An element of planning can be useful in needlework, too. I do a lot of needlework that is based on needs, rather than just what I feel like making. I make sweaters for my sons when they need them, dishcloths for the kitchen, and socks for myself. Making things that I need feels good, but it can pile up if I'm not careful. It's like planning a schedule, where you need to be careful not to over-commit and to give yourself enough time to complete each item.
It can be a good exercise to list out and prioritize the things you want to make. Here's an example:
I need a new pair of house socks, but it's a bit late in the game to make them for this year. All three boys are going to need new sweaters, hats, and mittens at some point. I need to finish the sweater I'm making for myself, and the baby will eventually need a blanket when he moves into his own bed. Given seasons, sizes, immediacy of need, and the time involved in making things, I can prioritize these projects thus:
- Sweater for me
- Hats and mittens for the boys
- Socks for me
- Sweaters for the boys (oldest to youngest, according to their need)
- Blanket for the baby
This isn't a schedule that's set in stone, but it helps me plan ahead and get things done in a timely manner. My making things for the family is useless if I produce sweaters that will only fit this summer or find my self scrambling to make mittens a few days before a snow trip. I can also prioritize the kinds of yarn purchases I make. I know that my prioritized projects probably will not involve a lot of cottons or novelty yarns, and that, when I shop a sale, I should look for yarns that will fit the larger projects I want to make.
These ideas are all related to the larger subject of being a smart consumer and a smart producer, but smart shopping and just-in-time delivery are often left behind when it comes to hobbies. So in the new year, let us resolve to be resolute.