#needleworkmonday | Finish It February | Bucket List Challenge | Plans for 2023
A selection of the yarns I am adding to my collection this year for the Travelling Books project.
Finish It February - What is it?
I came across this idea last year and tried it then for the first time. Essentially, you pull all your unfinished objects from wherever they have been hiding and sort through them. Each object is sorted into one of three piles:
- Yay Pile - you like it, you want to finish it and you'll like the item when it's finished.
- Nay Pile - you don't like it, you don't want to finish it or you've grown out of it.
- Pile of Ambiguities - you have no idea what you want to do about these objects.
The Pile of Ambiguities is a great idea - you simply pack these away and review again in 2024.
For the Nays, decide whether you want to re-cycle the yarn in your stash. If yes, remove needles and any markers and add to your stash (you don't need to frog at this stage), If no, pack ready to donate. This could be by putting the unfinished object plus the yarn and pattern to complete it and giving away; or by donating the yarn to textile reclamation.
For the Yays, sort into two piles: objects you'd like to finish in February; objects for later, either that you can knit through the year, or that you'll re-visit in February 2024 and plan for that year.
You can read about this process in more detail in this post from last year.
Review of 2022 - How did I do?
It was an interesting experience and didn't go as I expected. I discovered that I wasn't really that bothered about some of the items when it came down to doing something about them:
- Finished - 3 objects - I donated one and one didn't fit and moved to the Pile of Ambiguities.
- Donated - 7 objects - mostly to charity, but some to textile reclamation.
- Did nothing - 3 objects - I didn't care enough to spend my time that way.
- Moved to Pile of Ambiguities - 5 objects - again, I wasn't sure I cared enough to do these.
- Finished later in the year - 6 pairs of socks.
You can see the full inventory at the bottom of the post (some objects are counted twice as they fall into more than one category).
The most interesting results were the number of things I decided to donate, either because I didn't care, or I had already decided I didn't want them or because, even though I had finished them, I had grown out of the object. It was a really useful exercise for helping me to focus on what I do and don't want to do. It was very liberating to decide how I want to spend my time and removing objects that were no longer of interest to me.
At some stage, I also sorted my yarn stash and organised better storage for them. I can't remember when I did that, exactly, but I wanted yarn where I could easily see it, instead of hidden away all over the house. I know I started by buying five nine-litre stacking boxes (roughly, holds enough yarn for a garment - a jumper or cardigan), and then having to make two more trips to buy more boxes!
Preparing for Finish It February 2023
My newly sorted yarn stash, labelled, and separated into garment vs accessory quantities.
I started by pulling everything together, emptying various project bags and sorting through the stacking yarn storage boxes. I made decisions as I went along about which items I wanted to include in this year's Finish It February and which I wanted to put into the Pile of Ambiguities for review next year.
It was much easier this year: I've already removed many of the objects and yarns that don't serve me; the Travelling Books project is the driver for the next two years, together with developing creative practice (I wrote about creative practice in this post and the second half of this post).
I'm in the second month of the Travelling Books project, so I'm starting to get an idea about how I work and what I need for the project: the types of materials, storage, yarns and organisation. I have a stash of patterns and pattern books, and I've been buying reference books for knitting. I have some design and craft materials and some new sketchbooks for collecting and trying out ideas.
I sorted all the yarns in my stash, so that I knew what I had. These are mainly in garment quantities, in a limited colour range and often too thick for the small designs that will appear in the Travelling Books. I've stored them by quantity, then by fibre (wool, cotton, linen, silk, alpaca) and weight (4-ply, double knitting, aran, chunky).
Then I put together the preparation tasks for the Travelling Books project. Over the past three months I've been able to start a collection of yarns in different colours, weights and fibre, buying all of them at discounts, as they became available. I had another discount to spend by last weekend and found I couldn't remember what I already had and where there were gaps.
