There are lots of jokes about the number of UFO's (unfinished objects) knitters tend to accumulate. While there are knitters who work on one project to completion and then start the next, they seem to be rare (though they do exist- I've met them!). For a variety of reasons, most of us seem to develop a collection of WIPs' (works in progress). Sometimes, you run out of yarn, or lose the directions-or the project bag- or need a different sized needles. Sometimes, you have a falling out with the person it's intended for, or they grow, or you miss the occasion, or you find out they hate the color or style you were making. Sometimes you come up against a technique you need to learn. But I think most of the time we put a project to the side because we either get bored with it (like a king-sized blanket on tiny needles!) or some other project catches our fancy. Most often in my life, I start a project for myself, and then someone else has a birth or wedding or graduation so mine goes back on the pile.
Speaking of my pile, some people are embarrassed about their unfinished projects, or the number of them. But I will share all the UFO's I have lying about, in part for because I'm trying to decide which to pick up next. This is actually causing me anxiety. You see, like many knitters, I like to have 2 projects active at a time, one demanding my full attention (like a complex design, or one I'm doing for publication which therefore must be perfect) and one less demanding one for in front of the tv or knitting on the go. (I refuse to call it 'mindless' knitting, but you get the idea).
I recently finished not one, but two major projects. Yarn should be delivered to me next week for a sweater for a magazine, so that takes care of the full-attention side. What I need to choose is the project I'll be dragging along with me in the car, knitting in front of the tv, and working on until the magazine yarn gets here. So, I want something portable, not too complicated, preferably one color and a simple stitch pattern. Let's look at what WIP's I have (and for the sake of this discussion, we're going to confine it to things already started and on the needles, nothing I have got the stuff for but haven't started yet!)
There's the British flag sweater from Vogue magazine that's been languishing for years, and the Alice Starmore super-fine-gauge I started on vacation in Massachusetts a few years ago. On the plus side, these are for ME and I'd love to be able to wear either of them, as soon as possible. They're also my longest languishing UFO's and it would be so great to check them off the list. On the minus side, both are very complex, the flag is almost impossible to transport, and there's no way I'd make significant progress before being torn away for the magazine project. So, not this time around.
Next there are two bed-sized blankets in progress. One is a cabled, fairly simple pattern on relatively large needles, but the original intended recipient is, shall I say, out of my orbit at the present time, so I don't feel the pressure to get it done. The other is the Toshtrology blanket from jimmy beans- I WAS keeping up with it originally but other things came up and now, I have probably a third of the year left to do. It's for me, so again, no super urge to complete it, and in both cases, blankets (especially once they have a big chunk done) are a pain to lug around, especially in the summer. So, no to the blankets.
Other projects currently in progress include a birthday sweater intended for a little friend whose birthday was a month ago (I know, a day late and a dollar short). However, it has multiple patterns and colors, so I think it's going to have to wait. (don't worry about her; she still hasn't grown into the sweater I knitted for her last Christmas, so she can wait). Down to the final two. I have a sample on the needles for the adult version of my Henderson sweater, which I've been promising people the pattern for for quite a while. It ticks all the boxes, but...I have one more to examine. The last WIP is another sweater I'm going to make up the pattern for as an indie pattern, but this is one I'm making in my size because I want to actually wear it (the Henderson prototype is model sized. I am not). The one for me is not super complicated, but it's not automatic knitting either.
So, I think I'll actually pull out both. I can do the Henderson while I'm out and about and unable to keep track of a pattern. The one for me, I'll work on in situations where I can concentrate just a bit more. Of course, once the yarn comes for publication, that will take priority over everything else. And of course, who knows what else will pop up before any of these get finished!
How about you? Do you have more than one project going at a time? More than one UFO? Do you have a pre-set plan, or do you struggle choosing which project to pick up?