This is it. I have worked through almost ALL of my unfinished knitting projects. I am down to one sweater that still needs seaming. I have grown weary of having so many unfinished objects cluttering my crafty space. I’m tired of endlessly searching the internet for patterns instead of finishing what I’ve already started. I am going to try project monogamy at least for my knitting. That means only one work in progress at any time.
I’m honestly not sure I can do it. I’ve been poly for so long, ever since I started knitting. Getting married a few weeks ago and knowing that we are likely moving next summer has triggered this. I feel like my unfinished craft projects just linger all over the house, and I can NOT tell my husband that I need to move a box of unfinished stuff. When my friends helped me move into this apartment, I heard a few comments about “gee, I didn’t know you had XYZ items. I’ve never seen you use them.” I can’t move that stuff cross country.
So in this process, I tossed the first sweater I ever made. It was mohair – the To Dye For pattern from the first Stitch and Bitch Book. It was awful. Oversized, with minimal shaping – it was a fuzzy green nightmare. And WAY too hot to wear it in the Bay Area. I tossed the second sweater I ever made. It was wool, the Lace Leaf Pullover by Teva Durham. The wool I used was way too scratchy. I knit it again (the third sweater) with slightly less scratchy wool. Still too scratchy. All of these sweaters are gone now. To the Goodwill on San Pablo. It’s too bad – I really liked that pattern, and I’ve learned a ton about good yarn purchases.
I seamed a few Blythe knits. I finished the Christmas stocking. The dye ran when I washed it, so I pulled it out and finished it again. I finished the two Christmas stockings that were a wedding gift for a friend. I finished the silk camisole that was a wedding gift for another friend. I finished the socks made with yarn I got in someone else’s destashing 5 years ago.
I pulled out the blue cotton I was using to make the baby cargo pants from Knitty. I was almost done with it, but I realized I don’t like knitted baby pants, and I would never give someone a hand-knit item that I didn’t love myself. It’s now ready to be a baby sweater or something. I pulled out the Viennese Lace Shrug from IK. I realized that I had chosen a pattern without ever seeing a photo of the back. All of the photos I saw later showed how huge the thing was, which was something I didn’t realize until I was halfway through. I still love the yarn – it’s now destined for another project.
I pulled out the crochet capelet I made from another Teva Durham pattern. I realized that I can’t wear shoulder bags with a capelet, which means I’ll never wear it. I also pulled out a garter stitch red stole I made ages ago, when I was first learning about buying nice yarn. The yarn from both of these projects is ready for something else.
What I’ve learned from this process:
1) Do not EVER buy yarn that I am allergic to, or that is too rough for me to wear. No matter what. Even if it is a gift item, it will still trigger allergies just by working with it.
2) Do not EVER start a pattern unless I love it, and unless I’ve found photos of all important angles. If in doubt, swatch, swatch, swatch, or wait until someone else finishes it first.
3) Plan gift knitting better. Especially for babies, because struggling to finish something before the baby outgrows it is a huge pain in the butt and really sucks the joy from the project for me. If I can’t finish the knittnig, sometimes a stack of favorite children’s books is a really nice gift, too. It does not all have to be knit.
4)Trust my instincts. If I figure out halfway through a garment, heck, if I figure out 80% through, that the yarn or pattern is wrong, don’t force myself to finish. Don’t try to convince myself that I will like it eventually. It will take years to compel my completion and just be something else I’m not happy with. Life is too short for this.
So there it is. Anyone else out there also limiting projects to one at a time? Any thoughts on the acquisition of fabric-yarn-patterns beyond one’s capacity to complete the objects?