Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tackling the Biggest To-Do

Crocheted Quilter's Tote
It was my intention from the moment I started the travel jewelry kit in June for my sister that I would give it my disciplined focus until it was done--hoping that meant in time for her birthday in mid July--and then transfer that same discipline to this Quilter's Tote project that was my Secret Santa gift for my sister-in-law in 2012.  Well, tho I did manage to maintain the disciplined focus on the jewelry kit and gave my sister half of it the week of her birthday and the other half the last weekend of August, too many unforseen things happened with it (just like with the quilter's tote) and multiple rethinks and redos became necessary as reported in earlier posts and the final handover to my sister did not take place until this past Friday afternoon.

The weekend was all about the read-a-thon but on Monday I cleared my craft table of the tools and materials from the jewelry kit project and got out the quilter's tote.  I layed it all out for this photo but also to re-familiarize myself with its current status.  I got out the to-do list for it and re-read it.  It is in a small notebook that travels with the project and the first page reads:

  • Prep mobeus strip (in blud basket above)
  • Prep wraparound panel (folded on left side above)
  • Prep back/front flap panel (folded on right side above)
  • Crochet 5 4" x 4" squares--4 for pockets on the carry strap 1 to wrap around the twist in the top of the strap.
  • Crochet 3 small flowers for buttons to secure flap on front of bag
  • Crochet 1 large flower for the strap wrap
  • Assemble tote

Except for the squares and flowers which have patterns, each one of these items require multiple pages of instructions and task lists broken down into sub tasks and dependencies (tasks that must be done before another task can be started). Those lists were disorganized and missing some things I'd thot of since writing it so I tore them out and started over.  
Assuming I've thought of everything...

But if there is one thing this project has taught me is that it isn't likely that I've thought of everything.  In fact it might not be possible to think of everything before beginning a project and that has too often been my reason for procrastinating or quitting after encountering an  unforseen snag in my plan.

I've done the same thing with my creative writing...

But if there is one thing that sticking to it thru all the snags with the jewelry travel kit (a three week project that became a three month project) taught me it was that I'm clever enough to figure out a way around or through the snags.

I think I've solved the structure problems I encountered a year ago when I tried to assemble the tote with the original plan and ended up with a flop.  Literally a bag too floppy to be useful.  Who wants to always have to depend on having someone hold a bag open while you put somethng in or take something out unless the bag is already stuffed to the gills?

I think my solutions are going to work--installing cord on all the edges and lining the bag bottom and sides with microfiber pads. I'm in under no illusion that there will be no further snags but I'm confident I can work them out too.

Tho it's possible that I'm going to be late for this Christmas too having gotten such a late start and that kind of disappointment has often tempted me to procrastinate.  Not this time.

This will be my main focus for every day that it is possible.  It's not always possible--appointments outside the house, company, illness, Mom's needs--life sometimes has its own ideas.  But it will become north for my mental compass and my attention will keep returning to it.

One difficulty it presents is that it is not portable.  It's a long time since it's been a lap project let alone a purse project.  It has to remain on the craft table.  Another difficulty is that very little of the work left to do is of the type that I can do with only half an eye on the work while I'm watching videos.  Much of it is more like sewing than crochet and except for the 5 4" x 4" squares even the crochet is meticulous, detailed stuff in which placement of the hook cannot be by touch.

So I can't watch videos while working on this but I can listen to documentaries and audio books and daydream my own stories.  In fact I better take advantage of the fact that many of the hours spent on this project were coupled with daydreaming my storyworld.  Thus the very act of handling it again triggers the memories and puts me right back into the scenes I was working on when working on this or that section.  Since I am hoping I have only a short time left with it, now is the time to get as much of that out of my head and onto paper or screen as possible before I hand it over.  Or I may have to start another one. :)

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