Somewhere I can let out my inner crafter without being labeled as even more insane.

Posts tagged ‘organise’

Organisation: time management

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post about optimisation, my little work for the year. But it has been hard at work behind the scenes.

This time, I’m going to be talking about time management. I suck at it, so I’m hoping by getting it out here, other people might have some good ideas about it all.

The problem is that I have too many hobbies, and not enough time to do them all *sigh*. It’s a wonderful problem to have!

I currently (or at least want to) knit, crochet, make Dorset buttons, cross stitch, take up embroidery, read, play computer games, sew, and spin. (Yes, spinning is decidedly new! I learnt the basics yesterday, and I’m definitely looking into getting a drop spindle soon!)

And then, on top of these hobbies of mine, I have a PhD to complete, and next academic year I’ll also be working towards a teaching qualification, which will also be fairly time-expensive.

So, something has to give. And I really don’t want anything to give (except the sleep, which isn’t exactly optional!).

For a while, a while ago, I used to have a little time-table for my day. Just something quick and dirty, like this:

10:00 work

12:00 lunch

13:00 work

15:00 break (knitting)

16:00 work

18:00 finish (cross stitch)

19:00 dinner

20:00 free time (generally knitting and watching tv)

Unfortunately, it stopped because it was too awkward keeping track of the teaching I had on different days, and that’s going to start again in September. But maybe next time, if I’m used to this routine I’ll be able to think of something to help it work.

Also, I think I need to stop trying to bury my product side of crafter- I want to see results dammit! So, in future, I’ll take more pictures of what I’ve done in a day. Even if I don’t post them (and I probably won’t!) it will let me see that I’ve made progress every day, even if it doesn’t seem particularly visible.

So, how do you stay on track? Any other tips you can think of for me?

Organisation: crafting

As most of you already know, this year my buzzword is organise. Something I’ve been really struggling with this year is a rotation, as I have so many things I want to do! Last year, Christmas presents during the week and then my SALs over the weekend worked well, but now I’m not doing any SALs, and I don’t have any Christmas presents to make (yet…they’re all planned), and, well, it’s easier to just waste my time on the internet than pick up something to make.


So, at the moment, I’m organising my WIPs so I can easily pick them up. I figure that the easier they are to pick up and start, the more likely I am to actually work on them!First of all, I need something very basic for my breaks when I’m sat at my desk. Well, actually, firstly, I needed to clean my desk up… but that’s done now, and I think it looks pretty tidy right now :)(No, you don’t get to see a before pic!). You can see my weekly planner in front of me, which is a very helpful reminder of what I’m having for dinner every day, and what I need to be in Uni for etc. I’m still finding my way around the notes section, but I’ll be sure to let you all know when I figure out what suits me for it.You can also see my half-finished juggling balls there, on the left. Having them right there (and not buried under a pile of work!) is making it very easy to pick them up and sew a line when I’m not working, or waiting for inspiration. I used to have a small box of embroidery threads on my right, when I was cross stitching small cards, but I’ve moved that out of the way into my cross stitching drawer. I’ve been finding that it was unnecessary (my cross stitching stuff is all in the drawer, so having it out doesn’t make me more likely to pick up something to stitch) and I was always worried that I would knock it off with my right arm while working. Which isn’t exactly productive for working!


You can also see some scrap paper on the left, for sudden list-making. And a little jotter pad for a daily routine (times and what I’m supposed to be doing, very handy). On the right, I still have my pot of pens, and also a little container for ‘all sorts’. It gets emptied from time to time, when it gets too full.


At the moment, you can see the thread I’m using for my juggling balls, the thread I’m using for some repair work on my jeans, the beads I had been using on my socks, my USB stick and some other useful bits and bobs.

I’ve also started carting around some knitted socks for when I’m at Uni sitting around not doing anything (I work at a maths drop in place which isn’t exactly popular!), and therefore needed a container of some description to keep everything neatly together 🙂 I found this make up case in Superdrug, and it just about fits 200g of yarn (you can see that I knit TAAT different socks!).


I’ve kept the cardboard insert in to help it keep it’s shape as I take loads of weird stuff in my bag, and I don’t want it to catch on anything when I pull it out (remember, we’re trying to make my crafting as accessible as possible!). I would quite like the handle to lie completely flat, but it works pretty well. At some point I’m going to embroider the directions for my vanilla socks (including lengths) on the outside so I have no excuse to not knit socks!

