Knitting journals and tracking of your knitting projects

Hi there how are you today? Yet again we are coming to the weekend and Christmas is now just behind the corner so to speak.

I’m not doing much of Christmas gift knitting this year but somehow I seem to have managed to concentrate all the gift knitting to the very last few days and in spite of my significant knitting commitments (that is test knits) I’m still being tempted by new patterns on a daily bases and I have to admit that I have cast on for yet another new project just today!

It is a bulky cowl by Laura Aylor called Midwinter. I don’t have a picture of it yet as I just started and only have a few rows done at this time. I’m knitting this with my 100% baby alpaca chunky yarn and I’m using a mix of hand dyed and undyed yarn –  the main colour is just undyed yarn and I think it will look and feel amazing.

So if you are anything like me, you will have a gazillion knitting projects on the go at any time and sometimes you may wish you actually kept track on those projects. I know I do.

I do try to set up Ravelry project pages when I finish an item and for the most part I am successful but sometimes, when I’m finally done I don’t remember all the details and sometimes I have even thrown away the paper pattern where I have written down amendments or other while I was knitting.

This situation has led me to want to keep a knitting journal:

I have seen lots of knitting journals on IG and on knitting podcasts and I think they are all so fun and wonderful. I think that keeping a knitting journal over a few years must be so rewarding and so fun to later go back and look over what we have accomplished.

And over the time I have purchased special knitting journals at different price points, always full of enthusiasm and good intentions only to end up not using them at all.

The last journal I purchased was the Strickeplaner by Martina Behm. The name is German but all the text inside the journal is in English.

This is a small, hard backed journal that is not only like a calendar but also has lots of bits of random knitting related wisdom. You can plan out over a whole month, over a trimester and of course per week. There are also special “project” pages intended to fill out all the important details for each of our projects (though there are not enough pages like that for a prolific knitter  that really takes down the details for all their projects ).

Here is an example of a week overview. So you see that you can dot down maybe goals or special planning for the week asa whole and then you have boxes for each day.

For the little while that I actually used my journal, I would  use the first section to prioritise what I needed  to work on, sort of like goal setting. For the day sections, I would mostly not used those to be honest except to note down when I started a project. Then I would note the name of the pattern, the yarn used and needle size. Later when the project was finished I would use one of the “project” pages to fill out all the details including cast on and off dates.

I do regret not having been more serious about this and keeping with it through out the year. And now that 2019 is just a few days away I am more determined than ever to start and actually stay with a knitting journal for the entire year!

You heard it here first! Would you like to join me?

So I already have 2 journals ready to go. I’m not sure if I will use them simultaneously (maybe too ambitious) or one after the other. They are not quite the same which is why the idea of using both at the same time came to me. But I think I need to be realistic and just do one.

But which one to start with?

Knitting journals for 2019

The grey journal on the left is one I purchased from the Wool Barn.

This journal is similar to the one I had from Martina Behm. It includes some common knitting abbreviations and instructions for those and there is also a needle size conversion chart which is always useful. And there is an index at the front with little numbered boxes from 1 to 20 where one can add the name of each pattern.

This journal is indeed made for 20 projects.

You have 2 pages for each project. On the left page you can fill out all the details like the pattern name, designer, yarn, needle  etc and on the right page you have an empty page where you can include a little picture of your project, maybe a little bit of the yarn, sketches and what ever else you can think of.

I really like this set up and the journal. The price is of course much lower than the Martina Behm one because the material used is less costly and the journal itself much simpler. But I think this will work better for me as it is more to the point and is more “project” based versus it being more of a “journal”.

The second journal I have on had at the moment is the illustrated one on the right.

This is not really a knitting journal per se but rather a notebook with some fun lama images.

How cute is that ?  I also have a nice collection of fun knitting themed stickers I could use to decorate my pages and make this a more fun journal.

So what is the plan then? Well, I think I will start with the Wool Barn journal as it is more structured and if that works well, then I will move over to this more simpler journal for my 21st project and onwards. Maybe I will keep the set up from the Wool Barn journal to always include the same type of info for each project.

I’m actually getting a little excited about this as I sit here and write this. I think this can be a fun and rewarding activity and I really hope I will stick with it.

Do you keep a knitting journal? If you do I would love to hear from you how you organise your journal, if you have any tips or tricks, what brand of journal you use etc.

And if you would like to join me on this knitting journal adventure in 2019 do let me know. I could open a thread in my Ravelry group where we could exchange pictures of our journals and just generally chatter and get inspired by each other.

This is all for today folks. Thank you for stopping by and taking time out of your busy schedule to spend some time with me.  I wish you a relaxing weekend with lots of knitting time and look forward to being back with something new to share with you next week.

The Mountain of Wips

It’s time I told you about my mountain of wips. A while ago I was inspired to do something about this after watching Jilly of the Knitting Broomstick talking about how she tackled hers.

I keep a part of my stash in my bedroom and that’s also where my Mountain of Wips has been formed. It wasn’t on purpose, it just sort of happened with time.

I’m constantly working on a million projects at the same time and constantly giving in to the urge for a new cast on. Then there are projects that must be done or maybe there is a deadline and so other things are put aside for a few days which then turn into weeks and even months. Little by little the pile grows and grows until it has taken on a life of its own it would seem.

My pile had just taken on this ugly image of a pile of bags of all kinds and just looked messy and unorganised…which it totally was. I also knew that I might not want to knit everything that was in there. And I also new that some of the bags did not contain wips but projects to be – a skein of yarn, a pattern and a needle. Ready for me to cast on. But somehow I just hadn’t gotten to do so.

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The plastic boxes on the right house part of my stash and as you can see there are a number of project bags all over!

There was no method to this madness so I just took one bag at a time and looked at its content. If it was an actual work in progress I then decided if I wanted to finish it or rip it out. I admit I only ripped out very few wips.

All the bags containing “to be knit” projects were emptied. I put the yarn back into the stash box and put the pattern aside for future use and the needles back in my bag of needles.

I wanted my pile of wips to be just that, no piles of ready to go knits. I don’t need those. I just get everything ready when and if I want to cast something on.

So after going through all the project bags this is what I ended up with.

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It’s not a very good picture but at least you see there is now only one project bag on the floor. The rest fits in my bin. (since the picture was taken I have added one big “to be knit” bag but it doesn’t count because it is a necessity for Sock Madness).

As for the contents of the remaining project bags, here’s the list:

2 cowls

3 shawls

2 pairs of gloves – one is fingerless and it is my oldest wip ever!

2 cardigans

1 pull over – which is sooo close to being done!

1 scrap blanket – the Pinwheel blanket by Mina Philipp – I have a few squares done

10 pairs of socks! Yep that’s right, 10! Most of those are half done, that is one sock done and the other only just started.

I have decided that I now need to work on a wip at all times. I’m allowed to cast on for new stuff BUT I also have to choose a wip and work on concurrently. This way my Mountain which is now back to being a pile will slowly turn into just an extra project bag or two. (It’s ok to dream).

It may not look like much of an improvement when you compare the two pictures, but it actually is! I now know what I have waiting and getting all this done is no longer overwhelming. I know I can and want to do it. It’s just going to take time but that’s ok. Knitting is  supposed to be fun and that’s how I like it.

As I’m writing this Sock Madness 11th edition has just launched which means that my knitting time will be concentrated on that and nothing else will be worked on except in between rounds but when that is done, I’ll be back to working on my pile of wips.

So you also have a mountain/pile of wips that needs sorting and working on? Or have you maybe already gone through it and come out a winner? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter and how you organise yourself. Please share by leaving a comment below.

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend and until next time, Happy Knitting!