Why so many WIP’s?

DSCF2609The cat is already finished.

First, I should explain what a WIP is. This stands for Work in Progress – in other words, something I haven’t yet finished because something more interesting caught my fancy and I abandoned this current project for it. Temporarily!

One reason I have so many WIP’s is that I do both knitting and crocheting, so I would have to have at least two things going at once. Another reason is that I primarily make blankets, so they take more time than other projects and I get bored with them.

I will make a few arguments against having so many at once:

Sometimes when I go back to a project, it takes time to see where I’m at in the pattern. I have to make sure I take good notes about what row I’m on when I put something to the side so I can get back into it at the right spot. Other projects go out of style if they are hidden away for too long. And even they can become too small. I was helping someone with a sweater for her son, and it was getting close to being too small at the time. She never finished it for him, but had to send it to a nephew who was much younger and smaller. So sometime you really do have to get some things finished before working on something else.

However, some projects are more intense than others. An intricate pattern requires more concentration, and maybe after one repeat, it is time to take a break, whereas others are simply back and forth.

Switching around different projects keeps things interesting. I might do a stripe of a particular colour on one project, or on another I might do a repeat of the pattern. This creates a natural break point to switch to something else. I might do 10 rows on one project. I might do a square or motif on another project.

A very legitimate excuse is when you run out of yarn. You have to stop what you are working on until you can buy, or find in your stash, the yarn to carry on. Sometimes, if it is something you ordered online, it may take a while to get more. Meanwhile, you have a good excuse to work on something else.

People who only have one thing on the go at a time are highly disciplined. I’m not one of them!

Knot or Not

DSCF2606It used to be a cardinal rule never to have knots in your work. You should always start a new skein or ball of yarn on the edge so that you don’t get a bump in your work. I think this is good advice which I usually adhere to. It does waste yarn, but the end effect, of having a smooth piece of work, is worth it.

But now I am rethinking this a bit. One of my WIP’s is a blanket knitted on really large needles, and using really chunky yarn, but the skeins only have 27 yards on them – that does not go far! So I looked up on-line how to tie a knot in my yarn. Yes, really. There are techniques that ensure a tight knot that will not come undone, as well as not being a huge bump in your work. I am going to use this in my ‘giant’ work because it seems a more efficient use of those short skeins (I would waste yards and yards if I had to start a new skein when I could not complete the row).

For baby items though, I would definitely skip the mid-row knotting.

Rules are really guidelines only, and sometimes are meant to be broken.

Don’t Feel Guilty!

I recently told someone I felt guilty spending so much time knitting and crocheting, and she challenged me to think about this in terms of purpose.

What I realized is that most of the things I make are donated, so someone somewhere is (hopefully) keeping a bit warmer and more comfortable because of a blanket I made.

If I make something that I keep, such as a pillow cover, and I enjoy looking at it, and feel proud, then that was well worth my time and effort.

If I make a gift, that is something that makes the recipient happy, so definitely a good feeling all around..

Sure, I could be doing housework or plenty of other things, but knitting or crocheting for a purpose is nothing to feel guilty about.

As long as other important things get done, i.e. food shopping, laundry, and paying the bills, then why not feel good about spending time with yarn?DSCF2190

More on WIPs

DSCF2613I guess another downside to having so many WIPs is that I don’t seem to finish anything. I get so enthused about a pattern that I have to start it right away and that just adds to the list.  If I do a little bit on several things, nothing gets completed,  but if I took all those bits of time and worked on one project, I would finish it that much quicker.

I know there are things that I just lose interest in.  There was a scarf that I was knitting and I really disliked the yarn I was using, so it was not fun to finish it, but finish it I did.

I actually worked on that been-in-the-cupboard sweater yesterday. The thing that tripped me up about that one is the neckband. I had finished the back, sleeves, and the front, except for the neckband, and had already picked up most of the stitches already, so why I didn’t just pick up the stitches from the back and gotten on with it I don’t know. It was a struggle – that may have been the issue, but it’s on its way to getting knitted.

I always believe I will finish the project, so why not strike while the iron is hot?

Old Works In Progress

DSCF2615[1]One of the problems with leaving something unfinished for a long time is that it may no longer be “in”. I have a sweater that has been in my cupboard, unfinished, for probably 20 years. It seemed fashionable at the time, but maybe not so much now. I have dug it out, and will now finish it. It also looks too small… I guess I was smaller then as well. When finished, I will try it on, and that will determine which picture will get posted.