11.08.03 Project Management Knitting Style

Over the last few months I have become over whelmed by my WIPS.  I am a prolific knitter and regularly complete my knitting projects, so I  also cast on a lot of things.  But for the first time, they seem to be everywhere.  Each like a neglected child-small, unhappy and yearning for some attention and always underfoot. They evoke guilt and frustration. As a Corporate Executive, I never like that feeling.  I know that any project left unattended will someday come back to hurt you.  I need a Project Plan!

The Plan

Step 1: Inventory the WIPs

This is easily done through my Ravelry project page.  I can sort all my project by "hibernating" and print out that list.  I was sad that Ravelry did not include a feature to export to excel so I could sort, delete or add comments.  I would like to sort them by % complete.  This would help in evaluating which ones are close - need sleeve(s), an edging, etc. I found a place (an api) on Ravelry that allows you to export you project data in .json format.  I have some tech friends helping me find a way to import that data to excel...more on that later.  Gather them all in to one place so they can keep each other company while they wait for their fate.

Step 2: Organize the WIPs

Through whatever means.... find a way to sort the WIPS on paper

a) Most completed Projects (less than 25% left to be done)
        - What really is left to do
        - What stopped my progress - problem, sizing, pattern, boredom
b) Finished objects that I really want to complete 
      - Am I in still in love with the finished object
      - Am I in love with the process to get there
      - What really is left to do       
      - What stopped my progress - problem, sizing, pattern, boredom
c) Yarn  Problems
      - Is it the yarn?
      - Is it the yarn/pattern combination?
      - Frog and reuse the yarn or give away/trade
d)  The Rest
      - What is the problem?
      - Finish , give away, throw away or frog.

Step 3: The Timeline

a) Evaluate the time to completion on each project.
      - Leave time for favorite projects (I am not a monogamous knitter)
b) Establish loose list in order of completion
     - Should allow for variety - not 6 cardigans in a row.
     - Should consider the seasons
 c) Develop a calendar
      -  by month - set goals with project names.

Step 4:  Accountability

The blog.....this is where I pronounce to the world that I have a plan and they hold me accountable.  In the dark of my yarn closet I can keep pushing the WIPS to the back.   Each week I will chronicle a WIP and track its progress or fate.   

If no one ever reads this - its OK.  I have a plan.


  1. I read it and like your plan; I may even adopt bits of it.

  2. I'm so glad you're blogging! I will definitely be coming here for inspiration and morale. I wish I wasn't a monogamous knitter. If I let myself stray, maybe I'd end up with more completed projects. I get demotivated on my project and feel some sort of duty to complete it before moving on, which results in me having a TUNIC in STOCKINETTE that I started in APRIL and STILL haven't finished. I think I need a plan too...

  3. Yes! Good luck with the wips and the blog. It can also start to weigh on you like a neglected child ;) I'm excited you' re trying it out though!

  4. I need to do that. Especially the figuring-out-why-I-got-hung-up part. I had a list of goals with my stash at the beginning of the year that I followed through about May, but then it fizzled. Now I need to get some projects finished before people outgrown them.

  5. What a great blog - and some wonderful ideas! I'm going to do the excel spreadsheet right now!Thanks:)!

  6. My WIP are few - maybe 4 - but I have been in a knitting slump for a year or so.

    What I did do was to inventory by yarn last year. It was an eye opening experience. I used Excel. My inventory included the maker, the content, the recommended needle size, the gauge, the color, the yardage ... and the project planned for each.

    What I discovered was that based on knitting 5,000 yards of yarn a year, I could knit for 30 years and never buy yarn during that time.

    No, I did not stop buying yarn - but it did slow my purchasing down considerably. And I am crawling out of the knitting slump this year ... slowly, but it is happening.

    Retired Knitter