Thursday, April 24, 2014

How I prepare for a New Term: KMNash

Prepping for term for me starts with trying to get an idea of what projects I might want to do, either for an OWL or Mission or even just small stuff that I might need to do through the months for birthdays or charity work that I can fit into classes.

I start with looking through my queue and seeing what inspires me, any projects I added last term that I am just not absolutely thrilled at the idea of doing I usually remove from the list and reorder things usually adding my OWL or Mission to the top of the queue.

Once I have decided on my OWL I do a rough draft write up and try to get my pictures as soon as I can, usually making a "project" page for all of it so it is in a easy to get to place to be ready to propose my OWL as soon as the thread opens.

I do a lot of squares for charity, most of which are mailed off at the end of each month for one project or another that I do with a group called Charity Crochet Exchange. For my projects like charity squares I usually just keep a list of colors needed for each project and pull the yarn out as it is needed for each charity project deadline, I have a favorite crochet hook (A lighted plastic hook, I don't use the light much but the weight and handle are awesome for my wrist) and a pair scissors in a special bag that even has the group logo on it that I use for all my squares projects for that group. I change out colors as each project changes.

I am working on some squares in sunset colors, so I have yellows and golds and deep reds in the bag right now.

Bags are really my secret weapon for staying organized when I have a ton of project in the works (as I usually do).

I usually start with an idea of some colors I want to use together, or a pattern I like that uses x amount of colors and build a bag with that pattern or colors in mind. If I know I want to make something in colors but don't have a pattern yet I bag the skeins together in a large ziplock bag. Like these are.

That ziplock has 4 skeins in it, and there is another just like it. Four shades of purple that I plan to use for a project for my best friend, I know it will be in purple as that is her favorite color, and I think it will be a blanket, I have just not decided on the pattern yet. Once I decide on a pattern it will go into a tote bag with the pattern and hook or needles needed for it.

Most of the time I use tote bags for my projects, and my favorite tote bags are the reusable grocery bags you can buy at stores, usually they are cheap ($1-$2) and they are big enough for a few skeins of yarn light enough to easily carry plus reusable of course. Once I have a plan or pattern, and colors and hook they all go into a bag together with a pair of scissors so that everything I need to work on whatever project is all in one place and when I have time I grab the bag and go to it. Which is nice if you have to pick something fast to go out the door with or have only 15-20 min to work on something around other life stuff.

That bag there (a reusable tote from Walmart) has the yarn for two different blankets, both of them will be made in the Drop in the Pond pattern. I will more then likely divide the colors up into separate bags for easier travel before I start, but for now they are together because they are going to be the same pattern so I can keep track of the project ideas. Once they go into bags they will get hook and scissors just like the other bags.

Some projects just do not loan themselves to travel or even really mobility around the house. I am planning to work on a 7 color Never Ending Granny Square blanket, and if you know the pattern you know that means I don't technically need scissors for that one as all 7 strands stay attached all the time.

For a project like that a bag will not work, you need something that will not allow the skeins to flop around, so I have pulled out an old box I use for projects like this. (It is an old coffee pot box that was cut to fit a zipper bag that a twin comforter came in, then covered in cloth to keep my yarn from snagging.)  It is able to be picked up as I need but hopefully will stay pretty much in the same location to prevent any more yarn tangles then are already possible with a pattern like this. All the skeins have been added with the "draw" string up so hopefully we can keep the tangles to a minimum. Shouldn't need scissors but I include a set just in case I have a yarn snag or something unexpected, and another of my lighted hooks since this one will be a heavy projects( I have 3 or 4 lighted hooks now... I love them)

I also have my small couch boxes. I have 3, but my medium size one gets the most use as it is just the right size for a few small scrap balls and a hook and scissors for smaller projects like hexi puffs or my up coming OWL of baby booties.

I can sit it in my lap easily or next to me if the cat has my lap and get to everything I need for a little quick crochet without worrying to much (Cant say I don't worry at all, I do have a cat after all.) about my scrap balls going anywhere.

I have a bag of yarn, with all the hooks and such in it handy in every room of my house (ok not the bathroom but you get my meaning). For me being able to easily get to everything I need for a project, be it hooks or yarn or stitch markers whatever, without having to go look for things means I can just sit and work as my time allows. If I have to go look for something I am cutting into the time I could be crafting and I will usually drop the project in favor of another that has everything I need at hand.

I used to keep each pattern printed out with the bags, but I have lost more then a few paper patterns and as I get older I find myself having trouble reading smaller print, so now my patterns stay on my tablet where I know I will be able to find them as my tablet goes with me everywhere, and I can up the font size when my eyes are bothering me.

I have a pretty good idea of my plans for this coming term. I know my OWL, and what I want to use for a Mission if I can and I am very close to ready right now. I still need to take my OWL pictures and get together another set of colors I want to use for another project idea, but for the most part it is all coming together for me.

I don't know if my ideas on prepping for term, or organizing my projects will help but I hope you at least enjoyed the read.

Here's to an AWESOME term.


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