So, I’m nearly two months into my plan for knitting
world domination Jared Flood patterns exclusively-ish, and I figured I should write a little about it.
My main motivation for what I’m calling Floodgates 2014 was to impart some structure to my knitting, and hopefully curb my magpie tendencies. I’m so easily distracted by new patterns or new yarn, I’ve found myself amassing a bunch of WIPs and very few FOs. I figured if I limited my options to a finite list of possible patterns, I’d actually finish some stuff and use up some of my stash.
Once I decided to do this, I toyed with the idea of just knitting Elizabeth Zimmermann patterns. EZ is, obviously, amazing, and there’s so much to learn from her stuff. Then, I thought about designers who clearly take inspiration from EZ, and I immediately thought of JF. I love his aesthetic, his own knitting is lovely, and any pattern of his that I’ve knit (or at least started knitting) has been a real joy. (Note to self: finish the bind off on Oshima, and complete that vest already.)
I did a search on Ravelry for everything JF has designed. I was able to rule out some of his patterns – menswear, for example – and made a spreadsheet of everything else. Then, I thought about what I could actually accomplish in a year’s worth of knitting. Realistically, I can’t do more than maybe four sweaters in a year. I can finish a sweater in less than three months if I’m fairly monogamous with it, but I’m going for a bit of quality AND quantity with this project, so I knew I needed to keep my sweater goals to no more than four for the year. JF has a lot of lovely shawl patterns, which I really love wearing, and so many nice hats, so I knew I’d have little trouble filling out my knitting time with plenty of smaller-than-sweater-size projects as well. Throw in a few pairs of mittens and I’d be on my way to developing a nice wardrobe of winter stuff.
Around the same time I was devising my Floodgates plan, I began thinking about participating in the House Cup on Ravelry again. I’d stepped back from the Cup a while ago because I felt a little stifled by it (and also because I found myself making stuff I didn’t particularly want to make, just for the sake of making something). But, I knew my Floodgates plan would mesh well with the structure of the Cup, and would result in some points-worthy projects, so why not do my part to help Slytherin retake the cup? So, I rejoined and am enjoying all the positive aspects of the Cup, not the least of which is that it motivates me to actually finish things in a reasonable amount of time.
I said above that I planned to knit JF patterns exclusively-ish. I’ve decided I can cut myself some slack by not requiring I ONLY knit JF patterns – there are plenty of things I like to knit that he hasn’t designed much for, like socks and children’s clothes (fingers crossed he’ll remedy at least the former of these; I suspect there won’t be many sock patterns in his future unless Brooklyn Tweed decides to introduce a sock yarn). So, what I’ve done thus far is to shoot for one higher-yardage (400+ yards) JF piece per month, one or two smaller (150-250 yards) pieces, and then to fill out my Cup responsibilities with smaller things like washcloths or blanket squares, both of which will eventually be given as gifts. I’m also planning to knit a nativity scene for myself, so I can add those to my queue through the year as well.
The Cup operates on a three months on, one month off schedule, starting in January, which makes for three terms a year. My goal is to knit one sweater each of two terms as my big “OWL” project, and a complicated shawl as the third OWL (unless a new JF sweater patern comes out that particularly speaks to me), along with the one high-yardage/two small-yardage projects per month. I’ve mapped out my plans for the year:
Looking at this list right now is a little sobering, because I thought I’d completed more things by now! So far, I have only two JFFOs:
and Seasons Hat
My Sempervivum shawl and Bray sweater are well underway and will be done this month and next month, respectively. I really need to kick things into high gear over the next week and next month to really make a dent in the rest of my list. I’ve started my Guernsey Triangle, but it will be a struggle to finish it this month.
I’m glad I’m putting this all down here, as it’s helped me to step back a bit and think about where I am in my plans, where I’m headed, and how to get there!