In my many years of teaching classes, a certain problem reoccurs over and over again, one that is frustrating for the teacher as well as the student. Between class lessons, the student fails to achieve the required knitting to be prepared to learn the next step. They fall behind and, more often than not, they then give up on the project all together. For me, this is a problem that can be addressed by simply setting goals and doing your very best to achieve them.
I have so much knitting that I want to achieve that the only way for me to do it all is to set goals for each day. I will share the method I use, but please do whatever works for you. When I start a project, I time myself to see how long it takes me to do a row or a round of knitting. For example, if I can get a row done in fifteen minutes, then I can get four rows done in an hour. Then I determine how many inches that four rows will make and from there I decide how many inches I want/need to achieve that day. I can then estimate how long my project will require for completion. It is much less stressful and overwhelming for me to work like this because I make steady progress and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
A student of mine uses a variation of this. She figures out how much time she has to knit each day, typically about two hours in the evening about five days per week, and then figure how many rows, rounds or inches she can get done in that time. So, if she is working on a project that takes her ten minutes per round, she can get twelve rounds done in her allotted knitting time. If twelve rounds equal two inches, then it is fairly simple to figure out how long the project will take her.
Even if you are working on a large project, goal-setting like this can help you see regular progress on your project, which is always an encouragement to continue.
Additionally, I adhere to the “fifteen minutes a day” rule for learning a new skill: Only work on a new knitting technique for fifteen minutes each day, and before you know it, you will have it mastered.
However, I also advise my students to be gentle with themselves if they miss a goal for a certain day. It’s ok, life happens, and it is only knitting. We don’t need one more thing to feel guilty about. Just get up the next day and work toward that goal.