The CD is a compilation of all four Knits issues from 2006, exactly as they were printed, plus the Knits Gifts special issue. You can navigate easily to whatever pattern you want and print it out. I should know because I just printed out the Nantucket Jacket.

The Knits Collection CD is the perfect mix of organization and inspiration! I found pattern after pattern to add to my list (in the tablet, no more back-of-receipt lists for me!), and I think you will too.

I'm pretty sure I've solved my problem now–I can't wait to sit down tonight and start swatching. For my sweater knitting this fall and winter I'm going to tackle the Central Park Hoodie first, and then the Nantucket Jacket. Then it'll be spring and we can talk lightweight scarves and tee shirts.




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