Robyn, you make items for so many different charities, do you have a system that you use to assure that items are completed in the time frame that you set for yourself?i read that and giggled a bit, and then read it to my husband and he giggled even louder. the truth is, i don't have any sort of system for most of my knitting. i just grab yarn and go!
with my charity knitting, i set larger goals for myself, like knitting 10,000 in my lifetime or working on squares for Knit A Square until July 2012. i also know i like to knit hats (love to knit hats, actually) and so have found a few charities over the years that love to receive hats so i can keep feeding my addiction. because i'm trying to work through my yarn stash, i'm mostly just grabbing yarn one skein at a time and knitting it up, without much thought to schedules or knitting timelines.
when someone e-mails me or mentions on a Ravelry group that they're in need of a specific type of item in a specific timeframe, i usually jump on that, find some yarn in my stash and then knit like the wind until i need to send those items out.
what ends up happening is the following: i fill up my Land's End bag with yarn for hats and squares and tell myself i'll only be knitting out of that bag until all that yarn is gone. and for a week i do really well. and then someone mentions they need baby hats or mittens or scarves in a short time frame, and i look into my Land's End bag and realize i don't have the "right" yarn in said bag and so grab more from the office. and then, while i'm knitting those scarves or mittens or baby hats, i remember i wanted to knit a cowl as a birthday present, and so i head to the store and grab yarn for the cowl.
and so on it goes - i'm still knitting hats and squares, mind you - and all of a sudden i've got three bags of yarn in the family room and have a list of 30 things i want to knit in the next five days.
i sort of like to knit all the things, all at once.
at least three times a year i decide i'm going to set up a system, i'm going to come up with a plan, or i'm going to ONLY knit one type of thing for a certain amount of time. and then someone needs scarves, and the cycle starts all over again! i've been operating with this lack of system for so long now it feels normal to me - this is just how i knit. and i always (or almost always!) end up meeting the deadlines i set for myself or the deadlines of others, and i do end up knitting with more stash yarn than new yarn, so i'm at peace with it.
i've got another PLAN ready for 2012, and one i'm hoping some other folks will join me on, but i also know that when i implement this plan (more on it later in the month!) there will be plenty of days where i knit outside of the plan because there are other things that need to be made.