I felt it was time for a thesis update. I started writing up on 1st January, and I'm aiming to finish by 1st July. (That's a bit of a stretch goal, but it's how I roll.)
When I started, I made myself a colour-coded time plan for the first few months/chapters, the like of which has not been seen since GCSE revision days. I'm still on track, though I've fallen off the colour-coded bandwagon now. A few weeks ago, I decided I could jettison a whole chapter, and two weeks, from my plan - but then realised the same content would need to pop up in other chapters.
So, now I'm aiming to have the first four chapters finished by the end of March, or thereabouts. It's going well, as the structure of those chapters is firmly in place. It's just that the skeleton needs fleshing out in places, and to do this, I need to finish my transcription marathon and also hunt around for some references.
Today, I delighted myself by making a new diagram, showing the sessions in my research, the topics and activities covered, the chapters these topics/activities contribute to, and the research aims the chapters contribute to. It's helping me to think ahead to the later chapters, which I'll start in April.
Meanwhile, the thesis cardigan is coming along nicely. As my end of March deadline represents half of my writing time, and the first four chapters will take up half of the 80,000 words I have to write, I'm aiming to get half of the cardigan, aka the body, done by the same time. Here you can see it knitted up to the armhole... very satisfying.
As I mentioned in my last post, I started writing up my thesis on 1 January, and I'm aiming to finish by 1 July. I've got a strict timetable drawn up - and I'm pleased to say that I've managed to stick to it so far!
I've finished chapter 1 - an introduction to the epic themes behind my research (summarised by the word cloud above). I'm also keeping up with my thesis cardigan (as explained in my last post) - here, you can see it after the chapter 1 welt section.
I've just started on chapter 2 - a review of fashion theory literature, with some 'vignettes' from my own data woven in - and commenced the next bit of my cardi.
Progress report in two weeks!
Tomorrow is a big day. I'm going to start writing my PhD thesis, and I am aiming to finish by 1st July - giving me six months. Parts of the thesis are already written in draft, but there's lots of editing and reworking to do, as well as writing large swathes of it from scratch. Those will be the most fun, as they're based on the data from my research knitting workshops that I've been running since September.
To help give me a sense of progress as I write, I'm going to knit a cardi at the same time. Each section of the cardi will link to a chapter - so I'll be starting with the welt, aka the introduction! The cardi I'm knitting is testing/illustrating one of my re-knitting treatments: copy. I'm copying one of my very favourite cardis, a vintage handknit that I bought at the Rose Bowl flea market in Pasadena in 2005. It's a lovely shape - partly, I think, because it has no side seams. In preparation for knitting the cardi, I have copied the stitch pattern and knitted a number of samples to get the tension just right. I just need to wind my yarn (from cones into balls) and I'll be ready to start tomorrow.
Along with writing my thesis, I've got plenty of other exciting stuff planned for 2013 - mostly PhD-related. I'm organising an AHRC-funded skills development project on Creative Research Methods, in collaboration with David Gauntlett and Didem Ozkul at University of Westminster. I'm giving papers at two conferences: Futurescan and Crafting the Future. And I'm writing a chapter for the Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion, edited by Kate Fletcher and Mathilda Tham.
In between all that, I'll be knitting orders, running workshops and blogging more often!
Looking back, 2012 has been a really good year. I've had work exhibited in WOW: Wonder of Wool and the Art of Knit and Stitch, and Made in the Middle, an exhibition of contemporary craft from across the Midlands. We had a successful summer tour with the Knitting Tent, I launched the new Keep & Share website (a long time in the planning), ran a great project with over-60s craft group Young at Heart with mac in Birmingham... and travelled across Europe by train to Moscow!