I spent last Sunday cataloguing all the yarns in a spreadsheet and then starting to fill some of the gaps. Three lots arrived this week, one of them in a huge pink sack like gifts from Santa. It's been very exciting opening them, but I know they need some organising. Some come as skeins, so they need winding into balls before they can be used.
I ended up with the following priorities for Finish It February:
1. Yays Finish It February - Priorities
|Yay!||Item||What needs doing?||How long?|
|1||Drawing and design materials||organising and storage||3-4 hours|
|2||Books and patterns||sorting, organising and storage||3-4 hours|
|3||Sketchbooks||cataloguing samples and design ideas||1 day|
|4||Yarn collection||cataloguing, winding, shade cards, storage||3 days|
|5||Bucket List Challenge||Learn Procreate (deadline 27 March 2023)||5 days|
2. Yay! Bucket List Challenge
The Needlework Monday Community has set a challenge for the first three months of 2023: complete something from your needlework bucket list.
We are giving you 3 months to mark at least one thing off your 🄽🄴🄴🄳🄻🄴🅆🄾🅁🄺 🄱🅄🄲🄺🄴🅃 🄻🄸🅂🅃!!
Whether it’s completing a project, learning a new needlework skill/technique, purchasing those must have supplies for your next venture, visiting a fiber arts fair, festival or museum, creating your own pattern for the first time etc etc, we want to challenge you to it!
Remember, we do accept any form of fiber arts that deal with knotting, braiding, felting, lacing or any form of manipulation of fabrics and yarns. If any of these are on your list of things to accomplish you can include those in this challenge as well.
The aim is to at least reach one goal but we want to motivate you to do as many as you can within a three month timeframe.
I've always been frustrated that I don't know how to use Canva and now, after participating in several design workshops, I want to be to produce storyboards and mood boards for design ideas. So, in addition to practically organising my work space and materials, I've included starting to learn ProCreate as one of my Finish It February priorities.
3. Yays - Projects for Later
I like to have some knitting on the go for relaxing. I've selected the following projects, most of which are at least half done and some of them nearly finished for leisure knitting. Mainly, they don't require very much concentration and some of them are small enough for travelling. I've set each one up in its own project bag, so they are ready to go whenever I want to do them.
Projects for later - from top left: cocktail socks, yellow and blue fashion socks, self patterning winter socks (knitted double); Mr P's cashmere scarf; samples for the sketchbooks. From bottom left - lace "perfect cardigan pattern"; Noro top-down raglan cropped cardigan and cropped moss stitch jacket - scroll down to get to the cardigan.
|Yay!||Item||What needs doing?||How long?|
|6||Socks x 4 pairs||various - 3 pairs nearly finished!||3 days|
|7||Cashmere scarf||50% more to do plus finishing||2 days|
|8||Cream lace cardigan||complete sleeves plus finishing||3 days|
|9||Noro top-down raglan cardigan||complete sleeve and body plus finishing||5 days|
|10||Big Wool brown moss stitch jacket||Add collar and cuffs, sew up and finish||5 days|
4. Pile of Ambiguities 2023
The remaining unfinished (or in one case, finished) objects. I'm not making a decision about these, or I've made a decision and I'm not going to do anything about it this year. No Nays for this year, I've eliminated them all already.
|11||Dark Academia v-neck vest (finished but doesn't fit)||Review 2024|
|12||Crocheted shawl/bed jacket - needs frogging||Review 2024|
|13||Crocheted hooded slipover - needs frogging||Review 2024|
|14||Black bottom-up slipover||Review 2024|
|15||Tweed moss-stitch top down raglan cardigan - needs frogging||Review 2024|
|16||Top-down lace raglan cardigan||Review 2024|
|17||Red moss-stitch cable jacket needs frogging||Review 2024|
In total, nine items (from 21 in total) were brought forward from 2021, seven in the Pile of Ambiguities and two in the knitting projects for later this year. Four pairs of socks, a scarf and a cardigan were added during 2022 - twelve in total. Five new tasks were added for 2023.
