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Knitting With a Plan

Updated on December 30, 2017
kschimmel profile image

Kimberly has taught knitting, crochet, and loom knitting classes. She also tests patterns for designers and designs her own patterns.

One of My Original Designs


Why Should I Knit With a Plan?

There is a common misconception that creative people don't plan--they just let things happen. The fact is, creativity can be hard work. Novels don't write themselves and patterns don't design themselves. Neither do great paintings or sculptures just happen with no planning.

Planning and creativity are not mutually exclusive. In fact, just a little planning can make knitting even more fun than it already is. What are the advantages of planning your knitting time? Here are just a few:

  • Save money. A plan means you can watch for sales on the yarn you need or choose projects that use yarn from your stash.
  • Save aggravation. Your plan includes a list of all the needles, buttons, and other items you may need. Eliminate unscheduled trips to the store for a cable needle or more stitch markers.
  • Learn more. You can plan to learn new skills by including those skills in your project plans and practicing in advance of the project.
  • Have fun! Planning is one of my favorite things: gathering library books and internet pattern links, looking at yarn displays, and picking my favorites to include in the plan.

Through my decades of knitting, I have loosely planned for a "year of shawls" or "year of socks." Such plans mean I will get to practice the same skills over and over, having ample opportunity for improvement along the way. Choose a knitting skill you'd like to learn, then plan several projects of increasing difficulty in order to develop those skills.

2016 was a "Year of Design" in which I try to knit mostly new designs created by me. It is also a year to learn how to write patterns others can follow, create knitting charts using Excel and Gimp, and publish the completed patterns. So far I'm having a blast! You can find some of my original designs on Ravelry, the social network and pattern database for knitters and crocheters. I highly recommend joining Ravelry, as there are groups for all sorts of knitters and the pattern database is full of downloads, many of them free. If you need help solving a knitting problem, somebody in the community is bound to be able to help.

2017 was my year of "Finish What's Started in the Knitting Baskets and Boxes" and was largely successful. 2018's theme will be "Knit to Meet Needs" which will include making many warm, striped scarves to give away to anyone who needs warmth.

Sample Knitting Plan for Learning Color Work

Skills Required
striped socks
Charmed Knits book
knit in round, short rows, changing colors
size 2 double points
Dale baby ull
argyle socks
Country Socks book
intarsia, sewing back seam
size 4 double points
Wool-Ease sport
iris sweater
Sasha Kagan book
carry 2 colors in one row, make buttonholes
size 3 and 5 straight
shetland from stash

Partial Knitting Plan

From My Year of Socks

Christmas Knitting
Christmas Knitting | Source
Toe-Up Baby Socks
Toe-Up Baby Socks | Source
Warm Worsted Socks
Warm Worsted Socks | Source

Planning Leads to Freedom

I understand you free spirits--I am one of you! However, a plan is not a rigid "to-do" list. It is a proposed structure that gives you an opportunity to be creative as you work within boundaries to achieve a certain goal. Think of it as the frame of a house, enabling and supporting everything you choose to build on top of it. Your goal might be to make unique hats for all your uncles and brothers or to learn to work cables with skill. Create a plan to harness and focus the power of your creativity.

A plan is not a box meant to contain and stifle you. Rather, it is a way to give structure to your creative impulses so you can create more and better projects. For a business application of this concept, read Thinking Inside the Box. As the author of that book points out, a plan is like a box that keeps all your ideas from spilling all over the floor and making a mess. The plan is liberating, not enslaving. You are in control and can change or just tweak the plan as your needs or goals change.

Please have fun with your knitting and let me know your plans by leaving a comment below. I love to know what others are working on. Happy stitching!

Samples From My Year of Design

"Factionless" Scarf
"Factionless" Scarf | Source
Elfin Lace Cowl
Elfin Lace Cowl | Source
Fibonacci Scarf #1
Fibonacci Scarf #1 | Source

How Do You Roll?

Which knitter are you:

See results

What do you plan to knit this year?

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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      7 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A lovely pattern and so interesting to get into knitting I have tried knitting a scarf and got it right but recently I started another scarf but not finished just not getting this one right or finished I have been undecided about the color.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      8 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Interesting hub and I love those socks. I'm trying to finish a rug and have a time-limit, so it's nose to the grindstone!

    • kschimmel profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Schimmel 

      8 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      Thanks, that was fun to make.

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe Payne 

      8 years ago from USA

      great hub...and I love your Christmas sock......

    • kschimmel profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Schimmel 

      8 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      Last year was a scarves and socks year, so this year I knit a skirt and am looking over patterns for crocheted lace dresses. Plans can change, of course, but this is a year to knit for myself and I need some dresses.

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 

      8 years ago from USA

      Interesting hub :) I usually have a list and schedule of the projects I plan to do and the yarn that I will use, but it is constantly changing (ugh!) I see a new pattern or get an idea and that rises to the top of my queue!! But I think the planning process you suggest is a good one, especially for newer knitters who want to build their skills and try different types of projects. Thanks!


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