Over the last few weeks I’ve had a bit of a reorganisation of my craft room and my project bags and counted all the works in progress that I have on the go. The grand total was 21, which is rather a lot. I had crochet projects that I’m actively working on, which is fine, but there were also things I’d started and then lost enthusiasm and some half-hearted knitting projects….
I decided to have a bit of a review to see how I could best go about having a WiP down. I don’t have a problem with having several projects on the go – having a choice of what to work on when there is an opportunity for a bit of yarny pleasure is quite nice I find. If I have to finish one project for a deadline I don’t really every enjoy doing it as much as the things that are just purely for relaxation.
But having too many WiPs can give you some pressure as some just don’t progress at all for weeks, if not months. Projects also take up space as I really noticed once I put them all together during my review. Wowzers. No wonder my living room looks a tad cluttered most of the time as I try to keep what I am working on fairly accessible and available. The WiP that ends up tidied into a box under the bed exits all conscious thought is destined to lurk indefinitely.
Its also nice to complete something that you want to use or wear. Half finished shawls, single socks and unjoined grannies that lay untouched for months are sort of a waste of the money invested in the yarn and certainly a waste of the time put into them so far.
Starting a WiP down list
So, I made a list of everything I have on the go and decided to do what they recommend on those TV programmes about hoarding. I divided into into three: one list of WiPs that need to be finished and SOON, one list that need to be abandoned and frogged as there is no way they will ever be worth completing and a final list of projects that are half finished but that I really don’t want to do any more with.
The first list was very long but in a way thats good as it means I haven’t been too bad at choosing the things I want to make. Only one WiP really needed to be pulled out – a knitted ‘thing’ that I started years ago when I first went along to a knit and natter group. I didn’t carry on going and what could have become a cowl (I’d used some very fluffy yarn that I had found in my mum’s stash and there was no structure or definition to it at all) got put away and forgotten.
When I rediscovered it my first thought was to see if I could finish it but during the row that I absent-mindedly knitted while having a think, I found a load of dropped stitches in the middle of all the fluff. The easiest and only practical solution was to rip it out and whip if off the WiP list. I may be one WiP down, but its not really a very satisfying way of achieving that – hopefully the ripping out option won’t become a habit.
The cottage bag was the star of the third list. I started this in January with the Bagalong group on Facebook but this really was a difficult project to do. It involved intarsia crochet/colour work, which I admit is not my favourite technique and is one that I barely know how to do. It was very fiddly and although the finished bag is stunning, I can’t really see myself using it as a bag. Or a cushion. Its just not my thing. I am still toying with the idea of putting a post up to the group to see if anyone else wants to take it on and finish it, but I’m not sure how I’d feel about a ‘second-hand’ project so I’ve not done that yet.
Anyway, its still off the list and it might just end up in a drawer in my craft room that I’ve called my crochet graveyard along with all the samples and trials and ‘seemed like a great idea at the time’ projects.
So that left 19 and in the last couple of weeks I’ve finished four more. I had a deadline for the super sonic socks as they were for the Deramores blog. The Project has published the pattern to the super sonic socks with a detailed tutorial in three installments so I needed to finish the socks and tutorials in double quick time to meet the deadline.
Victoria Shawl 2 then came off the hook and its now all blocked and looking almost too good to wear! This photo is pre-blocking in the evening sun in the garden… the blocked version will be on the podcast soon and the process of blocking it is shown in Episode 9.
Then at the weekend I cast off my knitted Linus shawl…
I shared the last few rows and the cast off in a podcast shortie:
I even managed to finish a sewing/crochet project bag that I’d sewn but then left as i wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it. Turns out that my recent sewing projects gave me the inspiration I needed to convert it into a little fold over bag with a crochet trim. Result!
My WiP down progress to date
I’m now down to 14… well…. OK ….. 15. In the middle of a WiP down there is always temptation to start something new and I have promised to make a new bag for a charity giveaway in June, so a new fat-bottomed but chunky bag has been added to the list. I thought it would be fun to do this as a joint project between the Crafternoon Treats podcast and the Bagalong group on Facebook so I’m taking this to crochet and chat this week to see if I can finish the base square and possibly get some lace trim that I think will suit it while I’m in Selby.
What I’ve got left include some much longer term projects including three blankets and I’ve chosen the giant retro granny blanket as my focus for the next few weeks, just to see if I can push that one over the finishing line too.
One of the others is for a crochet along that I’m planning in autumn, but I still need to keep that in mind so that I can get it completed and photographed for the end of the summer.
All in all, I’m feeling that I’ve had a productive few weeks but once the bag is finished I really am looking forward to starting something new… I’ll see you later this week with Podcast Episode 9 – which is going to be mostly about blocking. If you are asking “What the heck is blocking?” you’ll be amazed…. Kathryn xxxxxxx