Using Nudges to Finish Up

This Mother’s Day, I’m hoping to have some time to weave and work on a long-range project—the type of project I often need to nudge myself to work on.

Susan E. Horton May 4, 2021 - 4 min read

Using Nudges to Finish Up Primary Image

My blue-and-white summer placemats are coming along. One down and 7 to go! Photo by Susan E. Horton

Now that things are starting to open up again, there is hope that I won’t be cooking this Mother’s Day. I don’t think we will be going out to eat, but my son is a good cook and will probably come over to help with a meal. At least, that’s what I’d like to have happen, but I also want to reserve a chunk of time that day for weaving. I thought that with all this time at home I would have made a bigger dent in my stash. In fact, the only perceptible dent I’ve made was in the knitting-yarn section. I’m close to finishing a sweater in yarn I’ve probably had for more than 20 years. It’s been a bit of a process of knitting and unknitting (otherwise known as tinking). Before the yarn wears out completely, I hope I will get the sweater done.

I think the reason I’ve been able to get so far on that sweater is that I worked on it consistently every week. I have a standing weekly date with a knitting friend. We get together for an hour or two to chat and knit. Seeing my friend every week has nudged me to finish.

Nudges are different in weaving, especially if you aren’t going to guild meetings and seeing friends. Nudges in weaving need to come from other places. Here are a few nudges that have helped me finish big weaving projects that could easily have lingered on the loom.

  • Having real or imaginary due dates: Weaving for a specific date is easy enough, but if you don’t have one, you can make one up. Write it down and convince yourself you need to finish by that date.
  • Applying daily or weekly quotas: I’m currently weaving 8 placemats that I’d like to use this summer. I calculated the total woven length (184") and divided it into 3" sections. Every day after work, I weave at least 3 inches. If I’m in the mood to weave more that’s fine, but at least I know that I’ll finish them in less than 3 months if I stick with that plan.
  • Reserving a special treat for weaving: A friend of mine who hated jogging taught me this. She would allow herself to listen to her audio book only when she was jogging. That was all she needed to get herself up and out. I love listening to certain podcasts and only listen to them while I weave.
  • Planning a new project: I love starting new projects. Knowing that I have a new project to start and the yarn to go with it will often push me to finish what is currently on the loom.

    Cg napkins Mj2014

    I’m not that far along in planning my napkins, but I’m considering something like these napkins by Christina Garton but in red and white to make a patriotic table setting! Photo by Joe Coca.

On Mother’s Day, I may treat myself with starting a new project, but I may simply kick back, put on “This American Life,” and weave for an hour or two listening to Ira Glass. July 4th is coming up, and I’d like to get those placemats off the loom so I can get those new napkins I’m planning started.

Happy Mother’s Day!