For unfinished objects, I've come down from 21 items in February 2022, to 12 in February 2023. I loved it when I found out that you could have more than one object in progress at the same time. I remember a woman at a knitting group telling me that she had, "a project for every degree of tiredness", which makes sense.
I like to have plain knitting things that I can pick up and put down, and take with me when travelling - socks and scarves. Sometimes, an object has a tricky bit to negotiate, maybe turning the heel, or picking up the gusset, which needs a bit more attention. So you need something else that has just eighty plain rows to do and requires no thinking at all that you put in your tote bag for travelling.
Longer term, I do want to create more garments, but maybe smaller ones - hats and gloves and mittens and socks and scarves. For me, and for gifts. Perfect little things that can't be found in the shops, that fit exactly with an outfit, or are the perfect present for a friend or family member. Tiny objects where I can try out patterns and textures and echniques.
For the next two years, I'm thinking more about the Travelling Books, creating small pieces of work that reflect or convey an idea or a mood, ideally, that speak to people and elicit a response. The response might not always be, "that's lovely", it might be "I don't like that".
Finish It February 2022 - The Full Inventory
Everything from last year and what happened to them.
Items to finish
|Yay!||Item||What needs doing?||How long?||What happened?|
|1||Blackberry stitch cowl||Sew ends together||1 hour||Finished and donated 😍 😁|
|2||Original top-down raglan cardigan||add buttons||1 hour||Finished 😍|
|3||Dark Academia v-neck vest||Fix shoulder seams/armholes, sew in ends||2-3 hours||Finished 😍 and moved to Pile of Ambiguities|
|4||Moss stitch jacket||Sew underarm seams, sew in ends, add button||2-3 hours||Moved to Pile of Ambiguities|
|5||Slip-stitch Afghan||Crochet border, sew in ends||1 week||Changed my mind!|
Items to fix
|Yay!||Item||What needs doing?||How Long?||What happened?|
|6||Purple crushed velvet jacket||Add button and buttonhole||1-2 hours||Nothing!|
|7||Blue/pink silk skirt||Add yoga band at waistband||1-2 hours||Donated! 😁|
|8||Denim skirt||Reduce length and add yoga waistband||2 hours||Donated 😁|
|9||Barbour quilted jacket||Repair pocket and belt-holder||2 hours||Nothing!|
|10||Four Seasons raincoat||Repair loose buttons||2 hours||Donated! 😁|
Unfinished Objects for Later
|Yay!||Item||What needs doing?||How long?||What happened?|
|11||Perfect set in sleeves bottom up cardigan||Finish and set-in sleeves, add button band and buttons, sew in ends, transcribe pattern||1-2 weeks||In 2023 plans|
|12||Black bottom-up slipover||Design and knit yoke, knit sleeves, make up, sew in ends||1-2 weeks||Moved to Pile of Ambiguities|
|13||Tweed moss-stitch top down raglan cardigan||knit sleeves, finish body, add buttons, sew in ends||2-3 weeks||Decided to frog|
|14||Top-down lace raglan cardigan||Knit sleeves and body, add buttons, sew in ends||4 weeks||Moved to Pile of Ambiguities|
|15||Red moss-stitch cable jacket||Frog, steam, re-wind, start again||4 weeks||Moved to Pile of Ambiguities|
Pile of Ambiguities
|16||Crocheted shawl/bed jacket||A shawl extended into a cardigan - loved making it, like the yarn||Review 2023|
|17||Crocheted hooded slipover||Pattern from Knitty (?), loved making it, doesn't fit||Review 2023|
|18||Striped sweater||Loved making it, lovely yarn, love the colours. Shoulders and sleeves don't fit properly, and what's with the collar?||Donated! 😁|
|19||Sock yarn||Where did all this sock yarn come from?||Made 6 pairs of socks in 2022 😁|
|20||Lime green chunky yarn||Acrylic and lime||Donated! 😁|
|21||Charity shop cotton textured yarn in chocolate||Texture and colour||Donated! 😁|