Friday 24 January 2020

Trying to be a monogamous knitter

Some things are easier said than done: knitting exclusively from stash, walking into a yarn shop and leaving without purchasing anything, buying the perfect shade of red yarn, and getting through the pile of works in progress (WIPs). As you might have established if you have paid any attention to this blog or my Instagram, I am far from a monogamous knitter. I usually have three or four active WIPs, and many others hiding in various locations about my house. There are lots of reasons for the multiple WIPs - each WIP usually involves a different technique, is at a different stage in the design process, or requires a different level of attention. Some WIPs were started with great enthusiasm that waned after the initial burst, or something went wrong with them that meant they moved to the abandoned pile...

One of my aims for this year is to work through the pile of WIPs and to either finish them, or abandon them forever and reclaim the materials for something else (one pair of socks has already been unravelled and the yarn nabbed for another project). Since the start of January I have been working almost exclusively on three projects. The first was an adult-size intarsia jumper, which is finished and has been sent to the publisher for photography. I will confess that the jumper had to come to the top of the list as it was due in the publisher's offices within the first week of the year, and nothing focuses the mind quite like a deadline.

The second project of the year is a blanket, made up of individual blocks that are seamed at the end. I have carried these blocks about with me everywhere I have been for the past fortnight, and I have loved crossing each block off my list as I have cast it off. Very satisfying indeed. However, I can't quite call it monogamous knitting, as I own three pairs of needles in the right size, and all of them have had blanket blocks on them at some point this week! Apparently knitting the same thing over and over again is more fun if you can have three half-finished blocks on the needles at the same time. I'm not quite sure how that works, but it seems easier to me.

While my blanket blocks are very portable, I can't work on them in the dark (there are increases and decreases that I have to look at to keep track of), so on the occasions I have been to the cinema this year (twice), I have taken something else with me: my Halloween socks.* These socks were meant to be finished in October (obviously), but I mislaid them. I had them in my husband's car one Sunday morning, and when I went to unload the car, the project bag was gone. I was annoyed about it at the time, as I couldn't for the life of me think where they'd gone, but I reconciled myself to the bag never coming back and moved on. Over Christmas I found the bag, hiding in the bag of bags for life in the understairs cupboard. Hooray! I'm knitting these as tube socks, then adding in the heels, toes and cuffs at the end, so they really are straight-forward knitting in the round, perfect for those times when I can knit, but can't pay any attention to what I'm knitting.

I think this three-project month is as monogamous as my knitting will ever get. I admire anyone who can cast on one project and work on it until it is completed, but that's really not my thing. Having said that, it would be quite nice to get some finished objects off the needles, and clearly the way to do that is to actually knit on the items, so maybe my future does hold some more almost-monogamous knitting...

*Yarn is by Strawberry Fields Yarns. The Ravelry project page can be found here.

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