So Many Projects

So last week I ordered some fabric. It arrived the other day, and my little helper was very excited to help me open it. And then he asked, “Who is all those people?” Which lets me know I need to bust out the special episode tapes as we enter the holiday season.

I’ve drawn a quick flat, mostly to make sure it will look good to cut all the pieces on the bias, since it is quilting fabric and I want it to have some stretch. I like comfy clothes. I think it should turn out well:

Then, there is the issue of Halloween being a month away. One of the boys already has a Harry Potter costume, and now the other big brother has decided he also wants to be Harry Potter. The littles are a little more challenging. One wants to be a “vampire giant tarantula” and the other wants to be “mighty eagle from Angry Birds,” but I think I have those figured out. Just have to actually write a list of what I need to make them.

And, with Halloween only a month away, that means Inktober starts on Saturday. That is my 30 page notebook, which I have gouached the cover of to make 31 pages. Saturday will be creating a cover for it. I’m obviously going to be posting pictures to Instagram every day, but I’m also going to post a round-up here every Friday.

There is one more project that I am also working on. Actually, a few, but this is the first of a mini-series of Christmas presents. And, not meaning to cause panic to anyone making presents for Christmas, there are only 88 days left until Christmas. So I need to get moving on this. Or these. Not panicking. Yet.

Getting Things Done

Is it just me, or does everything seem to pile up at once? You can just be going along with one or two things to do, and then when you plan to do something, twenty other things need to be done at once. That would be how my week is going.

Like I said before, I’m working to really get my Etsy store “open”. Technically, it is open now, but I’m “grand opening” on Sunday. And there is another project I am working on to go with that. So there’s two projects I was planning and working on at a steady pace.

Then, we found out favorite book character day is on Friday. That added another four projects to the list. But it gave me incentive to see if I could knit a five-foot scarf in under a week. (Spoiler alert: I finished in two days. Maybe a whole four hours of work into it?)

I’ve also committed to helping my mom re-open her Etsy Store this week before a major event at her work. And after a major event in her life, but that is her story to tell (and she should, hint hint). So I’ve put off some things for that until I finish this costume, but I’m getting to those, too.

While it can be stressful to have so many things going on at once, I think it helps. It gives that extra push to get things done that sometimes is lacking when you only have one or two things to do.

Slow Progress Feels Like No Progress

I’ve heard it said before that, “Slow progress is better than no progress.” Which is good in theory, but not so much in practice. If I were making no progress because I wasn’t doing anything, that would be understandable and not necessarily frustrating. It’s working for an hour straight and having almost nothing to show for it that gets irritating.

This was three days progress on the background. Closing that tiny hole took three days of work. Granted I only have a couple hours a day to work on this, but it is still disheartening to see it take so much time. Now that I’m on to the hair and skin, it feels like it is moving slightly faster. Only slightly, though. And I have to get this finished by next week to get it sent on time.

I’ve Done Things!

No matter how much I feel like I haven’t done anything but work and sleep. Especially since this week all I’ve done is work and sleep.

But I am really talking about the progress I’ve made on my goals for the year. Despite dropping one, I do have measurable (and good) progress on three of the remaining five.*

For a refresher, this year’s goals are:

  1. Film 10 videos
  2. Finish 52 projects
  3. Write 5 knit/crochet patterns to sell
  4. Write 1 song per month (or 12 in a year)
  5. Write 2 posts per week
  6. Finish 1 year of “Don’t Break the Chain”

I have made the following progress in three areas:

  • 52 Projects

    In the past 8 weeks, I have finished:

    That makes 10 projects. I’m 2 ahead of schedule, and about to finish another.

  • 12 Songs

    I have started creating a demo track for one song which (so far) has complete lyrics. Of course, that can change in the recording process.

  • 2 Posts per Week

    If you are reading this on the website on a computer (not so sure about on tablets, and not if you are reading in readers or email), you can scroll down to the bottom of the left-hand column to see a little calendar of posts. And that calendar is marked on every Tuesday (except one Monday for some reason) and Thursday for both January and now February. They might not always be the best or most coherent things, but I have posted a thing each of those days.

