Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Do you Plan your projects?

SWAP, (which, BTW, is going on right now on Stitchers Guild) promotes planning your projects so that you end up with a cohesive wardrobe. So that you sew (or make) garments that won't be "orphans" in your closet. The problem with Planning all your projects a few months in advance is that much of the excitement lies in the planning and beginning of a new project. So this year I opted not to participate in SWAP. Although I could certainly use a wardrobe that fits me right now.

So, I started to take a look at the projects that I MUST get made and finished before I can start sewing with a (garment) plan. oh boy...bring on the home dec!

I have
  • slipcovers for cushions to make for the entire boat. That will take 4 weeks of dedicated sewing when I'm not at work. My deadline on those is May 1.
  • drapery panels and valances to make for the master bedroom. Two panels are hung already, two more reside on the dining room table. The fabric for the valances is still uncut.
  • drapery panels for the dining room - the 4 panels are made and lined, the rods are hung, all I need to do is pleat the headers. I'm considering skipping the swags for over the top.
  • padded cornice board cover for ds#1. I finished and hung the one for his living room a week ago. I now have to make the one for his dining room.
  • Swag valance for Kitchen French doors and window over sink. Fabric is cut, ready to sew.
Why is it that I've had most of these window treatments planned for several years, yet have procrastinated making them until the deadline of getting the house finished looms?

In addition, I have the fabric now and am really excited to make the Amy Butler Weekender bag.
So what have I been doing while not at work for the last week?
I've started 3 new knitting projects. Each have been started with deliberation.
Two require paying attention to. The other, while it looks complex, can easily be knit while at knitting group.
St Enda
from Aran Knitting by Alice Starmore
I started an aran sweater for me using Lion Brand Fishermans wool, based on the recommendation of several knitters on Ravelry, most notably Janet Szabo of Big Sky Knitting. It's easily the most affordable yarn I could have chosen. I'm knitting it on 6's, which is giving me a nice tight fabric which will be great for those colder evenings on the lake this summer. It's not all that unusual for the temps to dip down into the 40's on the water up North. I bought the yarn for this at two different Joanns last week, and cast it on Saturday Feb 21. It is the most annoying thing, that Joanns and Michaels, where this yarn is most often found, can't be bothered to stock more than 4 skeins, if they stock it at all.

Pattern: Kashmir by Dale of Norway. Cast on yesterday before going to knitting group. This one isn't so hard on my hands, but I do need to get to a copy shop to enlarge the print on the chart. This pattern is OOP and quite in demand. I'd borrowed a copy from Marina, however wasn't able to start it while it was in my possession. Then while on a trip to northern Michigan several months ago I happened to find a couple of copies tucked away in the archives of a LYS, so now I own my own copy. This one is going much faster than I'd anticipated. I'm already on round 12 of the pattern, past the 14 rows of the lace and ribbing at the hem.

Yarn: Tiur

And lastly, cast on February 12, using some age old Filature di Crosa yarn from stash, I've started Wakame. from the Summer 2008 issue of Interweave Knits, designed by Angela Hahn
The other pattern that I'd really like to make from that issue is the Apres Surf Hoodie

In addition, I need some shorts and summer slacks before June.
And I'd love to make the trench coat that I didn't make last summer, and I'd also love to make the Marfy duffle coat using the Burberry rainwear I bought from Michael last year.
Or maybe the HP1030 from Hot Patterns.

So, how far ahead do you plan your projects?
How much of what you plan actually sees the light of day (or needle?)

post script: Marina's got a couple of gorgeous projects OTN now. I just looked at her Malin, and decided I needed to look up yarn requirements for that. Guess what's gone missing from my bookshelves? My copy of In the Hebrides. ARGH! Unlike my needles, which seem to find themselves all over the place, my books are very well organized.


Adrienne said...

The home dec bug has bit me too! I just finished typing out a draft of what fabric I have for different things around my house!

I have had my duvet cover fabric for a couple of years now and I am FINALLY ready to get it done lol.

a little sewing on the side said...

Oh I love to dress windows. It's hard work, though!

Marina said...

Did you have to remind me? I still have a bolt of voile and one of cotton sateen waiting for me to buy more curtain material.

Thanks for the Fishermans wool review. I might have to try it. And the answer to your comment, yes. I always knit garments that are in pieces, on straights.

Your Kashmir looks gorgeous! Easy, isn't it? I must look up that shop.

Hope you find your book.

Dana said...

