...I'm not completely drowning in patterns. Which is a good thing.
How did I determine this? Well, I created a spreadsheet. And realized that my Barbara Walker books (which are simply stitch dictionaries) account for 148 patterns.
I realize that I should still count these in my endeavor, though, so here's what I'm going to do: From each chapter, I will knit a swatch. They may be useful someday, anyway.
I also happen to have two books of granny squares, accounting for another 198 patterns.
For these, I'm going to make 20 motifs. (This will be a little easier, since I've already made a few.)
Something else that I realized: There needs to be some sort of order to making my way through these, both so I don't get bored/frustrated/psychotic with doing just one thing, and also to make it more interesting to follow. Initially, I thought theme months were the way to go, but the idea of making countless gauge swatches for weeks at a time does not appeal to me. And weekly themes/challenges would only give me enough time in the case of hats and cowls.
Themed fortnights, on the other hand, sound great! I can keep at something for two weeks at a time, and it's enough time to finish a child's sweater, or make some serious progress on a me-sized item.
I'm working on cataloging my yarn stash right now, so hopefully I can sort things out and set up a schedule soon.