102) Time, tracking and TODO!

I'm a huge fan of lists.  I write them, sort them, organise them (usually using a spreadsheet – I love them, too!), colour-code them, and then, often, ignore them.  I love knowing where I am at a given point in time, but, like so many things, I'm very bad at maintaining the lists I create, so I end up making new lists rather than updating the old.  There must be a balance to strike between a list that is easy to maintain, and one that gives me the information I need, but I haven't found that magic formula yet!

The latest attempt at list-simplicity has been triggered by my recent destash efforts.  I have tried, quite hard, to eliminate anything from my stash that is there because it 'might come in useful', or 'is pretty'.  Things get to stay in my stash if I love them, know what I want to do with them, and look forwards to doing it – no more guilt-stash!

So my latest tracking spreadsheet is project-driven.  Rather than creating a massive inventory of what yarn, fabric, fibre etc. I have, and where, I have created lists of projects I want to carry out, and what I want to use for them.  I've split the list down into dressmaking, quilting, spinning, weaving and knitting lists.  Here's a peek at my dressmaking list:


Things in there are more of an aide memoire for myself, rather than anything that would be of use to anyone else.  I've also made an effort to indicate how committed to each project I am, whether it's for everyday use or SCA, and whether it's a garment that would get most use in the summer or in the winter.  Unsurprisingly, it seems I plan mostly to knit cold weather garments – but buy fabric mostly for warm weather ones! 

I though it would be interesting to estimate just how long it would take to work through my new (reduced! lean! efficient!!) stash.  I normally reckon it takes me a month to finish a sweater-sized
knitting project or a complex shawl, but recently things have been going slower than

that, because I've been working on other things, too. Other projects are normally quicker, particularly dressmaking and spinning ones.  As are small knitting projects.  So let's say I can finish two projects per month.  So, totalling up the waiting projects, we have:

Dressmaking projects:       31
Quilting projects:                7
Mending/alterations:           5
Spinning projects:             19
Knitting projects:              62 (ouch!!)
Weaving projects:             12

Grand total: 136 projects.

One hundred and thirty six.  Good grief.  Even if I finish two projects per month, that's five and a half years' worth of projects stacked up there.  And that's without allowing for the fact that spinning projects turn into weaving projects or knitting projects when they're done.  And, in fact, that weaving projects may themselves turn into sewing projects.  Or that I will not be able to resist buying more materials as time goes by.

I'm going to try and keep up with this list, and work out how many projects I do actually finish per month.  Let's see if I can, at least, stick to the rule that I should finish more projects per month than I accumulate.


  • Wow! I have 3 sweaters in mind that I must must must make, 2 that are almost finished lying around the house, so much sock yarn it has its own box… but I don’t think I have 5 years of projects. I hope. Maybe socks…
    Anyways, good luck with all this, and we will be watching closely!

    11th December 2009
  • I don’t think my stash is anywhere near the size of yours, and yet I’m just not brave enough to take myself through an exercise like that!

    12th December 2009
  • Not sure about that last rule… I reckon that having more ideas than you can put into practice is a sign of a healthily creative mind!

    14th December 2009
  • I’m impressed. I love lists too but mine are pretty rude in comparison, just scribble on scraps of paper. My problem is that I keep losing the scraps of paper.
    I used to have a friend to loved organizational lists as well. In fact, she once said that her husband would complain that she would take 2 hours to organize a 15 minute project!

    20th December 2009

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