Year Of Projects Thoughts and Plans

So, I know I’m almost two months late on the whole year of projects thing this year. I did have every intention of reflecting on the past year and coming up with my new list around July 1, but a few things happend.

First, the time when YOP ended corresponded with a week I didn’t knit much, and so I felt very unmotivated to think about and write about knitting at all. Secondly, I wasn’t quite sure what form I wanted the list to take. While I do like crossing things off a list, I found that trying to plan specific projects wasn’t really for me. I kind of dilly dallied around what I wanted to include, and then decided making a list was too hard so kind of just didn’t (more on my plan in a sec). I do really like the whole YoP concept, and LOVE connecting with other crafters, but trying to plan every little thing out just doesn’t jive with me.

And lastly, my thoughts about YoP are a bit tied up with my thoughts around Ravelry. Their new theme launch was horrible, and they have continued to not act in a great way since that time. I absolutely believe that people were affected by the new theme, and it stinks that not everyone can use a site that has the potential to be so amazing. I don’t see how my personal use of the site harms anyone, so I am comfortable continuing to use it to track my projects. However, I did feel a little off every time I directed people to the YoP group, because I couldn’t give another option. The YoP bloggers are a great group of people, and I want every to feel welcome with those people. The Ravelry group is primarily just for posting links to the blogs, and then people comment on the posts themselves and communicate there, not on Rav. Since not everyone uses the same blogging platform, the Rav group was the way to connect with more people more easily. So, that being said, I don’t think there’s any reason why anyone, even someone who doesn’t use Ravelry, can’t be part of Year of Projects. I’ve created a list of YoP bloggers, and I’ll do my best to keep it updated based on new people I see in the group. If you’re someone who wants to participate but can’t or doesn’t want to use Ravelry, please let me know and I’ll add you to the list. I’ll link to this page in my posts so everyone can participate.

Ok, with that weight off my shoulders, let’s get to the plan! I plan to just dive in to the middle of the year, so I guess this is a “10 months of projects”, but that isn’t as catchy of a name! As I said above, the idea of planning specific projects never really worked for me, I felt bad for working on things that weren’t “on the list” but the the point of knitting is to have FUN, and that was stressing me out. Though, looking back on my plan, I actually did a very good job of finishing things on that list! But I did a lot of knitting that wasn’t on that plan, which I felt weird about. So with that in my mind, I’m setting overarching goals that I can work toward without having to tie myself to specific projects.

Knitting

  • Keep non- scrap blanket project WIP/UFOS to less than 5 – I’m really proud of all the work I did last year getting old projects off the needles, and I’ve found that having a small number of projects just makes me feel good! I don’t think I’ll ever be a person who is only working on one thing at a time, and I don’t want to necessarily commit to finishing anything I currently have on the needles, but this overall plan of keeping things low feels right.
  • End the YoP year with at least 140 scrap blanket squares – This is 22 more than I have today, which is just over two a month. This is much more realistic with how I have been working on this project, I will sometimes go in big chunks but there are also months where I don’t touch it at all. My goal last year of 5 per month is definitely unrealistic, I wanted to end the YoP year at 128 squares but ended it with 99. I may edit this one if I have a few busy months working on it.
  • At the end of the YoP year, at least 1/2 the projects I started and finished will be from stash I have as of now (August 2021). I don’t have any real issue with buying more yarn, especially if it’s for a certain project, but there’s so much in my stash that I just haven’t touched. I’d like to work on giving those some love. I actually gave my friends a bunch of yarn this weekend, so now the stash isn’t overflowing from my containers, and I can actually find things I want to use. I don’t think trying to track yardage/ weight in and out will be fun for me, and I don’t even really necessarily feel the need to go on a “yarn diet” so I’ll just keep this to a project based goal.
  • Knit at least 4 pairs of socks – considering most of my stash is single skeins of sock yarn, this is a natural progression 😀
  • Knit at least 2 garments – Again, I think I’ve got 6 sweater/ shirt stashes I bought for specific things, so finishing those will count towards my stash-busting goal.
  • Participate in at least 3 test knits – because I love them! This was one of the biggest reasons trying to plan specific projects for YoP didn’t really work for me.
  • Participate in at least 1 KAL – this could be an MKAL or a Blogville KAL too!

Sewing

  • Sew at least 2 garments
  • Sew at least 1 other non-garment thing – I want to make an apron for myself and still haven’t made a project bag! I also may make some more masks.

This format feels A LOT more reasonable to me. It still allows me to work towards goals and have a vauge plan that will help me figure out what to knit next when finishing a project. However, I hopefully won’t feel as bad for working on things “outside the list”, as basically everything I would knit or sew would technically be on the list!

If you’ve made it to here in this VERY long post, thanks for reading! I’m excited to try and start blogging more consistently with YoP, and looking forward to working towards these goals. I hope everyone has a great week, and if you’re in the path of hurricane/ storm Henri, please stay safe!

