Aug 20, 2017

Houston, We Have a Problem

In 1979, the phrase "Houston, we have a problem" entered the American vernacular when the astronauts aboard Apollo 13 discovered a major electrical fault that threatened their lives and their mission.

Luckily, knitting is rarely a life and death endeavor, but because we feel passionately about the things we make, it's easy for knitting problems to gain exponential importance. 

My current issue is all too familiar: There are too many projects in progress, and it's driving me bonkers. Here's a quick roundup.

Herlacyn Heatwave is is the assembly stage and would soon be finished, if I could get a couple blocks of concentrated knitting time.

Herlacyn Breeze is ready to cast on as soon as Heatwave is done. Technically it's not on the needles yet, but the selected yarn is waiting in the wings and clamoring loudly for attention, so it feels like a WIP.

It's in the 80s today, but winter is hovering on the horizon, so I'm knitting the lovely Grignasco Champagne into a simple gradient cowl or scarf (haven't decided yet) ...

and the first of a complementary pair of Colsie gradient mitts is already on the needles. (The shift is subtle, but if you look closely, you can see the colors fade from lake to teal.)

Working with the soft, delectable Champagne is so enjoyable, I couldn't resist casting on a shawl-wrap. There's not much to see yet, but it will feature a tonal gradient that glimmers thanks to the metallic flecks in the variegated Blue Heron yarn.

To counter this growing sea of blue, teal and green, I felt the need to cast on a large-scale Christmas Tree in bold, bulky red.

Two weeks ago, there were eight WIPs, but I managed to buckle down and finish both the Colsie berry and mirror gradients mitts. That "only" leaves the six above (counting the one waiting for cast on), but for me that's way too many. To add to the problem, I keep pausing to swatch for a future project. The motley assortment below represents just a smattering of the many stitches I've tested in the search for the just-right stitch.

The solution, of course, is obvious: Stop casting on projects. Stop browsing through stitch dictionaries. Stop swatching for future projects. Start focusing on what's already on the needles.

It's time to stiffen my knitter's spine and make it happen. Heatwave is my largest project but it's close to completion, so this week's goal is to finish the seams and start the borders and trim. When I need a truly mindless knit, I can pick up the mitts and work to bring them closer to FO status. 

If I can finish these two projects AND hold off casting on the second Herlacyn, that will effectively take me down to three active projects. Whew! That would be much more manageable, because where WIPs are concerned, three seems to be my magic number

How many WIPs are right for you?

Connecting to the linkups in the sidebar.


  1. Good question! For me, the ideal number of WIPs is 2 to 4. More than that and I start to feel stressed ;)

    1. I'm right there with you, Anne. It's a delicate balance, isn't it?

  2. I have many projects on the needles (and hook), but only 4 I am actively working on. 2 would be better, I do like to be able to have options, especially if one of the projects is crochet - those tend to be a little tougher on my hands:) Your projects look great!!

    1. Mixing things up and focusing on a small handful of active projects is smart, Shannon, it makes things so much more manageable AND enjoyable :)

  3. I have more WIP's now than ever, thanks to the impending arrival of my very first nephew. I really dislike having so many unfinished projects, but a girl's gotta do...

    1. Congratulations on your impending first nephew. Yep, a new baby-to-be is way too tempting, I'd be casting on all the things, too!


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