Craft Time Management with SOS Moderator: Robyn Gibbons

Mom. Wife. Puppy owner. Paralegal. School of SweetGeorgia Moderator. SweetGeorgia Writer. Board Member. Homeowner. Type A personality. Multicraftual Maker. Master at Craft Time Management. I have one hundred thirty-seven skeins of yarn, twenty-five cones for weaving, seventy-four ounces of fibre, ten spindles for spinning, one table loom, many knitting needles, and a partridge in a pear tree!

So that’s my bio. I’m a doer of many things. When I went to count up all the projects I made in 2022 though, I made fourteen items. But looking at my bio versus the amount of items I made, that shouldn’t be possible. But I did. Here’s how!

How I manage my craft time in life

You can work on as many projects as you want, and you’ll see very little progress over them all; so, I stick with only working on two or three projects at a time. That doesn’t include the sock in my purse for spare time knitting. I also have a schedule for making, which for some may seem like overkill, but just bear with me on this. After joining SweetGeorgia in 2021, I quickly adopted several more fibre arts. I then found myself overwhelmed with how to do all the things I loved at the same time. That’s where the Multicraftual Maker class came in.

Learning how to manage the small amount of time I have, and fitting crafting time in while at kids’ activities, on lunch breaks, and as a passenger in the car, all allow more time than I thought was possible. I also learned that I did not have to do all of my crafts in the same season. That was a game-changer. Moving around a table loom to weave outside is not as adaptable as you may think; knitting is much easier on the back deck.

Once I made a schedule, I found I could spend twenty-five plus hours a week for crafting*… when life doesn’t through me a curve ball (*I do spend time with my hubby and children too around my crafting. Haha!)

Robyn's excel spreadsheet for craft time management

Annual Project Planning

After watching Tabetha’s Plan Your Make Nine course, I start each year by planning out what I want to make and learn. This helps give my making a purpose, and a focus, and allows me to go through all the stash I have and see what I want out of what I already have. By planning only a couple items at a time, I have the flexibility to add new designs that are released during the year to my making plans.

For my knitting projects this year, I am planning on the following WIPs (Works in Progress): two sweaters and two cardigans, as well as a new design TBA. Spinning will only consist of one project, a fractal spin of three braids, and then knitting those three braids into a cowl/shawl. With my weaving this year, I would like to work on double weave. Working my way through the entire course, from a bread bag to one solid linen cloth, then two tartan blankets sewn together into a poncho. The last project will take me into next year, I think.

basket of knitting ready to knit

Managing one’s stash*

While we would all like to make all the things (and buy all the things all the time), you may want to manage the supplies you have on hand as the first step in your craft time management. Here are a few quick tips I find helpful for organizing all the stash:

  1. Review all stash at least once a year (ideally two):
    • for new inspiration
    • to de-stash (if you’d like)
    • to find something you wanted to buy but already own (which I’ve never had happen J)
  2. Store potential project pictures on your phone so you can see what you have ‘assigned’ your yarn to. If you really want to cast on something new, your pictures will remind you that you already have yarn to play with.
  3. Keep the next few projects you want to make at hand (the rest can be stored away for longer) in clear containers in a craft corner, or in a basket next to your seat in the living room, so it is always in the line of sight.
  4. If you have storage space for your fibre, keep to that space:
    • the more supply expands, the more you will have to manage
    • space saver bags can help with the organization as well if space is at a premium
  5. Going to a fibre festival:
    • go with a plan (one sweater quantity and…) and a budget
    • allow for some impulses, no reason to have regrets, plan for them to happen

*No judgment about how much stash you have. None at all.

basket of spinning fibres ready to knit

If you have read all of this way, just know, it’s taken me years to develop my own methods of planning around my schedule for work and kids’ activities. Watching the School of SweetGeorgia classes has really helped me to refine my organizational style to a skill; after watching the classes, maybe you too can find a way toward better craft time management.

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