The other day, in the car on the way back from the Knitters Frolic (big fun - got a little bit of really nice stuff too) I said out loud something that I'd been thinking for a few days.
I think I have too many projects on the needles.
Now, this is an odd thought for me. It's actually the first time I've ever thought it. I regularly have rampant cases of startitis, and I cast on pretty much what pleases me and chug through it all any way that I want to. Any way. I don't feel pressured by it, I don't have "rules" about how many things are too many things... I just do as I please. Knitting is my lifestyle my hobby, a pleasant pastime and I like it. I'm just not the sort who feels at all guilty about how I "should be" knitting, or how many things I should be finishing... or when. I know that there are other knitters for whom it's the opposite. Knitters who feel way more comfortable with having only one or two things on the go at any one time, and feel pressured an overwhelmed if the numbers get too high. I can't relate to them (or so I thought) but I can respect that we're all different and that one of the great things about knitting is that it's just so.... personal.
There's no right number of things to have on the go at once. It doesn't make you a paragon of restraint to be the sort who likes to keep the herd culled, and it doesn't make you the knitting equivalent of a hussy with no self control if you approach it like I do. "Yarn Harlot" was the name I came up with originally to celebrate the fact that I'm not particularly yarn/project monogamous. I keep a lot going on, and I like it that way. Until really, really recently, that is.
Sunday, I felt like there's so much. Tons in fact, and it was weighing on me. Here's what's currently on the needles.
Plain socks, carried around in my purse. (My basic sock pattern, and Creatively dyed yarns - I've misplaced the ball band, (but know that it's got cashmere in it) so can't tell you the colourway, but I think the dyer lurks around here... maybe she could shout out if she recognizes it? I'll fix the link if she does.) And yes... because someone will ask, that sock is in one of the really excellent Tom Bihn yarn stuff sac with the really cool clear bottom, and yup, I do have one of their knitting bags and yup again... it's absolutely awesome. Also, yes. I have read the tag.
Niagara Sock from The Eclectic Sole, cast on to replace it's first version that was the sock that turned out a mystical 23" around the ankle. (23 INCHES. Still can't figure that out.) It's in C*eye*ber Fiber Sock, colour a fetching spring green called "May-belle".
Cabled cardigan (#19) from Vogue Fall 2006, knit out of Cascade Ecological wool.
There's more too. Stuff that's been out of the queue for so long that I'm not counting it (Gansey, anyone?) and that stuff I'm not really bothered by. Each of them has a reason for their "time out". That stuff there, that's just the stuff that's currently competing for my time and attention, and the lot of them make me feel like I'm totally not getting things done. Like I never finish anything. Like I'm behind, or not accomplishing anything - which is totally not true. I mean, one-at-a-time knitters do seem to finish things faster, but they don't really. Total knitting time is total knitting time... and we're all going to finish whatever we've got time for and knitting 4 things in two months is knitting 4 things in two months whether you knit them all an once or in a row... right?
Then it hit me. I'm not overwhelmed by the number of projects. The number of projects is fine. Always has been. I feel like I'm getting nothing done because my knitting time has evaporated. Poof. Gone. The deeper I get in with the Sock Summit, the more the knitting time disappears. I used to knit while I was on the phone. Now I engage in a death match with a database while I'm on the phone. I used to knit while I read my emails, now my emails are a big whack of customer service questions in another inbox... and I'm typing while I read them. I used to sit down in the afternoon for a little bit of a knit, and now I can't find any time in the afternoon because dudes, the afternoons suddenly seem a whole lot shorter. I used to cook dinner and knit my evening away, and now I'm dragging myself away from my desk at 10pm - knitting for an hour and then falling into bed.
I don't have too many projects. That's not what's happening. I actually have LESS KNITTING TIME.
Considering that I've always said that knitting is what moderates a lot of my less desirable personality traits (impatience, short temper, work-a-holic tendencies, occasional thoughts of violence) I think that this development should scare the crap out of everyone... especially those who live with me. If this keeps up, I could become a danger to society that makes the swine flu look like a cupcake party.
I'm going to go and knit for 15 minutes right now. It's a public safety issue. Maybe I'll even work on one thing for a day or two. See if it helps.