I’ve been teaching a youngster how to knit. While not an expert myself, I’ve done enough knitting for it to be automatic. I’ve had to stop and consider some of the basics. One thing we’ve had to talk about is yarn, its properties and how to use it effectively. It got me thinking about the broader implications of this concept as it applies to productivity.
Running Out Of Material
When you start a project, you need to have some idea of how much yarn you need. Without this basic information, it is possible to start a project with yarn without the means to get more should you run out. If you should run out of yarn while in the middle of a project, you will have to stop working on it until you get more.
A lack of material on hand can seriously derail project. If you are working on a research paper and your printer runs out of ink, you are going to spend time either hunting down replacements or alternative ways to print.
Having needed materials on hand can ensure steady progress.
Before you start a knitting project you have to make sure that you have enough of the right material on hand. Most yarn is dyed in batches, called dye lots. Pulling yarn from different dye lots can mean a difference in the color shade, or in the case of variegated yarn, difference in distance between the colors. Failure to have the same dye lot sometimes works out, but in other cases you can tell just by looking at the finished product that something has gone wrong.
In non-knitting life, this equates to substituting. If you are making steamed shrimp for a dinner party, and end up substituting chicken, people are going to notice.
Failure to have enough of the right stuff on hand can mean the difference between a great end product or one that is, and appears, substandard.
Yarn comes in lengths known a skeins. This is a pre-measured length of yarn that is cut from a larger amount dyed together. Since it is packaged in small amounts, you you have to keep an eye on how much yarn you have left in a skein as you are knitting. Once you run to the end of the skein you have to start a new one.
I won’t get into the hot controversy in knitting circles about whether to tie a knot (or not!), but however you attach the new skein of yarn, you have to be concerned about how it will affect the finished product. If you don’t watch your pace and end up joining in the new skein in the middle of a row, you will leave a very visible bump. If you pace yourself and join at the beginning of a new row, the splice isn’t so obvious.
The same holds true elsewhere. If you don’t pace yourself, you can end up leaving flaws in your work.
It’s All About Planning
Making sure you have sufficient quantities of the right things on hand, and watching your progress are essential to any project plan. It applies to knitting as well as just about any undertaking.
Photo by LollyKnit