Bind Off and Flail!

I am a bit behind this month on my posting.  But it all goes back to the topic at hand.  I have been pretty good most of the time making monthly goals and getting things I want to do done.  But every now and again the instant I finish a project, my brain spits out an error message and I get stuck in this loop of “what should I do next?!”  Do I focus on catching up a quilt project? Or maybe work on freeing up a knit project?  Or perhaps the cross stitch project?  And that’s precisely what happened after I finished my latest Sock Madness socks.  Which I really love how they came out!

Golden Fleece Feet

I ended up #17 out of 30 to advance to the next round, and then they have given us an optional round pattern which I’ve not started, because I’m hopping around doing all the other bits.

I squeaked in two more of my block a day quilt blocks.  Technically I should be done with the inner medallion of squares, but I’m really behind.  I was going to measure up the backs for both the snowflake and the chess quilt, but I discovered that I am short a few supplies for the back of the snowflake.  So I instead snipped out some of the extra backside fabric from my flake so that when its laid on the batting it won’t look so dark.

 

Since my other Knit ALong group was also doing socks and I felt like I was cheating a bit being in sock madness; I cast on a sock using some worsted superwash I need to use up (its leftovers from Debora) and I did manage to finish my monthly Hobbit progress!  (We are now past the Carrock and moving into Murkwood and spiders!)

And in my midst of not wanting to “fall behind” on my projects I realized that April is the start of the second quarter of the year, so this naturally means I need to work on the second quarter of my tulip cross stitch project.

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Between all this I’ve been trying to keep up on my gardening and housekeeping (hey the linen closet got sorted and refolded!) And I’d like to say that all that stuff was the reason I was a bit later updating the blog.  But in reality, my brain was looking at things that weren’t done and things yet to get done and it felt like this ominous cloud of “Not finished!” “Undone!” “Incomplete!” right up to the point I wrote this post and sorted out photos and realized… progress even when its not a finish on all of these things has been moving right along.

Now… what should I work on today?

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Are we done yet? A post about Progress Tracking

Let me be up front, if you came for some finish photos, well… there won’t be any here today.  In fact when I first thought about making this post I wasn’t even sure there would be knitting or quilting in it.

Confession time; we are now midway into the second week of the year and I have not knit or quilted a thing! Last Wednesday I had nothing to post in the WIP weekly thread for knitting and it surprised even me.   Taking just a moment now and then to track how your projects is good for the soul.  Unfortunately, we sometimes want to scrub our beginning efforts from the record.  I was reminded of this when I went through my stash for yarns I want to use up or donate this year (I’m calling it my Knit It or Quit It stash) found the yarn from my first scarf, which I at one point had frogged. Its a bit of a shame really… and now I am going to find something new to make with it.IMG_20160104_104007

Tracking progress both on an individual project and on abilities over time doesn’t need to be complex.  A large percentage of the population actually have cameras in their phones at their fingertips.  When you finish for the day, or get to a spot you want to track, just snap a quick photo.

Maybe you turned a heel (always feels so satisfying) or got to a point where you could finally see the pattern or texture (and maybe you frog it or keep going) or you are trying out a layout… it doesn’t matter the reason. Taking a few minutes to make a note or snap a photo is worth it.  When you look back across the span of your skill journey you see how your latest socks with its cables/beads/no pattern design compares to that first pair of plain stockinette with a heel turn you just had to believe in the pattern because your brain didn’t yet wrap around the concept yet all fit together.  For my knitting, I upload these to Ravelry. (Pro Tip, if you tag your projects with the year you have a nice view with yardage of what you have done for the year too!) For my quilting, I file them all in a folder/album on Google, since my phone is already set to auto-update to there.  Once a week or so I just go in and move the relevant photos to their albums.

You don’t need to master photography and only take beauty shots either. Its ok to show the wrong side of your work.  In fact, there are times when as a crafter that’s exactly what other people want to see.  Sometimes its to see how that pattern fits a body shape, or how a color variation (variegated/stripes) may look.  Maybe you knit it up and can then show visually what you are having trouble with and ask for help.

And.. because we all know I wasn’t not crafting… here’s my latest WIP.

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My in-laws bought me a cross stitch kit off of my wishlist for Christmas.  Based on my math its final design is in the neighborhood of 50k stitches.  I have already made a few mistakes, corrected a few, and am probably doing it all wrong according to at least one person.  But isn’t it fun to watch it grow?