Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Project Management

When it comes to knitting, I may have several things on the needles at once, but I pretty much only actively work on one thing at a time. I may not finish it before I pick up something else, but I'm not one to work on this for a bit and then pick that up and then just a little on that one over there.

Ideally, I like to have one sweater project, one or two sock projects, and maybe one lace or other project going at once. Any more than that and I start to feel pressured and anxious about the projects I haven't touched in a while.

Right now I have two lace projects going, and I haven't touched either in weeks. I'm not certain lace is for me. I don't so much mind that it's repetitive, as all knitting is repetitive in some way, and I don't mind counting because I find that oddly relaxing. I think the main problem is that I don't want lace. It may be fun to knit, but I don't have that desire for the finished product, so there is little impetus to make the lace project a priority.

You may have noticed that I have more than a couple of socks going at the moment. I let this happen because I needed something to get me back into the knitting groove after a short bit of ennui, so I let myself cast on for whatever I wanted, and that happened to be lots of socks. It's starting to bother me, though, and I'm thinking of frogging two pairs and letting the yarn mature in the stash a bit more. I have a priority list for getting through the rest.

But all of my sock knitting has left my poor hands cramped and sore, and I've been yearning for something to knit at a larger gauge, something substantial. A sweater. I've been holding off casting on because I already have the Hex Coat going, and I like knitting the Hex Coat, so I tell myself I should just work on that. However, I have almost finished one front of the Hex Coat -- we're talking mere inches from completion -- and I've decided that the fronts are probably the most interesting bits, with the undulating center portions. After that it's two sleeves and one loooong back in moss stitch, and then the other front for a treat before knitting on all of those hexagons, which I fear will be fussy. So I have refrained from knitting on the Hex Coat, because if I knit on it much more, I won't be on the good part any more. Besides, a major advantage of the Hex Coat is that I've decided not to rush it, so if I'm not feeling it, I'm not going to feel guilty about not doing it. Maybe I'll treat each piece as its own project, and break it up with other sweater projects in between.

The upshot of all of this? Justification for casting on a new sweater-type project. Something that's not too hard on the hands and that I'll want to stick with until it's done.

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