I saw a little piece in a magazine called New Philospher the other day called "The freedom of limited choice". The jist of the article was that there can be freedom in having restricted options. The example they give is of a vegan in a supermarket.
Makes sense, and is an useful idea….but then they got the really helpful stuff. That we have a preference for immediate rewards.
At this time, when many of us are thinking about our intentions for the year, I found this a really useful reminder. I often make based on a whim. Something I see, something I pick up, a pattern that has been released. And this often means that I don't get to make the things that I really want to create. Like the quilt for our bed - that has been sitting untouched since before Xmas. Instead I do what comes easy. What is accessible. The reminder contained in this article, that we often aren't playing the long game, or keeping our eyes on the prize, was very timely.
The 15yo inside me wants to shout something like “oooohhhhh - too many ruuuulzzz!” but the grownup inside me wants to grow up, take responsibility, and live the life I really want to live. Which includes making the things I really want to make. Come onnnn!!
In the spirit of this idea, I wanted to outline my making goals for 2015 so I had a plan; setting down my “have to” and “really should” projects in a concrete way so I know where I am headed.
A small clarification: it's not that I believe I will get every single one of them done - nor that I will stick to the list in a precise way.There will be the projects that get created randomly and I will make other things along the way following the inspiration of the day. But I know that most of the things on the list, like birthday presents, clothes for the kids, and quilts, need to be done this year, and I know when they need to be done by. By writing them all out (rather than holding them all in my head) I have some clarity about what I need to get done, and how much time I have to get it done it.
I really think this simple list will lead to me making better decisions and help me to make sure that when I am at a loose-end I know what to start. I could-even-maybe-like prioritise stuff, y'know? Like I could get some of the winter knitting done in March/April if I don't get distracted by my whims.
Now that I've written it, I'm a little floored that I’ve never done this before!!
My Making List for 2015
I have put the projects in the month that they are due. Realistically that is a lot of knitting to be done by June. But it is so so good to have a plan.
Sewing - Shorts x 2 for the boy child for school.
Knitting - Colourwork for gauge swatch for hat.
Knitting – Top-down v-neck cardy for middle girl child.
Knitting - New colourwork cardy for a pattern?
Knitting - Birthday jumper for boy – non stash!
Knitting - Winter jumper for middle girl – Cabled aline.
Knitting - Shawl/cowl for me.
Knitting - Winter jumper for the fella – Hugo by Brooklyn Tweed.
Knitting – Birthday cardy for my niece (and a hat ;))
Sewing - Winter elephant solstice pillowcases.
Knitting - Worsted weight jumper for me.
Sewing – Dress for me.
Sewing – Top for me.
Knitting - 40th birthday Slade for my little brother– non stash!
Knitting - Clara for my other niece.
Sewing – Dress for me.
Sewing – Top for me.
Sewing - Birthday dress for small girl.
Sewing – Summer shorts x 2 big girl.
Quilting - My small boy's single bed quilt.
Sewing - Birthday dress for big girl.
Sewing/knitting – Christmas outfits for three kids.
Quilting - King sized quilt for our bed.
One of the most exciting things that I have got from writing this list out is that I can clearly see that practically all of it comes from stash. There are only two exceptions at this stage. The first is my boy kid's birthday jumper. He wants me to create an exact replica of the sweater from the post Freestyle Knitting. He may have accidentally lost it a few months after I finished it. Lucky for him he is pretty sweet, and keeps going on about how it was the perfect jumper. The downside is that I did freestyle it and didn't write anything down, so will have to figure out my numbers all over again. It was made of gorgeous Madeline Tosh Worsted. Sadly the budget doesn't stretch to that this year, but a great substitute will be some lovely Peacock coloured Lark by Quince And Co (similar to the Tosh and his favourite colour). The second exception is the 40th birthday sweater for my brother, which I want to make in the yarn it was designed for. Those two things combined gobble nearly my whole budget for the rest of my Stash Less year. Good to know.
I’m going to put my list up on instagram tomorrow after I've printed it out tagged #mymakinglist2015 so I can find it again easily next year. Do you want to join me in setting some intention? Yours might not be so project specific, or it might be more sensibly sized (I suspect mine is a little overambitious ;)). Or yours may be learning new skills? You might be a low volume crafter who has plans to make one or two things….. I’d love to see what you are up to!
Tag yours on instagram with #mymakinglist2015, or leave a comment with a link if you are putting them up on your blog.