Small actions can add up to completing a large thing. We all know this. It is hard to think about all the small actions though. Personally, I love making lists of things, but as soon as they get too detailed, I am pretty sure to freak out.
In Knitting Comfortably, Carson says we never think about how many stitches are in a project or the fact that each stitch has to be made to get to the end. Yet, each stitch has to be made. There are no shortcuts. This is important to remember, especially if you are trying to do planning for your knitting projects.
Adding Up Small Actions
I have three of key points here:
- You will not knit any faster, but you will be more purposeful.
- You can estimate low, but it won’t help you get it done any faster and might even impede progress.
- There are ways you can increase your productivity, even if you can’t make yourself knit faster.
Let’s look at being purposeful.
Set up knitting time and be faithful. Showing up makes the difference. Even if you only get a row or two complete, you are that much closer to your finish line! But other ways to be purposeful might be putting in markers to help you stay on track, counting to make sure you have the correct number of stitches, making sure your pattern is close by, using a row counter or other device to keep yourself on track, reading ahead so you can be thinking ahead (maybe getting that extra needle or whatever it is you might need), and even making notes to yourself. Notes made while reading ahead help cement knowledge—you may not even look back at them—but they help trigger actions so you don’t have to go backwards. When you show up, stick to your knitting! You can set a time limit, or maybe a row goal. Think about how you are best motivated and then do that.
Why knowing the actual time it takes will help you get to the finish line.
It isn’t how long you want it to take, it is how long it will actually take. If you figure out how long you need to do a pair of rows, and then multiply that by the entirety of the project, you can then figure out whether you will get that sweater finished by Mother’s Day—or not. Plan extra time for finishing because that always takes more time. In the past I would have looked at a project and said “Oh, I can have that done in a month.” Without adding in extra knitting time, the reality is that I have about 12 hours for knitting a week. 48 hours to knit in a month. For all my knitting. I might snag an extra hour here or there, but really. 48 hours a month. I can actually get pretty specific about how long each segment of a project is going to take, then plan accordingly. It isn’t crushing if I miss a goal, but it tells me I need to recalibrate.
Ways to increase your productivity without knitting faster.
- Step away from social media. Just put your phone down and walk away. You can use it as a reward for completing!
- Think about your knitting ahead of starting so you are fully prepared with whatever tools or props you need.
- Ask that your knitting time be considered important by everyone. You should not be unnecessarily interrupted, asked to make snacks, referee fights, or whatever distracts you. Yes, you are sitting down, but you are not relaxing or having down time. You are working to a goal.
- Remove other distractions.
- Set a short-term goal. If I’m distracted, I time myself. My competitive spirit will leap in and get me focused.
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