Sometimes non-knitters ask me how many projects I have going on at the same time. This question is usually the follow-up of a comment about how much yarn I have (it’s like my stern look and assurance that this is not much at all since I can easily knit it up in a life time has no effect on them). When I answer that right now I have four active projects going on they reply, with a look that makes me understand that I am indeed weird, by commenting on how many projects that is. I can only conclude that these people probably never have more than one book going on at the same time. They never change clothes during the day and they never have more than one meal’s worth of food in the frigde at the same time. They only do one sport, if they are runners they will never stop for a game of badminton or go swimming. Or, they simply don’t see that the reasons why they do indeed change clothes or have more food in their fridge than they can in eat in a day or mix skiing with soccer, is also applicable to having multiple active works-in-progress.
I’ve always, ever since I was a kid, had multiple books going on at the same time. I mean, not all books can be used the same way (luckily, imagine how boring that would be). Some books are so scary you can only read them in the morning (and then what are you going to do in the evening?). Some books are to valuable to be read in the bathtub. Some books are too heavy to bring to a day at the beach and some books aren’t thick enough to bring on a long train ride. Some books are too difficult to read when you are tired and some books are not interesting enough to keep you occupied for many hours.
This exact thing is applicable to knitting. Right now I have five active works-in-progress. One is my lace that I can only do when it’s reasonably quiet and I’m not too tired and I can only manage on or two pattern repeats at a time, then I have to rest. Rest from the project that is, not from knitting. But imagine if I could only have the one work-in-progress, what would I do when I need to rest from the lace?
Then there is this summer’s mystery knit along where there is one clue each Friday. Those clues are usually finished within a few days, and then what? The only-one-work-in-progress-rule states that this is it, so what am I going to do the other five days of the week? Rip it, like Penelope, every night and re-knit it the next morning?
My delicious shawl in BFL wool has come to a Point where the pattern says I can add beads if I’d like. I do like. But I don’t have any beads at the moment. Till I have found matching beads, there is no possibility to continue with the shawl, and I noticed this yesterday, a Sunday, evening. That means that I would have had an entire evening without any knitting had I been stuck to only one project, till I could go get some beads today. And what if I can’t find matching beads today? Then there would be even more evenings without knitting. Now, why would anyone do that to themselves?
My blue cardigan is at a Point where I need to add Another skein of yarn, but since I didn’t have enough yarn I had to buy this in a contrasting color. This yarn arrived last week but is currently in quarantine in the freezer and has been for almost a week. That would have been a sad non-knitting week had I not been able to have multiple works-in-progress.
Finally, I have a green blanket on the needles. It’s coming along well and doesn’t require non-existing beads or quarantine yarn or clues. But, of course there is a but, it’s getting heavy. It is a blanket after all and the more I knit the bigger it gets. It’s become big enough that I can’t take it out of the house and it’s getting heavy enough that I can’t knit on it for too long at the time since my arms get tired from holding the weight.
So you see, there is a project for every moment and there is every reason in the world to have multiple active projects. At least if you are inclined to knit almost every waking hour, which I tend to do.