Are you a monogamous knitter or a polygamous knitter?
A monogamous knitter works on just one project at a time and finishes it before they cast on the next. A polygamous knitter has numerous projects on the go, darting from this one to that, usually simultaneously gathering numerous lovely project bags in which to store all their WIP’s (works in progress).
Some knitters fall into polygamy after being struck by the “casting on all the things” bug but others very deliberately arrange themselves so that they have just the right project for every situation; handbag knitting that gets taken everywhere, something complicated for when they fancy a challenge and a project that’s perfect when relaxing on the sofa in front of a good movie and so on.
I’ve been both. When I first started knitting with passion and fury I had just one project on the needles at any one time. In fact, I knitted this way for years. Cast on, knitted and cast off. I knew what I wanted to knit next, had yarn and patterns lined up ready to go but I didn’t start something new before I’d finished what was on the needles. If something wasn’t working I didn’t hide it away, I’d rip it out and either start it again or begin something new.
Thinking back I wonder if my disciplined approach to knitting was because I had very small babies and children taking up lots of my time and I was mostly knitting for them, so was eager to get things finished and on them. But actually, I don’t think it even occurred to me to work on multiple things. I mean, who did that?
Well, I later discovered that lots of people do just that and before I knew it, so did I. I’m pretty sure I can date my transformation back to my life-changing visit to Knit Nation in London in 2010. That and discovering Ravelry, which happened all about the same time.
It seemed that everyone was knitting all the things, all the time. And, without even being aware of it, from that day forward, I drifted from being a monogamous knitter to a polygamous knitter and project bags, needles and balls of yarn started to make their way into all the corners of our house.
2014 was a particularly polygamous year for me. I started the year with a number of half-finished projects which quickly spiralled out of control. I discovered that when my total number of WIP’s gets beyond about three or four, I get a bit antsy. I don’t like it. They start to weigh on my mind. Well, last year was a bit like that. I did manage to finish quite a few things but I still haven’t finished even more. I’m not keen on half-finished projects hanging around. I forget what I’ve got, dither over which project to work on next, forget how to knit stitch patterns or where I’m up to, run out of needles and to top it off, I get bored of projects if they go on for too long. I reckon about six weeks is my limit. After that, if I’m still faced with the same project (other than my granny circles, it doesn’t seem to apply to them) I start to wish it was over. I even start to think unseemly thoughts about ripping things out just to get rid of them …
I’ve decided that 2015 is going to be different and I’ve started as I mean to go on. This year I’m going to finish things because I LOVE getting things finished and I LOVE wearing my hand-knits. I’m going to start with all the WIP’s I’ve got lying around and then after that, only work on just a few things at any one time and one of those will be a new design.
I’m starting with my gorgeous Epistrophy cardigan. Knitting (nearly) exclusively on that these last few weeks has reminded me how satisfying it is to keep things simple especially when it comes to knitting. It’s nearly all finished, just steeking (slicing it in half!), the button bands and grafting under the arms to go!
If you want to see me go at it with the scissors – head over to instagram tomorrow … If all goes to plan, I’m going to make the cut! Eeeeek!
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