Way back at the beginning of the year, I took a good hard look at all the projects I had on needles. I searched my heart, and knew it to be true: some of them I still wanted to make and/or own … others needed to be abandoned. The good thing about knitting is that the yarn can be re-claimed. I pulled out needles, then frogged and wound like a mad, mad knitter.
The ones that “made it” looked like this:
I am pleased to announce that I have finished ALL these projects — with the minor exception of the Ongoing Forever Sock Yarn Blanket, which is (as should be obvious) an “ongoing” project, with no clear end date in mind. I think frogging the “unloved” projects was a great exercise in letting go of things … it’s made me better at deciding to give up on projects that just weren’t working this year — when my tendency is to plow ahead no matter what. I gave up on “just” four projects this year … but that’s tons better than having a bunch of WIPs slowly aging into UFOs.
Deciding to finish the above projects also motivated me. The shawl especially was a bit of a slog … lace knitting with beads, and nupps, on tiny needles with slippery, dark-colored yarn! I kept telling myself that all I had to do was finish that shawl, and I’d be done with my “Finish It or Frog It” projects. I cast off my shawl on October 3rd (look for a FO post this Friday), and I couldn’t be happier with it.
Here’s a quick photo gallery of the FOs….
Very Orange Hoodie
Princess Wander’s Aran Cape
Yggdrasil in Blue
Little Brown Aeolian Shawl
Sheep Head Hat
Tappan Zee Pulled Taffy
It’s come to my attention that I have a number of projects that are nearing hibernation … not to mention a couple of projects in deep hibernation. I find that these projects are neglected for any number of reasons. What they have in common is this: although they are not taking up any actual knitting time, they are taking up mental knitting time. Every time I look at my projects page in Ravelry, I see these partially-finished projects and meditate on the whys and wherefores of what it would take to turn UFOs into FOs. Every time I pick a few project bags to go to Knit Night or to a friend’s house for knitting, my fingers linger over certain bags … I don’t really want to bring them, but they use up mental cycles. This, dear reader, is a problem that I can fix.
I hearby declare January to be “Finish It or Frog It” month. It’s time to take stock. Bring out all your projects, whether on needles or waste yarn or whatever, and decide whether you are going to finish it, or not. You can use whatever criteria floats your boat. For myself, I decided that I should at the very least WANT the finished object, or ENJOY the process — ideally, both. If neither of these things were true, it was time to frog it.
Here are all my projects* as of this morning, regardless of hibernation status:
I had already declared my Carmen Banana Sock Monkey “done” earlier this week, so she isn’t pictured. (Carmen herself is complete, but I never made the last few clothing items — and I’ve decided I’m probably not going to.) I dug up my two deep hibernation projects for this too: a mostly-complete jacket (for the me of size six-years-ago) and a mitered-square leftover-sock-yarn blanket. I considered each project in turn, carefully weighing my two major criteria.
Top to bottom, left to right, here are the final decisions:
- Very Orange Hoodie: kind of boring to work on, but my son really wants it, so it’s in!
- Northern Lights Jacket: doesn’t fit me now (if it ever did), has poor quality colorwork (one of my first efforts), and I’m dreading the duplicate stitch — it’s OUT even though it hurts (a lot) to frog a complete body, a complete sleeve, and one half-done sleeve
- Princess Wander’s Aran Cape: this is my “at work” project for the yarn shop; cool pattern, and I’m looking forward to having the cape someday — IN!
- Ongoing Forever Sock Yarn Blanket: I’m giving this blanket a second chance — I do really want the FO, and I think the work will be less painful now that I can knit left to right as well as right to left — IN!
- Yggdrasil in Blue: I’ve already designated this one my target project for the Neglected Project KAL I started in the 52 in 52 group. I’ve already made great progress — finished the 2nd side and turned the 2nd corner — so it is IN. (I really want the blanket, but the back-and-forth edging was killing me. Left-to-right knitting saves this project!)
- Hellesbores Wristlets: I’m not enjoying the knitting, but I really, really want the FO — IN!
- Little Brown Aeolian Shawl: I keep getting bogged down on this project, but I love working with KP Alpaca Cloud, and I love the FO, so it’s IN!
- Sheep Head Hat: I’m a bit intimidated by altering the chart from 9 colors to the 6 I have, but I must have a sheep head hat, so it’s IN!
- Finally Summit: This is the project that gave me left-to-right knitting, for which I am grateful. But far too many people have noticed that the stripey orange yarn looks suspiciously like corn snakes… and frankly the fussy knitting is losing it’s charm. I feel like this yarn could be pretty instead of freaky, so off to the frog pond — it’s OUT.
- Sept 2011 Sock Club Socks: I’m nearly done, it’s a fun pattern, just have to get past the heel turn on sock #2 and I’m golden — IN! (I’m also highly motivated by wanting to start (and finish??) my Nov 2011 shipment before the first 2012 shipment comes in just a few weeks — yikes!)
- Damask Potion: Although I want to want this one … I don’t, really. The yarn and pattern just aren’t coming together. Both will probably do better with another partner … as much as it pains me, OUT!
- Kensington Fingerless Mitts: Likewise, the mitts. Wish I could love you as much as I want to! Alas, you do not quite fit, and increasingly I can’t really imagine wearing gloves past my elbows. I want that pretty green yarn for something else anyway.
- Tappen Zee Pulled Taffy: I really want this little cardi! I’m almost done — just a few dozen rows of stockinette, plus the bottom edging. If I finish Yggdrasil fast enough, I’ll do this one for the Neglected Project KAL as well. IN!
Here is the IN crowd:
And the OUT crowd:
After several hours’ work, here is all my “new” yarn (including yarn I had not yet started using on the jacket):
* All of my projects for myself — I decided not to include my two current design projects in this process, since I am working on those for other people.