Thursday, January 25, 2007

Now I Understand

All of you long-time knitters always talk about having two or three projects going at the same time, and I couldn't figure out why you would do that. I was strictly a finish-one-project-before-starting-another gal. Now I understand.

I began working on the convertible mittens for my daughter and discovered they are uncomfortably close to knitting socks. They require concentration, and the pattern is not as detailed or clear as I might wish, given that this is the first time I'm attempting something of this sort. I can only work on the mittens when I have time to focus and think things through. (Not to mention, rip things out!)

(This is a photo I took for reference so I'd remember how to do the second mitten's flap. I'm having problems with keeping my needles oriented the right way so I don't knit it inside out.)

However, I like to knit during commercials when I'm watching my beloved New Jersey Devils play hockey. Although the ads often seem endless, in fact, they aren't long enough to get going on the mittens.

So I broke my own rule and started another project: a scarf for myself, knitted out of the leftover yarn from my husband's seven-footer (which I finally finished--see photo). I'm using the same scarf pattern (but changing how the colors are arranged so we avoid having matching mufflers) which makes it delightfully mindless.

(Does this look like seven feet of cashmere? It is!)

I keep each project in a separate kniting bag by the couch in the family room. That way all the necessary materials are at hand and I can pick up whichever one suits my concentration level. Or I can grab the scarf bag to take with me when I'm going to be waiting somewhere (like the orthdontist's office or soccer practice).

You see what a bad influence you guys are! Next thing you know I'll be buying yarn just because it's pretty.

So what's the maximum (and minimum!) number of projects you have going at the same time?


Blogger kshotz said...

Currently OTN: 3 projects (I just finished the 4th one!--a shrug of merino/cashmere I'm sending to my swap partner in Germany. You can see it on my blog!) A pair of socks in KnitPicks Memories, an afghan block in an Aran pattern and a baby blanket.

So 4 is my highest total (ok, I do have 2 other pairs of socks on the needles right now too....come to think of of which stalled out about 3 weeks before Christmas, so I don't think it really counts, does it??) (If so, then 6!)

Kim H.

7:48 PM  
Blogger monica said...

I am embarrassed to say I don't even know the exact number I have on the needles. It is in the double digits. Quite a few of them are going to take a trip to the frog pond though due to lack of interest.

8:40 PM  
Blogger loribird said...

I almost always have at least 2 projects going, for the very reason you've discovered; I need one Mindful and one Mindless knit to satisfy all situations. There is no maximum limit in my book, so long as some work is activly being made on each. Just before the holidays I had 6 or 7 things going, but that's the worst it's ever gotten. I try not to let it get out of hand.
However, when something does go neglected for too long, as long as it's something I really want to finish, I will lay down the law and not be "allowed" to start anything new at all until that one project is done. I can be a real Knitting-Drill-Sergeant when necessary.
(And yes, I do buy yarn just cause it's pretty.)

9:08 PM  
Blogger LauraP said...

I have 4 projects on the needles, though two have been languishing for a very long time. Two more need a bit of finish work, tails woven in, assembly, etc.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Nancy, the scarf is wonderful and I laughed when I saw the dpns. Yes, you are very close to entering sockdom. Beware!

I like to have two knitting projects going -- one utterly mindless, one slightly less mindless. The utterly mindless one is usually socks. I think the highest # of works in progress was 4 or 5.

Right now I'm working on the top down sweater and (still) working on the Step socks.

9:45 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

OMG, you all put me to shame! Double digits, Monica!? Amazing! And I thought I was being bad with TWO! You've opened a whole new world to my awed eyes.

10:28 PM  
Blogger Jamie Denton said...

So far I've been a strictly one project person, however I did take a break from the current project to whip up another of those London beanies, this time or the DH. OTN is a baby blanket that's taking for freaking ever and I'm only 14" into a 41" bankie. Oy! I despeately needed a break so I did up a beanie Friday night in the hotel room while I was out of town for a couple of booksignings.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Kenyetta said...

Right now I just have 3. But I have been taking a break from those knitting washcloths in between- instant gratification!

7:25 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Hi! I have a lot of projects on the needles! Way too many to count. But I knit inside out all the time! I tried at one point to change, but it just didn't work for me. It didn't feel comfortable and I want to feel comfortable when I knit. It works for me. So if you just think you SHOULDN'T be knitting inside out, you SHOULD, if it is less complicated and comfortable for you! There are points, like at the end when I have to kitchener stitch up the end of a sock, where I turn it right side out. Anyway, I just thought I would add my 2 cents worth! Happy knitting!

7:54 AM  
Blogger georg said...

I have usually only had one project on the needles at once. But while I was working on pair of socks #3 (the only pair that actually fit perfectly), I found a UFO afghan. So now that I have finished those socks, I'm working on the afghan. Unfortunately, I am remembering why I stopped the knitting for a while- it aggravates the carpal tunnel when I work with the larger project. So maybe I'll finish this afghan and stick to the smaller projects like socks, and maybe I'll consider knitting gloves or something.

I think my next project will be knitted slippers.

8:38 AM  
Blogger KC said...

At first I was a one project gal too, but now I have about three to five at any one time, I even had to make up rules for my projects! Check out my blog for more details.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Bonne Marie said...

OH! Now that's a loaded question - I try and have 3.

But in reality, I have some in a *marination chamber* who have lost their *muse*.

When the Muse comes a callin', they might go back on the needle OR they might go right into the Frong Pond.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Fran Baker said...

Two is generally my maximum - one mindless and one mindful, as others have described them. Before Christmas, though, I had five or six going, all gifts. And now that I'm using up my stash, I usually catch myself doing two things at a time. Just gave away several rolled brim hats like the black-and-white one I posted pics of a couple weeks ago. The ones I gave away were different colors, however.

Beautiful scarf, Nancy! And cashmere ... ooooooh, hubby owes you a big one.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Lizardknits said...

I don't think I ever have less than 6 - but I do try to keep it under a dozen!

Elizabeth H.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

You guys are broadening my horizons with this multi-project thing. Bonne Marie, I love the "marination chamber". I have several non-knitting projects in that state right now.

Liz, you make me feel so much better about my orientation problem; it's good to know that there are others like me out there. :-)

Fran, hubby definitely appreciates his scarf; he wears it every chance he gets. I think he's figured out that death might be imminent if he didn't. And if you're ever at a loss about who to give one of those fabulous hats to, I'll provide my snail mail addy at the drop of a, well, hat.

6:36 PM  

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