Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Juggling Act: Knitting WIPs

I'm freaking out about the number of half-knit projects I've got at the moment.

With sewing, I often trace patterns and cut fabric a few projects at a time. But then I sew them up one-by-one. That way, I focus on one project until it's done. But with knitting, this approach seems to fly out the window.

I don't want knitting to cut into my precious sewing time. So, I've limited knitting to my evening commute and while I'm on the couch in front of the tv, unless of course I'm hand sewing something instead. I don't watch all that much tv, which makes this pretty slow going.

Still a few inches short of a pair of socks

I was absolutely fine with two projects going simultaneously. The sock (above) has been commuting with me. And this cowl/infinity scarf (below) is what I've been knitting on the couch. It's very easy - a good project at the end of the day when my powers of concentration are waning.

I'm nearly 5/6ths done.

I'm nearly done with both. But then I started a "lace basics" class*, which includes knitting two projects. We started with a lace scarf. Naturally, I elected to make mine from a cashmere and silk blend. I already have an acknowledged weakness for silk, but blended with cashmere it's like cryptonite... soft, silky, luxurious cryptonite...

"Feathers & Fans" Scarf

I'm supposed to have this at least half done by the next class (tomorrow), when we will start a more elaborate lace shawl. Now, the idea of not being ready for class goes against my hard-wiring. So, I'm knitting this scarf while the other two projects are lingering in idle. And it's got me freaking out. Will my socks and scarf ever be done!?!? Not at this rate.

And somehow I accidentally started a yarn stash. I hadn't meant for this to happen. I just needed a few extra items to qualify for free shipping, and the fingering (sock weight) yarn was on sale. Gah! This is how they get me every time.

The silver lining to all of this is that I've managed to come full circle (or square) with the Hot Patterns Nomad Hobo bag that I made nearly 2 years ago. At the time, I was disappointed with it as a weekend hobo bag because of the shape - it's very square. But I commented that it would probably make a really good knitting bag. I've been using it as a grocery bag, but now it has become my knitting tote. At the moment this is my entire knitting stash - yarn, tools and current projects are inside. I plan to keep it that way at least for the time being. 

Knitting Bag!
Anyway, those of you who knit and sew (or crochet, etc), how do you balance your two hobbies? Do you juggle the two at once, like I've been doing or do you oscillate back and forth? Also, knitters, do you usually have multiple knitting projects going on at the same time or do you stick to one at a time?

* The lace basics class is at School Products Yarn where I took my beginner knitting and sock knitting class. They offer a loyalty program - a discount for return students - which is a good thing since they are very good at at talking me into additional classes. 


puu said...

clio--would love more info on your "lace basics" class! here in NYC? that scarf is going to be gorgeous!

kbenco said...

I think the problem is that you have to concentrate with lace knitting- which makes it like sewing, as opposed to plain knitting that you can do watching TV or commuting, so plain knitting actually does not take up any "hobby" time. Personally, I count keep-the-hands-busy knitting as a filler, not an acutal project, so really you only have one scarf as a project, the other stuff will only not get finished if you never commute or watch TV again ;). One scarf and starting a shawl is rather modest in the work in progress stakes in my opinion!

Karin said...

Basically, the knitting is going nowhere! I try to do it in the evenings while watching tv. But with Xmas, life, etc. there hasn't been much lounging in the evenings.

Anonymous said...

My mother has a prodigious output of craft items and her secret is half hour rotations. So her evening might be spent 7:00-7:30 quilting, 7:30-8:00 knitting, 8:00-8:30 embroidery, 8:30-9:00 wood carving, and so on until bed time. It feels like nothing gets done but because progress is steady and you don't burn out you get tons done. And you prevent repetitive motion injuries.


Ellen said...

I generally only knit at night, and only have one project going at a time, but sometimes I only manage a couple of rows. Progress can be slow to say the least.

SewOm said...

I crochet as well as sew, and I find that the activities are seasonal. This time of year, I prefer crochet. In warmer months, yarn has zero appeal, so then I sew more. It also varies during the week. Evenings, I prefer crochet because its very relaxing. Sewing requires more focus, so I do it more on the weekend.

You're lucky you can knit on your commute. I agree with kbenco - any knitting you can do on your commute will, eventually, get done. Except for the class, there is no rush, right?

Sheila said...

Balancing is so not easy, but I try to select different days for crafting & sewing. Right now, I'm primarily sewing so no balancing act right

Clio said...

Thanks, everyone! Wow, it's really interesting to learn how others manage their hobby time. (My gosh, Mel! You're mom is a force of nature!)

I guess I'm just eager to have the projects done so I can wear my socks and scarf, and not have them lingering in UFO-land while I keep starting new projects. Right now, the lace scarf is all I'm working on because of the deadline, while the others are on hold. And THAT's what worries me - all the potential UFO's.

Sheryll said...

Sorry Clio, I am going to be absolutely no help here, you should see the amount of unfinished projects lying around my place!

I like knitting for its portability, and tend to go through phases where I knit a lot, but I do need to be in the mood. And I have different knitting moods too - I need an easy project and a project requiring concentration, a big project and a small portable one...!

Unknown said...

I have 1 knitting project going and 2 crochet...I also have 1 skirt that is just sitting around waiting for a waist band..Dang Holiday's!

MySummerTouch said...

I've just made one sock for my daughter and it is sitting waiting for me to make another one. Currently I'm sewing the dress for her. The yarn stash will grow very quickly!! You won't be able to maintain just one bag of stash because sales are very tempting!
And you're right about UFO's - there will be a lot of them just because starting a new project is very tempting too, but the others are waiting. The only one thing to fight with it is to reap them. I still have a lot of UFO's from years ago.
Commuting knitting is really good, I knit a scarf for my daughter like that last winter, very simple one, without complications.