Make it a project: how to keep focus on a long-term WIP and startitis at bay

To help when knitting a long-term project, I envisaged a strategy to keep focused and enthusiast: make a project out of it!

The current WIP is the Thistle scarf that I have been blogging about recently, but lately I’ve been thinking to cast on new projects to complement my WIP – more on this in a follow-up post 🙂

Breaking down the project into chunks – that when reached give a sense of achievement and progress towards the FO – can make it more enjoyable! Basically, you divide your long-term project into sub-sections. In my case, I have the flowery lace sub-section for a total of 7 repeats (this accounts for about 1/3 of the total length) and the scarf body sub-section (which features a simpler lace and accounts for 2/3 of the total project). Each sub-section can be further split into tasks, if you like. Then for each of them, you enter a start and end date, can add task dependencies, record the progress made thus far and export the project in various formats (for example, as an image, a PDF, etc).

Thistle lace scarf, the project

Thistle lace scarf, the Gantt chart of the project

I have created a project plan using the open source software for Gantt charts called Gantt Project. Open source means that, thanks to development communities who volunteer their time, it’s free – no fees, nothing to pay whatsoever. Cool, I love open source!

From Wikipedia:

[Gantt Project] features most basic project management functions like a Gantt chart for project scheduling of tasks, and doing resource management using resource load charts. It has a number of reporting options (MS Project, HTML, PDF, spreadsheets).

It’s really easy to use; here is a tutorial that explains how to install, set up and use it:

Gantt Project - YouTube tutorial

Gantt Project – YouTube tutorial

You can download Gantt Project from their webpage: ganttproject.biz

By the way, I completed task ‘Repeat 3’ (the third repeat in the flowers lace section) and I can see that I should have the whole flower repeats by the 25th August, according to the schedule. The body of the scarf should get done prior to the end of September.

Thistle scarf, the 3rd lace repeat

Thistle scarf, the 3rd lace repeat it’s done!

Thistle scarf, detail of the 3rd lace repeat

Now I know (and cannot possibly attempt to ignore!) that there is a limited resource: knitting time… so I can’t just keep adding new WIPs. Conversely, casting on new projects will have an impact on the completion of the current ones.

This is my new tool to keep startitis at bay 🙂

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16 thoughts on “Make it a project: how to keep focus on a long-term WIP and startitis at bay

  1. I had never heard of this software and am so grateful for you share! Thank you!

  2. MasonBentley says:

    Amazing software..and such beautiful knitting! I bow down! xxx

  3. Forest So Green says:

    I really like the idea of breaking down projects into chunks. Thanks for writing about this software. I had not heard of it and I think I will give it a try 🙂 Annie

    • itwasjudith says:

      Thank you for your comment, Annie 🙂
      It’s fairly easy to use and has the basic features for managing a project… and it’s free 😉
      Hope it helps.. if you have questions, just give me a shout!

  4. […] Make it a project: how to keep focus on a long-term WIP and startitis at bay. […]

  5. K. A. Jordan says:

    Amazing! I love the thought process that breaks ‘impossible’ down into smaller chunks. This software looks like it will come in handy for a lot of projects. (Like getting my e-books into print.)

    Thanks!

  6. Julia M. says:

    WOW. that’s such a beautiful lace scarf! I’m too over-orgainsed when it comes to knitting, but it is a great way to stay focused on larger projects, I completely agree on that! It’s great that you put so much information about the programm into that posting! It’s always good to “know” what you get. 😀

    Have a great day!
    Julia

    • itwasjudith says:

      Hallo Julia, willkommen und danke fuer deine nette woerter 🙂 I loved that you just took your chance and started Fair Isle knitting, those mittens look great!!
      liebe gruesse

  7. kiwiyarns says:

    You’ve knit that beautifully! It’s is a gorgeous pattern. Arrgh! Another one to add to my favourites! 😀

  8. Leah says:

    Oh my gosh!! My masters degree is in project management, and I’ve never thought of doing this with WIP’s! Brilliant!

    • itwasjudith says:

      Cool, now you can try and apply your PM skills 🙂
      there’s also Microsoft-Project software for more complex requirements, but that one requires a licence..

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