I also now have a proper knitting bag!


At the moment it just has my cardigan in it (more on that in a later post, my gauge issues are rather amusing!), and the pattern. Saves lots of swearing when I turn up to knitsoc without the pattern! It also has my notions wallet in it, and my tape measure. And some sweets, and when I remember a drink as well, so I don’t get too hungry when knitting 🙂 I probably ought to add some plasters as well, just in case!So, what do you all do to help keep you crafting at all times? I’d love to read a post about your crafting organisation, even if it is a simple ‘here is my craft room’ post! 🙂

Hello February!

So, one month of the year has been and gone. While I am trying to be more organised (my word of the year, if anyone has forgotten), it’s really quite hard work. So far, all I’ve really managed to do is a meal plan, which makes food shopping much easier 🙂

I bought a weekly plan from paperchase at the start of the year- this is what it looks like

weeklyplanAs well as my meal plan, it’s got any important appointments for the week, as well as a section for general notes. It’s quite useful, but I’m still getting to grips with having 3 different calenders (online one with most of my Uni appointments, a small paper one for out and about appointments, and my weekly planner.) Now that I’ve got to grips with this, in February, I’m going to start organising my craft stash. It’s going to take more than a month (I’m not sure how I’ll be doing it yet…), but I can at least make a start. How do other people organise their stash? I don’t particularly want to use ravelry for my yarn, but I might end up using it anyway. Are there similar things for different crafts? I’ve got cross stitch stuff to organise, and a bit of fabric as well. Any tips would be wonderful 🙂

I haven’t done much this week in the way of actual crafts, my PhD work at York kept me busy, but I did win another award! Yay me! Carolyn recently won the Versatile Blog award, and was kind enough to include me in the list of nominated blogs! Thanks Carolyn!

The rules of the award are:

  1. Show the award on your blog
  2. Thank the person who nominated you
  3. Share seven facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 15 blogs
  5. Link your nominees blogs and let them know

versatile-blogger-awardIt will also be going on the strip down the right of this blog (the sidebar?), along with my other awards.

Seven facts about myself… I’ll try to keep them different from the other facts I’ve done, but no promises!

1. I get distracted easily. I have some blocks on my laptop to limit what websites I can access at times (no hotmail, facebook, etc during work time) otherwise I would never get anything done, as I much prefer looking for inspiration than doing my work. Slippery slope! This is why I don’t have a pintrest account,but as I can also limit my time on any particular website, it might be an idea.

2. I want to do any craft I see. And more really, but after seeing any craft being done, I want to give it a try. I refuse to try spinning (again), it’s too long winded. Although then I see other people spinning, or the gorgeous fibre you can get, and I want to try it. *sighs*. Everything else, I’m completely game for.

3. I hate my imagination sometimes. I swear, I could forget half the things I want to make, and still have enough plans to last me 10 years, or more. Ahh well, it’s easier to just get on making things than moaning about it!

4. It takes me a while to get into things. After I started this blog, it took a long time before I branched out into commenting on other peoples blogs. The same thing happened at York, when I came up here to do my PhD. Now that I’ve been here a while, I go to events- knitsoc and jugglesoc which I didn’t go to in my first year.

5. I name things. My future dressmakers dummy will be called Susan, and my embroidery hoop on its stand is called Lark. Also, my bike is called 21st century horse 😛

6. Every time I read a book, I get inundated with inspiration for fanart for that book. (See 3 and 4). I’m currently working on knitting a pair of socks for all the main characters for a book called Sugar Glass. So far I’ve done the main character, and I’m now working on her girlfriend’s pair. It’s a good book 🙂

7. Rather than have New Year Resolutions, I decided to do something similar for my birthday. Because I am now 22, I wrote a list of ’23 things before 23′, of 23 things I want to do before I turn 23.


As before, I’m not going to nominate any other bloggers. Everyone I follow I would love to nominate, so rather than nominate a set number, if anyone else would like to carry this on, I would love to read about it 🙂

Right, that’s all from me. I’m off to do some more thinking about a secret project, and then maybe think about organising my stash 🙂


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