In my previous post, setting out lofty goals for an ambitious program of summer knitting, I made quite sure to couch them as "more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules" (as they say in the Pirates of the Caribbean), so that I can easily let myself off the hook if any aspect(s) of the plan should turn out to be a little *too* ambitious. I needed that for the sake of preserving my mental health.
I also deliberately phrased the central statement thus: "I have decided to dedicate the bulk of my summer knitting this year to wrapping up as many works-in-progress as I can." Notice the word "bulk" (conveniently highlighted here), as in "majority" or "lion's share," i.e. as opposed to something like "sum" or "entirety" or "whole."
I want to be very clear that even in the midst of striving to shrink the overall number of WIP's, I am *NOT* actually forbidding myself to launch a few new projects here and there along the way. I know of at least one such that will be coming later this month for sure — a gossamer lace doily to be a wedding gift for my sister-in-law and her fiancé, who are getting married in mid-July — and I have other items in the queue that I am eager to get on with ASAP, including some alterations to a sweater that I made for my husband last year. But obviously I can't afford any wanton proliferation here either, if I am indeed serious about shrinking that prodigious pile of existing projects.
So... Here are some self-imposed guidelines (*ahem*) for any new projects that I might contemplate adding to the list in the next few months. It makes sense to categorize things as follows:
- NO NEW SWEATERS, period, until four of the current five are complete, and then no more than two at a time ever again (if I can manage it, hehe);
- no new hand-warmers until the Fiddlesticks Mittens are complete, and then no more than one pair at a time;
- no socks until tenure(!!), and then never more than one pair at a time, preferably alternating with hand-warmers rather than in tandem with them (this general principle with regard to fancy knitted footwear, which I will outline more fully in an upcoming post, has LONG been a personal by-word of mine, and I see no reason to change it now, especially with tenure on the horizon for the coming year);
- no new beaded lace projects until the Evenstar and two more of the current four are complete, and then no more than two at a time ever again (why not give it a try, hein?);
- no more than one small-scale gossamer lace project (i.e. doily or swatch/sampler) at a time and no new large-scale ones until the Unst stole is complete, then no more than one of each at any time thereafter;
- no net increase in the number of projects for the foreseeable future, so that for instance I must finish the stained glass bag before starting the aforementioned wedding gift, which is in the small-scale gossamer lace category (see above), and so on.
I think that covers the important bases. I could sit here all day stipulating various rules to micro-manage my activities even further, but the central point is to keep whittling away at the number of projects in each category AND at the overall total, until we reach a manageable level, where I will then strive to maintain the status quo. There will have to be checks and balances too. If I were to max out all the various limits that I have set in each category, I could end up with as many as seven different projects at once (= 2 sweaters + 1 handwarmer/sock + 2 beaded lace + 2 gossamer lace items), but I would ideally like to see things settle down closer to *five* in all. Let's see how it goes...