About six years ago I started a thread on Ravelry in the Holland Road Yarn Group called Focused on Finishing. My intro to the thread went like this:

In that season of “out with old and in with the new”, closure and new beginnings, resolutions and fresh starts, many of us contemplate that growing pile of projects commonly known as WIPs, UFO’s or even zzzzz and resolve to do better this year. 

Every year since, around this time I reflect on what I have achieved over the year and make plans for the future, including deciding what I will do for #focusonfinishing. Some of my biggest challenge projects would probably never have been completed without the discipline of using January to take stock and focus, to the degree that this year I am having difficulty starting a new project in January until I have finished at least one of my #FonF WIPS. Which is a minor problem as the project is something warm to wear in New York at the end of the month!

At the moment my Focused on Finishing plans are to finish a second sock which is at the heel turn, the border of a baby shawl, my Vianne cardigan (cuff, second sleeve and button band) and possibly an Advent Shawl KAL I started which would be useful for New York (but could also be good plane knitting) In fact the first three of these projects are in the header image of my blog at the moment.

Yesterday I spent thirty minutes or so on Ravelry going through my existing projects, deciding which to frog, which to hibernate in the short term and which to prioritise to get finished. It was kind of exciting to discover that I met the Ravelry challenge I had set for myself of ten completed projects for 2018. I somewhat ambitiously set it for 12 for 2019.

Every time I do a Ravelry sort I am reminded of a project stashed away in a drawer that I really want to finish, and I also get to see the patterns I have been planning to knit for years. Someone at Knit Night once said it’s not stash if you have a project for it – while I don’t have a lot of stash if that is true – I do have a very long queue of projects.

So this year my goal is (as usual) to have a nett loss of yarn out in projects against yarn in. From memory I started this blog around the same time as the first #FonF as a bit of an accountability tool. So for my first post of 2019 I thought I would make some tentative plans.

  1. I need to add projects to Ravelry to get a more accurate count of what is completed and what is still a WIP – there are several projects that aren’t in the last couple of years galleries.
  2. I need to celebrate how much I actually do finish in a year – I thought I hadn’t knit much this year but there is actually a lot there!
  3. I need to remember how much I actually finish when I plan what I want to do for the year because I never do knit as much as I think 😉
  4. I’d like to plan out my time a bit better this year for sewing, knitting and crochet. For instance in Stash Down group I belong to I learnt some great tips like having a WIP Wednesday and doing two rows of a really long shawl border every day to get through it.
  5. Being mindful of what I do achieve – don’t be afraid to frog. I think in the early days of knitting, unravelling a project that was half completed seemed such a waste of time and effort, when really making something we love and that works is more important.

Anyway, I began to sort out my “working on” storage container as someone in the Stash Down Under group had suggested having a bin of stash they work through helps them keep focused, and it is encouraging to see it empty through the year. And promptly left it all over the floor and dragged a really old crochet blanket WIP out of my stash cupboard because that’s what I felt like working on! It is one of my oldest WIPs and is kind of finite as I only have a limited quantity of yarn but it fit my mood today. Ultimately craft time is about what gives you joy in the moment which is perhaps the most important thing to remember.

What I would like to do this year:

  1. I have at least three cardigans/jerseys for me that I am itching to start
  2. I have eight grandchild projects – four of which are all ready to go.
  3. I would like to finish four pairs of socks at least (preferably six)
  4. At least one wearable shawl and to progress another big circular or square shawl
  5. A vest for my middle son

This would be more than I have ever knitted before and is not going to happen! I am thinking one and a half cardigans for me might, possibly four grandchild projects, two pairs of socks and maybe the vest …Especially as I would like to get some sewing, quilting and cross stitch done and this is supposed to be the year I get back to paid employment.

BTW my plans for the blog:

  1. I’m going to try and add a few more yarn tourism posts as the year progresses – starting with Vogue Knitting Live in New York but also hunting out interesting things around South East Asia.
  2. I am brewing some thoughts about yarn/wool – the choosing, and caring for.
  3. The needle saga will continue – I have some more needles to review and would also like to add in some content about ergonomics. Plus I want to explore fibre content and needle material a bit more.
  4. I’d quite like to add in some book reviews.
  5. Last (but not least) I am thinking of how to also do what I originally planned and maybe have a monthly round up of my projects.

So Happy New Year (the calendar version) everyone – I’d love to hear you plans for the year either in the comments or on Facebook

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