Introducing the Year of Good Intentions (aka the Library KAL)

I have this collection of knitting books, bought with (of course) the best intentions, many of which have sat on the shelf since their purchase date, not doing much.  They act as inspiration, as potential, but mostly I’ve been pulling my patterns from Ravelry.  There’s nothing wrong with Ravelry, certainly, but I did buy these books for a reason.  I have a self-imposed rule that, in order to buy a pattern book, there has to be at least three patterns that I want to make, which means that there are all these patterns that I want to make that I’m barely looking at.

Originally, I was envisioning this as a solo project, but I doubt I’m the only one who has this problem.  Maybe it’s not a shelf of neglected books; maybe it’s a folder of patterns you purchased on Ravelry and still haven’t gotten around to making, or a teetering stack of knitting magazines that are threatening to take over your craft room if you bump them too hard.  Maybe it’s the first dozen items in your queue that you keep ignoring when you’re thinking about what to cast on next.  It doesn’t even have to be knitting related – it could be crochet books, or quilting magazines, or a precarious pile of sewing patterns you keep skipping over.  Maybe you have a box of scrapbooking supplies in the back of your closet with your five-year-old’s baby pictures hopefully perched on top.  Somewhere in your crafting life, there’s something you’ve been ignoring.

Here’s the thing, too.  These aren’t books I bought as a brand-new knitter that don’t reflect the way I knit any more – I sold, gave away, or donated those when I was preparing to move last August.  These are books I still love, that I take down and page through and go, “Man! I really ought to knit something out of this!” but never when I’m actually looking for something to cast on.

My goal, therefore, is to work my way through my knitting library.  I’m starting with the books I haven’t made anything out of, which total twelve.  If this goes well, I may move on to my magazine collection and my Ravelry queue, but one thing at a time.  If you’d like to join me, these are my guidelines for this challenge.  Please feel free to adapt them as appropriate to you, your life, and your craft(s).

The Guidelines (“rules” is so fussy, don’t you think?)

1.  The book must be in my possession.  Any book purchased after March 15, 2012 will have to go into the next challenge.

2.  One pattern per book.  When I bought the book, there were at least three that I loved, remember? So choosing a pattern to make shouldn’t be difficult.  If I can’t decide between two patterns, I’ll cast on both of them. Because why  not?

3. One book per month.  If what I’m knitting out of a given book is particularly small, I may fudge this a little.  The point, though, is not to overwhelm myself with Obligatory Knits; that’s a recipe for failure.  One book per month will leave time to knit things that aren’t in the library, so I don’t have to wait a year to cast on a shawl that I’ve fallen in love with, or an extraneous pair of socks, or the first five items in my queue.

4.   Maximum of twelve months from the date of start to complete the pattern.  (So, a pattern started in April 2012 would need to be completed before April 2013.)  I initially thought about having twelve months to get all the patterns completed, but that seems a little excessive, and super-unfair to the pattern started in, say, February 2013.  This gives me a deadline, but not a super hard one.  Obviously I won’t need twelve months for everything, but it gives me a nice cushion while still preventing me from banishing things to the UFO bin never to return.

5. For the purpose of the challenge, I may skip two books in my collection, but they must be replaced with an otherwise non-qualifying book in my collection.  Okay, this one’s a totally arbitrary guideline, but I think it’s a fair one.  For example, I’ve knit two patterns out of Knit. Sock. Love., so I don’t have to do something out of that book during this challenge.  If I chose to skip, say, Mason-Dixon Knitting, I could instead knit a Cookie A. sock out of my book.  However, if I choose to skip a book, there must be a certain amount of soul-searching in which I determine why I own a book I don’t want to knit out of.  (There may be a very good reason: Stephanie Pearl-McPhee recommends having at least one knitting book in your collection that is currently “over your head” for you to grow into.  Mine is called Wrapped in Lace, and it’s a book mostly focused on lace shawl design. One day I will be there, this is not that day, and I didn’t buy this book for the patterns.  I may elect to skip that one.)

What do you think?  Am I crazy?  Are my guidelines too harsh or not harsh enough? Wanna play along?  Let me know! Early next week I’ll be listing the books in my challenge and some initial ideas on how to tackle them.

~ by Amber on March 16, 2012.

4 Responses to “Introducing the Year of Good Intentions (aka the Library KAL)”

  1. I’m sending a link to this to my mother since she has a significant number of quilting books that might have not really used it. Plus she has a lot of quilting magazines too. I figured that something like this may benefit her even if she doesn’t have a blog to keep track of this.

  2. […] Comments « Introducing the Year of Good Intentions (aka the Library KAL) […]

  3. […] and magic, I think.) The other day, she announced that she’s embarking on a project she calls The Year of Good Intentions. Basically, the idea is that she’s got all these great knitting books but she always gets […]

  4. […] promised the list of potential projects for the Year of Good Intentions, and then Jack threw me a curve ball that made me start reconsidering.  Now, I knit a lot for him […]

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