For this next step you will need the following:
1 gallon baggies
Any and every project bag you own, if you don't have any celebrate starting Christmas early by getting one in the shop
What you are going to do now is print your list, print all the patterns, and pair yarn, pattern, needles and bags off. I know it might be tempting to start casting things on right now, but don't. You'll get side tracked and forget what you are doing.
Now take your list and start checking off what projects are all ready to go and put those in the project bags. For the rest of your list highlight what yarns, needles and books you might need. Now is also the time to budget how much you can spend on each remaining project.
Here are my before and after shots of sorting the projects:
|A few unfinish projects and the Christmas yarn|
If you don't have enough project bags for the gifts that are all ready to be started then put them into the gallon size baggies or some boxes and mark what they are. Don't put names just in case you have someone, children or husbands, that might snoop through the yarn. I know your thinking they never would do that, but there will come a time they need scissors, tape, or string and as soon as they see their name they will have it open and no Christmas surprise!
Also, the great thing about tossing the stash is that you might find yarn that you bought for someone already. Like I was planning on knitting Aunt Bobby a shawlette, but I found the handspun for a cowl that I'd put aside for her in January. You might also find a small ball of something and realize that it might be a perfect small gift for someone. Just be careful not to add too many projects to your list!
Now you need a notations pouch. Gather the following:
Small stitch holder
If you don't have it all then make sure to write it on the list of people that has the highlights. This will be your OSK - oh shit kit. I call it OSK because whenever I seem to need any of these things you'll usually hear me say "oh shit, where is..." You'll also need a nice pouch that will fit all this. I highly suggest one with enough room for all this stuff, is made of a closely woven fabric (no worsted weight knitted pouches, sorry), and has a zipper top. Baggies will not do. You want it to be nice, easy to spot and not have holes in it that things can slip out of. Try FiberFaire to fill this need.
The OSK and your list now go into your purse where it will live till all projects are finished. Don't put the OSK in a project bag where it might be forgotten. It is as important as your wallet and keys. I can't stress it enough.
Your next task is to go shopping! Go get all the highlighted things on that list till you have everything you need!
If you're like me and can't just go out and spend a couple hundred dollars on yarn right now and need to spread the spending out then every time you go into a yarn store pull out the list! If you just have an itch to buy yarn then make sure it is something on the list. Great sale? Bring the list! Coupon for the hobby store with crappy yarn? Grab the list and get needles!
Also, now is the time to start casting on all the things! Go ahead! We'll talk about how to get through the projects next time!