I like to set goals. One of my favorite things to do is check something off a list – it’s nice to literally be able to see the progress that I’m making. I’ve noticed, though, that there’s a difference between my life-in-general goal setting and my knitting goal setting, and that difference is my ability to be realistic.
My life-in-general goals are usually attainable: apply for three jobs a week, exercise every day, have dinner with a friend once a week so I don’t devolve into a hermit (I’m so close. SO. CLOSE. to being a hermit). These goals take some effort – job hunting is like a miserable adult version of Where’s Waldo – but they’re reasonable and I usually manage to get them done each week.
Knitting goals are a different story. I am totally incapable of estimating how much time a project will take. This, in retrospect, could explain why one of my new Christmas traditions is frantically finishing pairs of socks at midnight on Christmas Eve. It’s a problem that is due in part to my fondness for small-gague yarn (fingering and DK weight are my favorites) which require more stitches to make a hat or cowl or sweater than heavier yarns. Heavier yarns don’t make much of a difference, though, when the project you’re making with them is an adult-sized blanket – I’m making two of those as Christmas gifts this year. Another thing that affects how much knitting I do vs. how much I THINK I can do is my constant underestimation of how much time other things take – big things like job searching and exercising (although I can work on small things like socks while I’m riding my exercise bike!) and little things like making lunch for work and showering. I also have trouble with project monogamy, especially with large projects like blankets and sweaters – sometimes I just have to take a break and make a hat!
One of my goals for this year is to become better at setting knitting goals (meta, no? ha). I think I’m making small steps toward this with my sock-and-hat goals: I’ve been making one pair of socks per month (sometimes even two if the pattern is simple!) and during lunch at work I use yarn leftover from previous projects that I’m trying to use up to knit hats that I’ll donate this winter. Now I just have to get my selfish knitting under control – I want to have a neckwear / hat / glove combo for each day of the week by the time winter comes back around. I can do it!
Do you find that you’re able to estimate your knitting time well?