35 comments

  1. I take your point about Ravelry, I’ve seen so many people have to leave what was such a good, supportive space for them. The YOP list idea is great, thank you for adding me. A no-plan plan is a good way to go. I only have vague ideas about what I want to accomplish because I don’t want anything too rigid either. I look forward to reading about your progress.

  2. I’ve not heard about YOP but absolutely love the idea. I first joined Ravelry in 2008, back during the time it was fresh and new, and for me so much fun. However I left a couple of years ago because it changed to drastically, and for me personally it was no longer fun. I have truly enjoyed returning to blog reading and so happy I found your blog via Anne’s blog. I look forward to seeing your finished list of projects 😊

    1. Thanks Tina! YoP is a great group of folks 🙂
      Yeah I never really used Ravelry for the community features, mostly just for finding patterns and tracking projects. Now that I have this blog and more Excel spreadsheets, I may continue to reduce my use of the site.

  3. I agree this type of plan sounds a lot more user-friendly! I hope you enjoy your knitting this year and don’t feel stressed out at all about your YOP goals.

  4. I’m so happy to hear from you again. Your plans sound great and thanks for including me in your list of bloggers. This is my first year to have both project goals and “overall knitting” goals. Since I find changing out projects over the course of the year more humorous than stressful, it doesn’t bother me but I certainly understand how it could be stressful. I guess I give myself “permission” to change out projects such as instead of knitting a summer top for me I changed it to a summer top for my son’s GF with yarn that was on sale so I just “had” to buy it. I have goals like knit 1000 stitches per day, or go to the wool festival next month with my knitting friends which I have found to be satisfying. (And I track all this on my spreadsheet 🙂

  5. I have been less prescriptive on my list this year too and feel better already about how it’s going. I think your list is achievable and as you say gives you room to participate in those test knitting projects you like so much.

  6. Wow, that must have been a lot of work, making this blog list – I got the feeling that there were quite a few folks participating! (I think it’s wonderful of you to do that, I am absolutely with you, the ravelry support has been … how to say … it kinda leaves quite a few things to be desired ever since the new layout was launched).

    I really love your list, and I absolutely agree with you – it’s detailed enough to keep you on track, but not too set so that you feel bound to make something you don’t want to (anymore). I also like your new more relaxed plan to work on the blanket – you can always make more, but the less pressure you have, the more likely you’re gonna complete them!

    I’ll be looking forward to your YoP and to new blog posts!! 🙂

  7. I really like the flexibility of your YOP plan – enough focus to make progress on/get things done, but not so much that you feel like you can’t knit things you just want to knit. I’ll be looking forward to your updates and glad we found each other out here on the web! 🙂

  8. Ah Tina, I so appreciate you making a list of the YOP bloggers. I deleted all my items from Ravelry 2-3 years ago when they became very political and angry at anyone who disagreed with them. I only use it for YOP and sometimes a pattern that I am unable to locate elsewhere. Thank you for expressing what many have felt over the years.

    As for you upcoming YoP list……love it! Setting goals for each area is great. No pressure to make certain patterns but only to go where your heart leads you. It will be fun to see what emerges from your craftiness.

    1. Thanks Marsha,
      I didn’t mind when they “became political” because discussing politics on forums on a site about knitting is a choice that you make. I felt it was maybe a little silly and didn’t really scratch the surface of being inclusive, but it didn’t really make me think I wanted to leave the site. But when they make edits that mean a minority of people CAN’T use the site, and have shown no real desire to make it better, that’s when I get annoyed.

  9. This sounds like a great alternative to having a strict list of things to knit! I’ve considered doing something similar, but really my biggest goal is to knit some gifts, and try to keep myself from casting on too many things. (Which, except for socks, I’ve been really good about.)

    I’m with you on Ravelry. I’ve been on the site since it was in beta, and it’s really hard for me to completely abandon it for my personal knitting tracking since I’ve used it for so long and have a lot of things on there that aren’t tracked anywhere else. For now, I’m staying for my personal use, but I’ve also been making a point to find non-Rav links for my blog posts. I’ve been hoping they would “do better” with the accessibility issues they had, and since they seem to have let it fade into memory without making any real improvements I’ve been re-considering my decision to stay active on the site.

    1. Yeah I think that’s the big thing for me – they just seem to have kind of hoped we’d all forget about it. I’ve done the same thing, always telling people when I link to Rav and trying to find alternates wherever possible. I’ve never really been involved in the forums other than test knitting, and even that now has alternatives to the group. But I know that indie designers still use it to sell and promote their sites, so as someone who tests I also feel like a way to support the designer is to have a project page there. So I’m torn.

      1. Exactly—the accessibility issue itself wasn’t good, but it could have turned out okay if they had truly addressed the issue and taken responsibility for it. I’m leaning toward minimal Rav use (agreed, there are indie designers and test knit groups I use it for, and Rav project pages seem to help the designers who are still there). But I think I’m no longer going to be linking to it from my blog at all. I’ve already been trying to buy patterns from non-Rav sites where available. It’s not an ideal situation, but figuring out how to support the creators—both pattern designers and indie dyers—is the most important thing to me.

