designing, le tour de gansey part trois

getting organized

The semester is now moving along at full tilt. The class I’m teaching is going alright, though it’s been more of an adjustment than I expected. Having both taught before, and tutored writing before, I didn’t expect teaching a writing class to be so…different. But it is. I think I’m getting the hang of it now, and my students are, too. But it’s a lot of work, and I’m still not as sure of myself as I’d like to be.

1: blue headphones

I started a new photo-a-day project for this new school year. It’s more flexible than my abandoned daily photo project, in that it’s not all going to be pictures of me. But of course, those’ll still be there too. If you want to follow along, the set lives here.

One of my goals for this semester is to be more organized. I never used to worry about organization all that much, as I always used to be able to rely on my nearly photographic memory to keep track of everything that needed my attention. But, whether it’s thanks to some of the meds I’ve been put on for various health problems, or the health problems themselves, or just plain old getting older, my memory is just not what it used to be (and my ability to focus and pay attention is even worse!). Trying to develop good organizational habits as an adult who’s never needed them before is quite a challenge. Trying to stay on top of everything (whether it’s lesson-planning, or grocery-acquiring, or even just remembering to charge my cellphone!) leaves me feeling completely frazzled.

Like almost everything else in my life, my knitting has gotten terribly disorganized. I have yarn in almost every nook and cranny of the house, have lost track of several dpns and most of my Denise cords, and have a whole lot of unfinished projects just lingering around while I get distracted by something bright and shiny. It’s frustrating. On the yarn front, I want to keep to a minimum the new yarns that enter my house, and also get rid of some of the yarns that are currently taking up space. I have some truly absurd number of sweaters’ worth of yarn hanging out in my yarn bins. The problem is that most of what I have, at this point, is nice stuff, mostly purchased on sale with a purpose in mind. It pains me to think about getting rid of it. But if I’m being realistic, there’s no way I’ll knit through it all in the next two years. There just isn’t, even if I knit at a much faster clip than I’m currently capable of doing with my schedule being what it is. And in two years, who knows if I’ll even want to knit whatever project I had in mind anymore? I get so many new ideas just in the course of a few months; who’s to say I won’t have entirely new plans for how to spend my knitting time even a year from now? And I do not want to deal with mountains and mountains of yarn the next time we move. So, expect to see some major destashing happening (in the meantime, keep an eye on my Trade/Sell page on Ravelry).

I’m also trying to finish off some long-lingering UFOs. I actually did finish one, last night, and it’s blocking now:

5: tying up loose ends

If you don’t recognize it, I don’t blame you…it’s nearly a year old at this point. I had just never bothered to kitchener the underarms and weave in the ends (of which there were many…no wonder I usually choose yarns that have good yardage!). So, last night, I set myself to the task, and got it done. I’m blocking it now, and hope to be able to get some good FO shots before it gets too chilly to wear a short-sleeved garment. You might recall that I planned to write a pattern for this sweater, and that’s still true. I’ve got all the charts ready to go, but need to do some thinking about how to present the instructions for the seamless, set-in sleeve with tiny saddle. But that’s ok, because my goal is actually to release it sometime before next year’s Tour de France, so time is on my side for that one. I’ve got a few other projects that have been lingering far too long (some small accessories, but also big stuff like the Bog Jacket that I’ve not touched in ages), and they’ll all get a turn at the “finish or frog?” game, so expect to see some oldies but goodies making an appearance on the blog in the near future.

Of course, all of this destashing and using-what-I’ve got business is complicated by the entrance of some amazing new yarns:


I ordered a colorcard from Quince&Co, and my goodness, the colors are spectacular! I’d gotten an idea in my head for a sweater in yellows, which is a rather uncharacteristic color for me, but the yellows they have on offer are just too good to pass up:

chickadee yellows

…so I got a couple of skeins in chickadee (their sport-weight) to swatch with. The yarn is so delightfully bouncy in the skein, and I can’t wait to knit with it! But of course, I’m hoping to keep purchases like these to a minimum, at least until I’ve divested myself of a lot of the yarn currently taking up space in my house. Because I just can’t have it both ways, buying new yarns because they work better with the ideas in my head than the yarn I already have, but still hanging on to that old yarn, anyway.

7 thoughts on “getting organized”

  1. oh my gosh, don’t even get me started on denise cords. I can’t take three steps in this apartment without discovering one! And those yellow quince yarns – wow!! What fantastic colors together.

    1. Oh, if ONLY taking three steps would lead me to a Denise cord! It boggles my mind how there could be so many cords just hanging out in my house without ever being discovered.

      I am so delighted with the Quince yarns. I have no idea what possessed me to want to knit with yellows but they are seriously gorgeous.


  2. Good luck getting yourself organized. It can be a trial for anyone.

    I’m also struggling with my yarn stash and going cold sheep has been a bit of a hit and miss. Eventually, I’ll have it under control and you probably will too.

    That Honey color is beautiful and very tempting.

  3. i agree about honey! i might have to ask santa for some of that yarn. and i completely hear you on needing to be better organized, and having to transition away from relying on my memory, which used to be able to hold everything i needed it to handle. i have really been working to focus my organizational efforts on my notes for my comprehensive (“A”) exams, and disciplining myself to read (and read more ruthlessly) and then take good notes immediately after reading has been tough. high five for working towards organization. and for destashing. i should probably consider something similar, but i’m not sure i can part with yarn — the idea of it all there is so comforting…

  4. I have been trying – with almost no success – to cut down on the yarn coming into the house. Of course, yarn tourism doesn’t help. And everyone is blogging about the Quince yarns; everything looks so divine I feel the desire to have my very own growing and growing!

  5. Good luck with getting organized. :) I can relate to feeling messy with a bunch of UFOs all over, although I do wish I could relate to losing all my needles and having too much yarn. ;) Also, my fingers are crossed three ways that it doesn’t get too chilly for short-sleeved sweaters for a while yet. I’m not quite ready for chilly.

  6. What type of writing class are you teaching? Creative writing, or a 101, or something else?

    I’m considering destashing my one-skein yarns. Several years ago, I bought a skein here or there of a pretty yarn, with no plan for what to make with it. I much prefer to buy a yarn with a particular pattern in mind…there are only so many scarves you can wear and I don’t knit socks.

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