On top of those things, I have a few video ideas kicking around in my brain. They are just going to require some time and effort. So they must wait until I finish the giant shawl. There are also those three knitting patterns I started that I mentioned in the original post. So I am starting to have unusually high hopes for attaining my goals this year.

How are you doing on your goals for the year?

*Sidenote: That’s why I was having trouble. How the heck did I end up with six goals? Six isn’t a round number.

I Did It Again

Like so many countless times before, I have overestimated my ability to get things done. Or underestimated my love of sleep. Either way, I’ve been adding more and more projects to my list without really getting much of anywhere with them, and now I am really behind.

You see, I’m still working on the Christmas scarf (almost under 20 squares per row, so it will be going faster, hopefully), and a stole that was agreed to be made after Christmas, plus a birthday present for my grandmother whose birthday is in February, and now I’ve added a dress for a contest that ends on Saturday. But with electronic submission I can hopefully finish sewing it up Saturday during the day. I’m pretty good about sewing under pressure. I went to school for it, after all.

The argument is always made that we have the same number of hours in our days as Einstein, Edison, and others who made great contributions to society. But did Einstein have to drive carpool? Did Edison have to do quiet activities during nap-time to ensure a good nap for a two-year-old? Did those people have to try to keep themselves awake another hour after the kids went to bed just to have some time to get (quiet) things done? I didn’t think so.

All of that rant to say, the stole most likely won’t be shipped this week, I’m going to be pushing it on the dress and birthday present, and the scarf is likely to be more of a Valentine’s Day present at this point.

Wait, Valentine’s Day is coming up? Crap, I have to start those presents, too…

2014 Christmas Wrap-Up

Because when better to talk about last Christmas than the second week of the new year.

So, for 2014, I set out to make seven projects. Then I added an eighth. Then I dropped four and only managed to finish three. Official list:

  1. Hat and glove set
  2. Scarf
  3. Shawl
  4. Gloves
  5. Stormtrooper socks
  6. Smaller Stormtrooper socks
  7. Ninja Turtle socks
  8. Smaller Ninja Turtle socks

Outside of the official project list, I sent one grandmother the Haruni shawl I finished back in November. While I like making triangular shawls, turns out I’m not so much a fan of wearing them.

I had a request for Star Wars socks from the five-year-old around October, so I found a chart and started on them. And then they turned into a huge mess, so I started over. By a week until Christmas, I just had to give up to get other things done.

I came up withe the idea for scarves pretty randomly. For one, I knew it just needed to be warm and green, so a long, sock-weight scarf would do.

The other took some Pinterest snooping to come up with the pattern. I saw a plaid gradient triangle scarf in one of the recipient’s boards and decided on a gradient entrelac shawl.


The last minute addition happened because I could not think of anything to get for the final person on my list. She doesn’t really wear scarves or hats, so I decided gloves would be best. I wandered the local yarn store a while, even though the yarn I eventually picked was what jumped out at me very first.

So three-and-a-half out of eight isn’t bad. That’s not to mention the supplies for another project I picked up and wrapped the night before I gave it to be completed after the new year. Which I just happened to do last week, and you will get to see on Thursday. Can you guess what it is?

The Christmas Project Curse

I swear, there has to be some sort of curse that falls on a project as soon as you decide it needs to be finished on or for Christmas. A project that would normally take a week ends up a taking four, or anything that can possibly go wrong will.

I was reading Cassy’s post about her husband’s sweater she wanted to finish on Christmas and all that had gone wrong and that made me think of all the projects I set out to create for Christmas. One of which is currently resting beside me, still on the needles, because two balls of yarn arrived a week after Christmas. But that’s a story for next week.

This Christmas I had to scrap one project, barely scraped two others together, and gave an IOU on the aforementioned one still on the needles. I only had one present ready a week in advance, and that was because it was one I was supposed to have made last year.

So, perhaps this year I won’t make it a goal to get any specific project done for Christmas. Maybe it’s best to just start projects with a goal to finish eventually, but not a goal to be Christmas presents.