A New Year of 10,000 Hours

Here it is, exactly 11 months since I started down this 10,000 Hours road and I’ve crossed the threshold into a new year. So, in the spirit of New Year’s traditions I thought I’d share some of my plans “resolutions” for the coming 12 months of this project.

  1. Clean Up the Books: A huge chunk of 10,000 Hours is data. I enter the hours weekly. I track the progress of individual knitted projects. I have a large spreadsheet with formulas and orderly columns. It’s all very official and number oriented. When a knitted project is finished, I title it with the number of hours it took. For example, my very first square took 8 hours to knit and is titled Hours: 0 – 8. Here’s the problem though. Let’s say I then work on a big sweater for a while like 30 hours, then I stop and work on a quick pair of mittens for 10 hours. I haven’t finished the sweater so it is not in the list of finished projects and is not titled. But the mittens are done. They are the project that were finished after Hours: 0 – 8, they took 10 hours to knit, the mittens then get titled Hours 9 – 18. In this example, however, I have 48 hours of knitting done and a sweater languishing on my desk. The project titles aren’t reflecting the progress of the over-arching project. Over the course of 2011 my knitting-hours to project-titles discrepancy grew. A lot. I did, in fact, have a sweater languishing on my desk as well as a really, really ugly hat that I couldn’t bring myself to finish, and various other small unfinished objects (UFO’s in knitter-speak). My knitting-hours to project-titles gap was around 200 hours at one point. So… I am tackling those UFO’s. I’m deciding to either finish them, rip them out, or give them new life under glass with sketching and commentary. Currently the hours/title gap is down to about 40 or so hours. There will probably always be a bit of a gap but it just feels much better to have the books neat and tidy.
  2. More Art: Okay. I’ve been at this 11 months now. Time to start producing more 10,000 Hours related works.
  3. Design: In 2011 I designed four knitting patterns. I LOVED doing it. Figuring out how to actually knit my ideas has pushed me to learn new techniques, solve various knitting problems, and clearly communicate knitting instructions. Designing seems to be a great way to keep pushing myself along the 10,000 Hours path.
  4. Take 10,000 Hours Out on the Town: It’s high time I get this project out and about and not just talk theory with the people I meet; actually bring my work out into the light of day. Yeah, that’s the scary part.

So, Happy 2012!!! Here’s to continuing down the uncomfortable (but glorious) path of growth, discovery, and art.

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