Our first team member to complete her goals (by Dwarfing the Nebula), was Francine, also known as MrsPistachio! I asked her to give me a little insight on how she crossed that finish line so quickly and gracefully, and she went above and beyond with an amazing response! Here it is, with some pictures added:
Thanks for the introduction Jodie!
Whoa! I admit, I really surprised myself this round. The plan was, well, to plan and then hold my nose and jump off the deep end. In the world of competitive crafters, you gotta plan for the worst and try not to sink…
So, how did I do it? What’s my secret? I wish I could say ‘here are your steps to easy Nebula dwarfing’ but I think it comes down to the fact that Team Tardis is well organized and has engaged and clever members who help each other and give ideas on the spot. I didn’t try to struggle with things myself, I came to the Team Tardis RavBoard when I was struggling. I engaged myself in the boards, made friends, and chatted in our chat room for even more fun times. Just like any sport, I kept at it every day. Even if it was five minutes or so, I still picked up a project and worked on it.
Anyway, so here it is. Here are the nuts’n'bolts–for the curious or those looking for tips–of how I achieved Nerd Wars nirvana in the first two weeks of the round.
The Battle Plan: Pre-Tourney Prep
My BPR1 Criteria was to pick one ‘quick and mindless’, one small, and one medium project. My UFOs were spun as part of my “get it off the bobbins before Tour De Fleece” objective. For Giving Geeks I took the easy route and chose not to make something and send it as I knew I am always made of fail on these things. It was the organizing of my queue and favorites that helped me prioritize what I wanted to make. I chose projects first and then fit them to the prompts instead of the other way around.
The UFO pile
I have begin organizing my UFOs in response to the FLEX challenges so that I can be prepared. I photographed my spinning and all of the UFOs I was vaguely interested in pursuing this Tourney. I know, I know, nobody wants to admit their UFO pile is that big but it really does help to have them all one one area. When I had the chance and was in “avoiding the projects” mode I posted them on their project or stash (homespun) page.
There’s a phenomenon that happens when you join Ravelry: first you shove everything in your queue, then you realize that’s insane and start to favorite everything. Then you realize that your favorites aren’t tagged and is impossible to find stuff so you begin to go through a series of tagging exercises. Last spring I tagged 800 untagged favorites between competitions. That helps me find projects. OK that’s sort of a lie because I still get lost in the “ooh shiny” of looking at patterns.
As I was reviewing projects that fit my criteria (stupid fast, fast, small to medium) I added them to my queue. I went through my favorites and when that failed I just ogled and got lost cause that’s what ya do. Right?
Because of SABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy) state of my stash and my Yarn Diet I went through my stash to be sure I had the yarn for the items I knew I’d make and shoe horn into a Challenge.
I then pre-wrote my dissertation to get that out of the way, too. Okay, I had a lot of time on my hands. But seriously, not having to pick my dissertation and my projects during the round saved time and effort. Plus, our CD for Dissertations, LadyWendysWares, was Jonny-On-The-Spot in our Dissertation thread helping everyone before the round started. She was pretty dang spiffy and made of fabulous.
Ding Ding Ding: The Round Begins!
Read. Read. Read. Ponder. Ponder. Ponder. Review Queue. Make a list of what projects I had pre-chosen that could be put into a challenge response. That list was my final Battle Plan for the round.
The Low Hanging Fruit
With the round started I went about matching projects to their challenges, On a whim, I pre-wrote my challenge answers so they could be fresh in my mind. Mind you, I didn’t pre-write them all. But, when my brain was in a writing space, they were done and stuffed in a folder. I think I’m going to do that more often, now. It helped me out a lot. You know that post project elation you get which deflates the second you realize you now have to photograph. write the response, and post it? Yeah, pre-writing makes that less of a drag. Then you can move on!
Prioritizing my projects, I decided to knock out the stupid easy one first so I could feel a sense of accomplishment. Then came the next easiest and so on. The UFO spinning was part of my daily Tour de Fleece training routine.
The Project Bags
I’ve chosen my projects that fit my criteria. I’m feeling pretty chuffed. I’m strutting around the house. I stop, realize I now have to match projects to stash. After careful consideration and a supply run to the kitchen, I put each project into its own ziplock bag. Then, I made myself a smoothie.
Yes, I did.
I have discovered that pretty project bags do not work well for me. I put the project in the pretty bag and promptly forget what’s in there. I am bedazzled by the sight of the bags…The most beautiful black holes of crafting you ever saw exist in my UFO pile. I use a project bag for supplies, now.
In each bag went the needles / hooks and yarn. Each clear zippy bag was marked Pattern/challenge/T8R1. The bags were put in my workbasket by the couch by the TV along with my supplies bag. I chose to make one extremely quick project, Jammy Dodger
for instant gratification, one small-yet-adorable-project, Saartjes Booties
that had some interesting elements, and one medium to small sized project, Haselnüsse
with clever and beautiful style.
That was it, pre-planning before the round really kept me focused. Not being overly ambitious and setting myself up for fail was an important factor. Sticking to the plan made it easy to just pick up whatever and either knit on my dissertation or the project in a bag. That, plus, FUN, makes good times!