Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tracking and calculating

I have been trying for the last week to track in my date book how much time I spend knitting on which project.

I want to be able to really know how much time I did spend on a project. I always have several projects going so noting on Ravelry that I started a project on X date and finished on Y date isn't entirely helpful.

One project is my dad's sweater vest, pictured in progress here:
I've made sweater vests for my brothers and over Chinese New Year this year, my dad asked for one too. His birthday is in November so I've started his vest. I'm using On Line Linie 119 that originally I ordered to make a sweater for me, but the color's not quite what I'd like but I think my dad would like.
It's actually a lighter, dustier blue, not the purplish seen here. The swatch is where I tried out different color combinations for the linen stitch stripe to go across the chest.

I love knitting this sweater in the round. It's mindless knitting at it's best. So good, that I got at least 3 hours of knitting during the 6 hour ACLU conference I went to last Saturday. It was a good conference too.
Then, last week, I was at a retreat which required a lot of listening, thinking, talking, and sitting. So I brought out this vest.
At 8:30am, I placed a marker then I knit for half an hour. There were some breaks of about a minute or so when I wrote a note or two. At 9am, I placed another marker. It turns out in 30 minutes, I knit 175 stitches, almost an entire round of 194 stitches.
When I get to the linen stitch section with color changes, I will have to time myself again. And again when doing the ribbing.
By the end of the project, knowing these time swatches, I will be able to calculate how much time it took me to knit the whole thing, including the swatches.
Once I know how many hours it took to do the knitting and finishing, I'll multiply that number of hours by $15 an hour, add in the cost of the supplies and I'll know the value of the vest.
I chose the value of $15 an hour because that's the minimum the organization I work for pays staff. At work, we have no administrative assistants. We do all our own typing, faxing, filing, etc. in addition to coordinating programs. Or in my case fundraising, advocacy, and managing staff.
Every knitter, potter, craftsperson, artisan, artist knows that the value of their time and talent needs to be included in the value of the finished product so that's what I'm trying to figure out.

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