Project Planning

How much time do you spend planning your projects?

For me, not a whole lot, but I think that the projects that I spend more time planning end up being more likely to be finished. One thing that has really helped me with project planning is the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup group on Ravelry.

The HPKCHC is a very welcoming, open community, and I’ve had a blast playing along for the last couple of years. It has been really good for helping me finish projects since I get imaginary internet points for finishing things in a timely manner.

One of the activities in HPKCHC is an Ordinary Wizarding Level (OWL) exam. There are prompts, similar to writing prompts, for the types of projects you can do. If you are very clever, you can fit almost any project into almost any prompt. For the upcoming term, which goes from May to the end of July, I am planning to study Care of Magical Creatures and hatch a Fwooper egg. A Fwooper is a magical bird whose song will drive the listener insane, so make sure you have your Silencing Charm at the ready if you ever encounter one.

I am planning to knit Justyna Lorkowska’s Shifted pullover. I have already knit this pattern before, and my plan is to have a whole rainbow of these sweaters by the time I am done.

My Shifted pullover in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Mars | Life on Mars. Finished November 2019.

I currently have Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Barb Deserved Better (solid/light pink), Seaglass (kelly green), Great Gray Owl (a blueish cool gray), Sun Rose (a purply red), and Pop (a bright coral pink). Of course I will need more colors to complete the rainbow, but these are the ones I have collected so far.

For this spring/summer, I am going to go with the Pop color. This is a gorgeous hot coral pink color with splashes of orange. It is going to make a beautiful sweater.

Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Pop

Part of the OWL proposal and planning phase includes making a gauge swatch. Now, I’ve made this sweater in the same yarn (different color) before, so I could have probably gotten away with not swatching, but it is always good to make sure that your color is going to work with the pattern when you are working with hand dyed yarn. I am also using a lighter weight of yarn than what the pattern calls for, so it would have been especially important for me to swatch if this was the first time I was making this pattern in this yarn.

Shifted Gauge Swatch

Part of my project planning also includes an estimation of the 50% mark. To do this, I employ some spreadsheet wizardry using Google Sheets. I go through the pattern that I’m planning and calculate how many stitches are in each row in each section and how many there are total. From there, I can determine what percentage of the project has been completed as I reach certain milestones. I really like this activity since I like making little check marks and crossing off each section as I complete it. It also helps me with pacing. This project has about 73000 stitches for my size and gauge. I have just under three months to complete the OWL project, so I need to work approximately 800 stitches per day. I can knit about 20 stitches per minute in a lightly patterned project (the last time I timed it), so I need to work on this sweater for around 45 minutes per day to make sure that I finish on time and am able to block and photograph the project by the end of July! Totally doable!

I am super excited about this project, but I won’t be able to start it until the first week of May so I can get my 200 internet points. I can’t wait! For now, I’m finishing up some socks and working on an MKAL (more on that soon)!

What are you working on? Are you planning any new projects? Does anyone else love the spreadsheet magic and crossing things off of lists?