27 December 2016

It's Stitchy Planning Week!

This is my favorite week of the year. The hustle and bustle of Christmas has quieted down, and everyone and everything seems to just draw a deep breath and exhale slowly. Christmas has passed, and we re-discover--as we do every year--that all the stuff we didn't get done didn't really matter too much. While there seems to be a headlong plunge toward Christmas, there is a casual stroll toward the New Year. We're looking forward to it, but there's no pressure to get anything done. The house is still (relatively) clean and decorated. The fridge is stocked with leftovers. The counter is (too) full of sweet treats that seem to materialize from everywhere. There is a lull in activity, and things around the house are in pretty good shape. It's the one week of the year where the domestic planets align and there is... not much to do. This opportunity must be seized. This is my week. Stitchy Planning Week.

Santa has been and gone, and left goodies in our stockings. Somehow, he knows how I feel about Caron Wildflowers and Bohin needles. Santa knows everything...

...he even knew Tiger Lily needed a new collar. 

I was able to get Mr. Wonderful's 2016 ornament stitched, but not finished. My rule is, as long as it's finished before I take down the Christmas tree (usually a few days after the New Year), it's not late. It's a good rule. This is from the 2016 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issue, and it's stitched on 32 ct. Vintage Country Mocha.

Now I turn my attention to planning for 2017. (For my thoughts on the importance of planning and looking forward, see this post. 

For years and years, the week between Christmas and the New Year has been mine. Every year, during this week, I go through my entire stash--charts, magazines, kits--and look at everything. Now, my stash isn't nearly as large as some. I know there are a lot of stitchers with thousands of charts who keep a detailed inventory on the 'puter. Mine is pretty small. Magazine collection on the left, charts on the right. My charts are organized by subject, subjects in alphabetical order.

And here's my box of kits. I have a fox kit problem, but we'll talk about that later.

Last year when I went through my magazines, I was (finally) smart enough to make a list of all the designs I was interested in stitching someday, so that I don't have to page through every magazine each time. I still love to pull out magazines and look through them, but for Stitchy Planning Week purposes, it's easier to just consult my list. 

So during the week, I just leisurely play in my stash. I pull out all the things I think I really need to get stitched in the coming year. I let them lie all over my sewing room floor for a day or so... sleep on my decisions... look at the piles... make notes... refer to a calendar... plan, plan, plan. I just enjoy myself. (While I'm going through my stash, I also weed out whatever I don't want anymore. Since I do this every year, it's usually only a few things, but it does keep my stash pared down and manageable.) At some point, I come to my senses and re-file some of it. I know I'll never finish everything I've chosen for the year, but that's not the point (see the post I linked to above). When I think I'm happy with my choices, I divide my pile into stacks by months of the year. I like to stitch one season ahead, so for example, I like to stitch fall and Halloween in the summer. Then I file everything in a big three-ring binder that holds 12 folders with pockets, one for each month. And then I start working my way through my projects.

That's Stitchy Planning Week. I always start the New Year with a freshly purged stash and a notebook full of charts to stitch, all tidy and organized. Sometimes I stay on schedule all the way into the spring! Usually around July, I do a re-assessment of my notebook... add stuff, remove stuff, shuffle stuff around. Of course, there are always new must-have designs being released. Of course, things come up and I don't touch a needle for weeks. Of course, I change my mind. Of course. But what never changes is the fun I have during this week.

However you decide to start the Stitching New Year, I hope you find your happy place.


  1. Since our Orthodox Christmas is still to come, I have two ornaments yet to stitch up and then finish. THEN I am off!! But I have been thinking. ;) And planning. ;) This year was the year of the cubby shelf. Not next year. tee hee!

  2. You received an awesome selection of threads, Honeybee. And one can never have enough needles! I have been thinking and doing some planning as well. Enjoy your week of stitch planning.

  3. Love your sentiments in the first paragraph; I feel the same way. My stash isn't very big either. My magazine collection is much bigger than what I have in charts. My charts fill up a plastic rolling cart drawer and my magazines take up two of the drawers. Let's not talk about my kitted up projects drawer! Those Caron's are sure pretty and vintage country mocha fabric is so nice for Christmas ornaments. Happy New Year to you, Mr. W, and Tigerlily!

  4. Great post, Honeybee. Santa was very good to you and has wonderful taste, I love the floss colors ...you must have been a very good girl this year ;)
    I too have a much smaller stash than most of our stitchy friends, and it often overwhelms me, but this time of year encourages me to organize and begin fresh. I love laying out my choices for the coming year, making plans, weeding out and thinking on it all...I like the "thinking on it" part the best. I also love taking my time while going through my stash boxes and magazines, because it's so fun to see all of the wonderful treasures within, and discover treats that I had forgotten were in there. It's like getting new stash, without spending money, LOL.
    I can't wait to see what you chose for next years stitching
    Happy New Year

  5. I bow down to you. :)
    You are so organized.
    I think Tiger Lily helps you. :)
    Very pretty threads you received.
    Love the ornament for your hubby.

  6. I love the sound of your stitchy planning week! Hope you are having fun making plans.

  7. Unfortunately, the week between Christmas and New Year's is too busy because we travel to visit family but the idea of a planning week is great. I think it was here that I read about a weekend "retreat" where you cooked up meals ahead of time so you would have the entire weekend to stitch? Anyway, I am inspired to have my own planning week but it will have to wait until January. It's a nice slow time of the year.

    1. Yep! That was my Mental Health Weekend! :O)


  8. Love your planning week! I'm getting organized this year. I'm getting organized this year. I'm getting organized this year. I can do it!

  9. Mental Health Weekend? I need a few of those!!!
    Great blog, great organizational skills!