I really like the SWAP idea and now have enough SWAP garments to make choosing my outfits much easier in the morning. Even though it felt a little too structured at times, I decided to join the Stitcher's Guild SWAP. Since the completed garments are not due until April (?) I've been sewing whatever I feel like some SWAP garments and some not. At last count I only have four pieces left to sew. I'm sewing enough garments to keep my creativity happy and still stay true to the SWAP.

Lori said...

I plan a few garments at a time, maybe two. I have been trying to use some pieces in my stash, that has made me a bit creative in pairing pattern with fabric. Good luck with all your projects.

Mardel said...

Well, I plan. And anyone who reads my blog can see that I have lots of plans that are still waiting to be realized. Meanwhile I have just thrown myself into 2 new unplanned projects (one knitting, one sewing).

Good luck.

AllisonC said...

I adore that Marfy coat - plan or no plan please make it!! I'd like to plan really I would, but I find it becomes more of a chore sewing that way. I generally plan the next garment when I'm just finishing one up - sometimes it coordinates, sometimes it doesn't.

Christina said...

I did one SWAP, and I agree with you, the fun part is in the planning process, after that, it's just work! I'm happiest when I just sew whatever inspires me at the moment.

Nancy K said...

I thought that I'd do the swap again this year. Not. Planning is sort of fun, but I need a little less structure. I decided that I have fabrics that all go together anyway, so what I sew will go together regardless of a complete plan. I do need a light weight spring jacket, casual like your HP choice. I unfortunately need to make another couple of pants muslins as my weight gain has made my tnt pants not so wonderful anymore. Ah well. Sometimes I think that the planning takes a lot of the fun out of my hobby. But, it can also make it easier to keep sewing without a lull. Sometimes.

Cindy said...

I feel like I am always torn between what I need to sew for my wardrobe and a fun project which takes a bit of time.

Brigitte said...

You are busy... I try to plan ahead, but don't always stick to the plan. I end up seeing yarn I love, or a pattern I want to make RIGHT NOW.

Hmmm... Interesting. Your Shelfari has 2 books I've read/have. "A Prisoner of Birth", and "The Thirteenth Tale", which I haven't read yet.

CreativeBusyHands-Scrapbook Freebies Search said...

I do not know about planning.... but I LOVED all your knitting projects. They are beautiful, and look very complicated.
I am a planner, however I do not follow my plans :-) To be very honest, my blog had helped me to finish stuff. I love to take the picture and post it there. And call my mom (she lives in another country), and ask her to take a look. I can't wait to see your finished projects. Thanks for sharing.

Michelle L. said...

I'm not good at planning. I tried to plan...making 1 shirt, 1 pair of pants, and three dresses. Of that plan I have finished 1 dress. 1 other dress is half-finished on the dress form, and the shirt is half-sewn.

In the interim, I have also made 2 knit dresses, a dress for my neice, a skirt, a knit wardrobe, and robes that were not on the list.

I always get derailed, and now I would rather sew spring clothes!

Lorraine said...

Marji- I did Malin a while ago- it's a nice design.

I make lists. Lots of lists. But I don't stick to a plan as such.

You amaze me.

Liana said...

I plan, but I don't always carry out my plans, and they're sometimes pretty amorphous anyway. I seem to have been vaccinated against home-dec projects, at least for a while.

Thanks for the review of the Fisherman's Wool. I think Lion Brand has been getting better lately. Wouldn't that be nice?

Anne e le manine d'oro said...

The Marfy Pattern is so wonderful. I love the colar !!! oh really wonderful. As for your red and blue sweater, it is more then beautiful, it reminds me the sweater my mother knits from Alice and Jade Starmore's book. Wonderful ! You are an artist.

Carrie K said...

Aren't looming deadlines the only time to start? :)

Wow. Quite an impressive list there.

Kathleen C. said...

I'll be watching your Wakame progress eagerly... I've loved that sweater since the magazine came out. It's kind of on a short list for me (segue to planning...)

I don't plan in a hard and fast way, though I did do SWAP once and it was very helpful in pushing me to commit and finish.
As I fondle/purchase, I like to think what garment would be made from that fabric/yarn. But if I don't list or somehow set down my thoughts I am likely to forget and wander away from the idea.
I have found the Ravelry queue to be quite useful in this way. I've actually started pieces simply because I could say "What shall I cast on now", look at my queue and choose!
I really could use something similar for my sewing!

But it's not a do or die list. Just a helpful suggestion of possibilities...