How Does It Happen?

I am an organized person. I like structure, I love structure. Rules are great. I love thinking outside the box, but only if we clean up afterward and put everything back in the box. Or find a bigger box. Boxes are great for organizing.

I am the type of knitter who limits myself to three projects at a time. I am very strict about it and in fact usually only have two things going at once. If I have too many projects out there then nothing ever seems to get finished. Plus it gets my knitting space very disorganized with bags everywhere and lots of stitch markers and measuring tapes all over the place. And then my mind gets consumed with tidying up and I stop enjoying the knitting.

So how does it happen that I am feeling like I’ve got lots and lots going on and my little brain is a whirl trying to keep all the details straight?

At this moment I have three things in progress and am within my rules. However I have at least five just waiting in the wings and I really want to get them on the needles. Of the three that are presently in progress I have:

  • Babette: this project went on a hiatus when I was doing some traveling. The eighteen skeins of yarn which are constantly in play were not conducive to packing. In some strange way, because it is a crochet project, I don’t feel like it’s really on the needles and therefore should not be included in my Only 3 At A Time rule. Yes, I am a literal person. I also feel justified in this attitude because it is a long term project with no deadlines. plus there is lots of seaming and I am just Not In The Mood.
  • Secret Project: this is a Christmas gift and I am halfway through. However, I am dissatisfied with the yarn and am considering starting over with something else – perhaps Cascade 220. This project also involves a new technique and I am telling myself it will be okay to start over since I can consider what has already been knit a practice run. Also, maybe I’ll just buy this person something.
  • Socks: my own pattern and were cast on for while I waited for patterns to arrive in the mail for another Christmas project. Well, that pattern has arrived and I am feeling like I can set these socks aside since they were really simply functioning as place holders.

so, what do you think ….. with these explanations in mind, do I really have nothing on the needles? can I play with all of my new yarn and patterns??

12 thoughts on “How Does It Happen?

  1. I think you have maybe 2 projects on the needles but definitely room for at least one more.

    I would consider Babbette on the needles if it was my project but that is me and I have probably 10 wips/UFOs at any one time. If you don’t count longterm crochet projects as one of your 3 thats your choice and it doesn’t count as one of the three.

    Call the sweater a practice swatch and move on, it doesn’t count.

    I don’t think you can discount the socks. They are still on the needles.

  2. I am with Jayme on this. I know what my answer would be if it were me asking the question, and I would be breaking out new needles and wool, but I am not the one that has set the rules… Can you cast something new on, and still look at yourself in the mirror guilt free? If yes, then get to it!

  3. I couldn’t do it. I can only have a big project and socks going at once, or I go ballistic and start 10 different things and make progress on none of them. I’m plugging away on 1 project right now that I want DONE so I can start something else, so it’ll be a reward to myself when I finish it and can move on. Will you pick any of these up again if you start something new?

  4. I find your reasoning logical and irrefutable! :)

    I would defintely consider the socks placeholders, although I do love finishing up socks, so there is the temptation to push through. And Babette sounds lovely but complicated, and I can’t argue with being Not In the Mood. I say you have wiggle room for casting on at least one more project.

  5. Both the lawyer in me as well as the knitter in me says: “Absolutely– you can play with all of your new yarn and patterns.” Here’s why:

    1. How was your Three-at-a-Time Rule promulgated? Was it simply you saying to yourself “Hey, I genearlly function best when I have only a few projects going, and by “few” I mean three, so only three… yes, that’s a good rule– from here on, I should try to only have Three Projects on the Needles at a Time.” Or did you have a meeting with yourself and pass the rule pursuant to some personal constitution? If so, you may need to have another meeting with yourself in order to amend your Rule. I suspect that it was the former, and therefore, I think that your Rule is more of a Guideline, especially in light of the fact that it’s YOUR Rule and only affects you. Either way, there’s always room to amend your Rule.

    2. Seriously– you have new yarn and patterns that you are anxious to play with? The knitter in me says “GO PLAY!” and let us know how it goes.

    Jill, long-time-reader-first-time-commenter

    P.S. Your blogging about Babette inspired me to a) find that issue of Interweave Crochet and purchase it and b) contemplate picking up my crochet hooks again. Thanks!

  6. Not on needles = off the hook? Love it. Place-holder knitting (and most socks) does not count, in my book.

    I wonder how many projects I’ve got going…

  7. Yup, Babette is sleeping. Do Not Disturb.

    Consider the sweater start to be a practice swatch. It sounds like that is not far from the truth; it may very well BE the truth. Grab some Cascade 220, i.e., The Perfect Yarn, and be happy.

    The socks are traveling knitting. Cast on for your Christmas project and be even happier.

    Can you tell I’m catching up on my Bloglines? Your blog had 17 supposedly unread posts, apparently because of your switch to WordPress (no problems accessing, btw), so I was intimidated. Now that I am caught up and know what’s happening in purlingswineland I too am happy :)

  8. Afghans & socks never count as a WIP. That’s my rule. Here’s why: The afghan can take forever & may lead to boredom. It’s a good go-to project when all others fail. Socks are a sanity saver when you need them the most i.e. traffic jam, DMV, horrible sci-fi movies. Have as many on the needles as purses in your closet if you aren’t good at moving them.
    The way I see it, you’ve got one project on the needles. Load up with more.

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