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Project Knitting Works-In-Progress

There is nothing like getting together with your knitting peeps to get you inspired. The other day, I had a socially distant knit-night with my knitting peeps in the park in town. As usual, I came away from our get-together (as I always do, whether in-person or virtual) with BIG PLANS. There is always a new pattern to be discovered, or a new knitting technique, or even a new recipe.

The Instigating Comment

While at knit-night one of my peeps, Lisa, said the most outrageous thing. She said her goal was to finish all of her works-in-progress by the end of October. By OCTOBER. Can you believe that?

Her projects include a wonderful blanket knit with sock yarn (for non-knitters, that is very skinny yarn). She had a four-year plan to knit a square a day (they are tiny) but will be finishing it in exactly three years. On top of that she has 2-3 other projects to finish up and then will have nothing on the needles.

Once she told us this, a few things happened. First, my mouth dropped open because I was stunned. My next thought was “I would never be able to do that.” And finally, I got jealous.

A CUTE PICTURE OF SMUDGE TO BREAK UP ALL THE WORDS

Some Context

I know you are thinking, “What’s wrong with having nothing on the needles?” AND “What’s wrong with OCTOBER, Liz, you whack job? Who cares if she wants to finish things by OCTOBER?”

First, why was I stunned? Because I have never thought about having “nothing on the needles.” I just assumed I would always have something on the needles. Actually, more than one something.

Second, why would I think I would never be able to do that? Because I currently have no fewer than TWENTY projects on the needles. My Ravelry project page (click there to see my page – you may have to have an account) says that includes 2 blankets, 2 sweaters, 5 pairs of socks, 5 shawls, 2 Tees, a hat, a poncho, and a pair of fingerless mitts. Ok that adds up to 19 but I’m sure there are one or two others that are NOT on my Ravelry page. (For non-knitters who don’t know what Ravelry is, the best way to describe it is that it is the Facebook of knitters/crocheters/fiber artists.)

That number of projects just seemed insurmountable and that I would NEVER be done knitting them. And certainly not any time in the near or distant future and most definitely not by OCTOBER.

Third, why was I jealous? Because I can totally see the appeal of just having the whole world of patterns out there to decide what you are going to knit next without thinking, “Oh, but I want to finish X first” or “I have to finish Y for so-and-so first.”

Just to be clear, Lisa is a knitting addict just like me. She would never have “nothing on the needles” for more than 5 minutes. To be more clear, the minute she casts off that last project, she will immediately cast on a new project. She will probably have a couple lined up waiting.

The BIG PLAN

My BIG PLAN that arose out of that knit-night discussion was “Project Knitting WIPs.” WIPs in the knitting world stands for Works-In-Progress; something you are currently working on. Lisa inspired me to get going so I can have that feeling of “the knitting world is my oyster!” I’m going to work on getting my works-in-progress completed.

All those projects that I thought would be so wonderful to have, yet they are still not done? Now they will be! What a great sense of accomplishment, right? How hard could it be? There are only 8 billion projects all going at the same time. Why would that be insurmountable?

Oh, I’ll tell you why….

The barriers to the BIG PLAN

There are three main barriers to the BIG PLAN and they all run together.

Discliplinepatienceattentionspan.

When it comes to knitting, I’m pretty bad at disciplining myself and making myself get things done in an orderly fashion. I will certainly be coming up with a list of projects and an order in which to accomplish them.

I’m not terribly great at the discipline part because I lose patience. If a project is a little bit hard and takes up too much brain space, I will lose patience, put it down and pick up something easier. And sometimes a project has to be put in time out to think about what it has done (i.e. I keep screwing it up so I lose patience and blame it on the project.)

And then there is the ever-annoying attention span. I may be loving a project; it’s going along great, my brain doesn’t hurt too much, I’m excited to finish it and BAM! another pattern gets emailed to me, or talked about, or shown to me. That current project is left so far behind in the dust, it doesn’t know what hit it. And this is part of the reason that I have 1,746 patterns in my Ravelry queue, waiting for me to knit them.

So, this discliplinepatienceattentionspan thing? I’m really bad at it. Notice I didn’t give a time frame for getting them all done. I’m smart like that.

What the Future Holds

I’m going to attempt to overcome those things I’m really bad at and, lucky you, you’ll get to witness this frenetic journey.

First up will be my oldest WIP, the Charleston Tea hoodie by Thea Coleman. (click there to see the pattern page on Ravelry) She is one of my favorite knitwear designers and names her patterns after cocktails. (Becuase I know someone might ask, here is a recipe for the drink.)

Here is the back of the sweater:

And some finished sleeves:

The only thing left to do is the hood. That’s it. Not much. It’s an adorable sweater right??? Why wouldn’t I have finished that if I only had the hood to knit? Your specific guess is as good as mine, but generally, just go back up there and read about discliplinepatienceattentionspan.

Want to know when I started it?…….

February 7, 2014.

And it’s getting finished soon. Maybe by OCTOBER.

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