Tuesday, June 8, 2010

P.S. Rules Governing New Projects

This photo shows my yarn and fabric stash as it appeared a year ago. I am proud to say that several of those bins are noticeably emptier now...

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 fiancĂ©, 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...

1 comment:

  1. Highly commendable intent. I am sure you will stick to it, now it is written down for all to see. And so many beautiful completed things await you. The stained glass bag is superb, as are the lace items, as are ....
    I do not have the courage to show my fabric and yarn stash in its entirety, for fear I would have to acknowledge it. And deal with it.
    ... back to the knitting, then.