      2. That’s a great plan, and basically what I’ve done. I think the only exception for me now would be if there was a new pattern I test that didn’t have any other options.
        Even though the whole situation around Rav is frustrating, I’m glad I’ve found others like you who are willing to put in the work to make the community more accessible!

  10. I am curious as to what it is with Ravelry that people aren’t liking? I’m not on it that much but I know I wish they would allow you to track all kinds of projects. I need to update my project pages that’s for sure
    I love your plan! I am like you in that I’m always going “off script” for gifts or holidays or just rabbit holes in general I really like your idea of limiting yourself to a number of projects and not being real specific on patterns etc.
    I think you are my role model now! LOL! Have a great week!

    1. As a quick summery: the Ravelry problem is essentially that they did a theme refresh, and it caused accessibility issues for a lot of their users. I heard of multiple people who can’t use the site at all now because the color balance gives them migraines. Then, when they got negative feedback dealing with the accessibility issues with the new design, their response was… not good.

    2. Hah! Thank you Sandra!
      Nicole explained the situation really well, my big problem is that they have taken no steps to try to make the site more accessible and even blocked/ targeted some users for trying to share how and why it wasn’t working for them.

  11. That sounds like a good plan! I have been trying for a few years to do a list of projects I plan to do, and it turns out I am not great at making that kind of long term plan 🙂 Better to keep it flexible! Looking forward to reading about your progress 🙂

  12. I would really struggle with creating a plan for an entire year so I like your new strategy! I can’t wait to follow along with your year of making!

  13. First off — I’m raising my hand, I’m a headache sufferer … chronic and intense, both migraines and tension and the new Ravelry theme triggered them so much. Evanita Montalvo’s workaround helps me enough for me to be on the site for short periods but it doesn’t lessen the feeling of being dismissed based on the response of the site’s owners when they were called out to make the interface more accessible. I’ve used the site since starting to dabble in fiber arts 10 years ago but now it’s mostly for tracking projects. Most of the times, I put a disclaimer on my posts to alert readers of potential issues if they go to the site but I haven’t been consistent in doing so recently so thanks for the reminder.

    Thank you also for adding me to the list of YOP bloggers, it really has been a welcoming group and I look forward to interacting with everyone this year.

    I love the way you’ve done your list. I try lists but can’t seem to stick to them so I’m going to try your way … loose goals that I can edit as needed. I look forward to following along with your progress! 😀

    1. I’m so sorry you’re unable to use the site for as much as you’d wish. I was more frustrated with the response then the launch, because as you said it did feel very dismissive of anyone with issues. I mostly use the site for tracking projects as well.

  14. Welcome to the “fun” side of fast and loose goal making! I always love your posts, and am thrilled that you are doing YOP again! The encouraging, collaborative community makes blogging (and creating) so much more enriching!

    As an aside: I also love your very inclusive outlook. I has helped me reframe situations a few times; as a content creator, its easy to publish on the path of least resistance. Ravelry is an easy platform to share patterns to. Thank you for the reminder that, as a creator, making my work more accessible to more people is the way to go. I will definitely do my diligence.

    1. See here is where I am torn because I generally have no issues with designers using the site! I have seen both responses, one of my favorite designers doesn’t want to sell on Ravelry anymore at all, but others try to have alternatives. I’m sure that as an indie designer, any sale is a good one and so if Ravelry is a place where you can get those, then great! So as long as you have alternatives for people who can’t use it, I don’t personally see it as an issue.

      1. I forget that while Ravelry is the de facto social media of knitters and crocheters, not everyone uses it! My paid patterns are also on my Etsy, and one of my free patterns is available on LoveCrafts, some are available on my site. And that’s it for now! Maybe my YOP goal should be to diversify where my patterns are available!

        Its easy to forget that Ravelry is run by such a small team. Its not like there are dozens of programmer working on making changes; so any changes are likely to take longer than a site run by a major corporation. With this said, I feel the tone applied to concerns about the new look to be somewhat dismissive; intent or not. Its disappointing that a segment of users have been effectively dis-included in order to protect their health and well-being. It wreaks of ableism.

      2. That certainly seems like a good diversity of options!

        Right exactly, I totally understand launching something and having it kind of blow up in your face, and the frustration around that! That’s why I wasn’t really annoyed at first, it’s a small team and people make mistakes. But like you said, their response has been less than ideal, very dismissive and even aggressive at times. Definitely ableism at work and at this point you would think they would have had time to make some changes, even with a small team

  15. Yes, I have a list of Yoppers I follow right on my blog so non-ravelry users can access their wonderful blog posts. I do have to update it though since new members have joined. I have gotten used to the new Ravelry, but I definitely don’t use it as much for chatting but I do log all my projects and stash. It is a great asset to have to stay organized.

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