2015: Start as you mean to go on

It's funny how when you've got two glorious weeks of a family-centred staycation stretched out in front of you that you think there will be time to do ALL. THE. THINGS. and then those last few days pass in a blur. Such is how it's been at our house, and oh my goodness the family time we've had with our staycation has been glorious.

One of the things that I've appreciated most is the time off to get to all that "stuff" that you always mean to do, and then somehow it gets put off or shuffled to the bottom of the priority list. Doing a major re-org of our office/my crafting space has been one of those things that I've been wanting to tackle for a while and while I'm not done yet, I made such a good dent over the holidays that it's enough motivation to keep the momentum going.

We also did a huge top to bottom clean, tidy and organisation of the flat and that feels good too. It's a nice way to start the new year, and we did in style with some of our friends from Mr. H's school, his buddies and a few work friends too with an Open House to welcome 2015. It turns out our flat isn't too small for entertaining folks, so hopefully we'll do that again soon.

So what do I mean by "start as you mean to go on"? Well, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement and newness of a new year, all jazzed and energised before we catch ourselves backsliding into familiar (not necessarily always bad!) habits. I'm the first one to recognise that when my energy levels start to flag that I'm not as motivated or as efficient as I could be.

My goals then for 2015 are pretty simple: keep up my energy and keep building momentum. And while that might seem simple and vague, it's flexible enough for me to make it work how I need for me. Am I feeling tired and cranky? To keep up my energy why not try getting to sleep earlier, or going for a run? And what do I need to do to keep building momentum? Well there's being more focused, for a start, setting CLEAR goals (as opposed to SMART ones) with various projects, and making sure I'm using the right tools for the job to get it done, and done well.

What goals are you setting for yourself for this year? I'd love to hear about them - and your plan for making them happen!

2014: The Year of Epic Projects

It's been a full week and a bit here chez C&Q. Lots of organising and cataloguing, identifying stuff to de-stash, thinking about the year ahead and not without a little bit of tough love and reflection on 2013.

Depending on how often you read my blog, or if you know me in real life, you might know that I love big ideas. No. I LOVE big ideas. In fact, the bigger the better. But I think in the last year where I really fell down was in the execution of the ideas. I came up with the ideas without the rest of the plan. 'm good at managing projects for work, but when it comes to the personal I need to remind myself that it's not enough to know the destination, I need a map to get there.

This year, I want to be smarter about my goals and not get caught up in a list of things that when I look back on 2014 I'm not thinking ZOMG! I didn't get x, y or z done but rather - yeah, that was a solid, satisfying amount of crafting and work that was accomplished. 

I may be putting a fair amount of pressure on myself, especially as I have a significant birthday ending in a nought later this year, but I'm also wanting to selfishly focus that pressure on me. I'm proclaiming that this will be the year of epic projects, and that the vast majority of them will be for ME!

That's not to say that I won't sometimes end up knitting for others, but I've got some big crafty plans for this year and I want to wring the enjoyment out of every last stitch. I'm also not going to write down my list of projects here either this time. Instead I'm going to focus on pushing myself further with big challenges (two dresses! lace! colourwork! cables!), new techniques, some designwork and if there's time, maybe a little bit of sewing too.

First up this year - some pre-planning for #GLYC2014 and getting ready for Unravel. I'm already knitting. What are you working on?

All over the place

I know. I know. I owe you guys pics and project notes of the Sleepy Monkey Blanket that I tweeted about being finished. Patience my pretties!

With work and finishing up some knitting, visits and keeping on top of my little guy's activities, I'm not quite sure where this term has gone.

What I have noticed though, is that as often happens when I'm overwhelmed, my organisation skills fall victim to an untidyness that can only be seen to be believed. Witness my shame:

The horror. The horror! Meet my disorganisation nightmare.

The horror. The horror! Meet my disorganisation nightmare.

That my friends is my workbench, which not only holds my stash but *should* also be able to hold and keep organised various projects as I work on them at the same time, or in a queue, and thus help keep *me* focused. Sadly, my system has failed and has happens periodically, needs to be reset.

In all the busyness, my workbench has become a dumping ground (and let's not even talk about the area in front of the bench, or the floor of the office off-camera!). I was reading about New Year's cleaning traditions and it being bad luck to have the old year's dirt stay with you into the new year instead of being swept out with the old year. Knowing that I have some big plans for 2014 in terms of work and projects, it seemed like just as good a time as any to start getting that solid footing sorted out.

So I've been clearing out the piles and binning random bits and filing others, which is also helping in terms of my planning for 2014. Some my 2013 goals fell by the wayside quite early on and I suspect that having goals without necessarily having a plan for those goals was where things fell down. 

It's a start. hopefully it will make things easier when I do a stash tidy-up to see what hasn't been put in right storage container, what hasn't been logged on Ravelry, and of course the stash toss to keep a vigilant eye out for critters...!

More to come!

All right 2013 - let's do this

A new year full of promise is always great for planning and getting some gung-ho momentum built up to hopefully propel you into the follow-through but I have to admit that sometimes the goal setting can be a bit of a letdown when I think back on progress from the previous year against a review of what my goals were.

(If you're new to my blog then you might not have yet realised that from time to time I can be a bit of an over-achiever if I put my mind to it. Particularly as it relates to goal setting. I AM working on trying to be more realistic though.)

Even though there's SO much to look forward to knitting-wise in 2013, it's been with a lot of feet dragging that I've set my goals. These are in no particular order:

  1. Knit 10,000 yards this year. I was SO close last year and since I won’t be working full time this year, I’m really hoping I can do this.
  2. Finish four big projects - one per quarter. See below for details on some of them.
  3. Spin up the yarn for and knit a sweater.
  4. Design and knit a sweater for myself using the techniques I learned at last year’s P3 retreat. And wear it to this year’s P3 retreat in October.
  5. Knit a big lace project. I have something in mind.
  6. Finish at least 6 of my 12/13 posted WIPs. And try to have less than 13 on the needles by next year. This also includes putting up project pages for those WIPs that seem to be just lying around.
  7. Update my Ravelry queue to be more reflective of the order I’d like to knit things in. And add in the other projects for which I have yarn and patterns so that I remember what I bought them for.
  8. Update my Ravelry stash to include new purchases including photos of anything that might be missing. Since MsTing helped me with this in 2011, hopefully it won’t take too long!
  9. Blog more consistently. Of course. This just goes without saying.
  10. Get to know the London knitting community more. So help me, I WILL make it out to a knit night, somewhere!

And of course, continue to enjoy my knitting and have fun with it, and not take things too seriously. This year will be all about diving into the fibre arts more than I ever have before, my new "job" as it were, and it's important to me to continue to love it.

So, what are y'all knitting this year?