Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Focus, I Need Focus

For some reason, I can't seem to get a knitting project finished. I have several projects started and almost all of them are things that I would like to have finished. I don't really have any projects that I've completely given up hope on finishing.

Several of the projects that I have started are laying out by my chair in the living room. I would label these as active projects because I have done some knitting on them recently. A couple of them are even close to completion. My chevron scarf, for example, should be done any day now. If only I would sit down and finish it.

I also have 2-3 projects that haven't seen fresh air or the light of day in at least a year. These projects all have been started, but have been bagged up and stuck in a closet. I want them finished too. I still like the idea of having the finished object the project represents, but for some reason I put them aside.

Instead of working on any of these projects , I end up hunting through my stash and pulling out some miscellaneous skein of yarn and start something completely different (see above photo; I'll post more on this little project later). Or worse yet, I spend time searching for a new project that I want to knit that usually requires a yarn purchase.

I do like the whole process of knitting. I guess I just need to accept the fact that I'm not a knitting machine and finished objects are only part of the goal. Are you able to stay focused on one project at a time? What is your secret?

21 comments:

bradyphrenia said...

i work best when i alternate two projects. i've tried to only work on one at a time, but it makes me die inside. it also tends to make me hate the finished object whenever i finally do finish it.

i love kureyon. looks pretty so far, whatever it is!

Cole said...

I find that if I make a list of knitting goals for the month or whatever that I never finish the list. I always start something else. I usually swap back and forth between 2-3 projects to keep my sanity and it is always fun once I finish one so I can start on another.

Sue J. said...

I am exactly, I mean exactly, like you. I thought I was reading about myself! I get excited about a new project or just feel the need to start something new, and, the next thing I know, I have started yet another project. I've never been a focused knitter. Even during the day, when I have three hours to knit, I will knit on several projects rather than stick to just one. Don't feel bad. It's just the way we're wired.

Julie said...

You know, before I started all the blog reading, I was pretty much a one project at a time kinda girl. Oh there was the occasional project that was put aside while I did another, but mostly 1 at a time.
Now I see so many great things and I think "I must knit that" and therefore have multiple projects going all the time. So, I guess I can't really help you :)

Lise said...

I truly believe that staritis is a chronic condition that only varies in its severity over time. I have so many projects started right now that I am too embarrassed to count them. Some I NEED to finish because they are gifts - my giftees get IOUs instead. And then I go to knitting my socks - they are always get finished first. I don't think we are fickle. We just get excited about knitting - anything and everything.

Patty said...

I am just like you too. I love the excitement of planning and starting a new knitting project. I have so many started and stopped projects I would be embarrassed to count them. My DH said the other day..why is it that yarn keeps coming into this house but nothing seems to get completed? He said he wouldn't mind me buying all the yarn if he just could see more completed knitting.
I really try but I just get bored after a while knitting on just one project.

Oh also, Shannon. I have tagged you for the Random 8. Please come play at my blog, http://stitchesinpink.typepad.com to see the rules.

Zonda said...

Gah! Don't ask me! I've got a sweater that will be 2 yrs old soon!! Seriously though..I am feeling the same way right now..must be in the air 'round here LOL! What project is the above one? Nosy people wanna know! ;)

IrishgirlieKnits & PashyKnits said...

Oh, I love the process! The yarn shopping, the deciding on a new project (my favorite part is when I finish something and get to start something new!). But I'm like you...always have a few to finish that I'm working on, and then a few UFO that just lost steam on.

This year, I frogged some of the UFOs that I just wasn't going to finish (we're talking stuff from over a year ago), and then I've aimed for once a month trying to finish up one UFO at a time, in addition to my current stuff. I usually have 2-3 things going at once!!

bockstark.knits said...

I blame it on all the pretty yarns. I want to cast on everything. Since I mostly knit socks, I am limited by how many needles I have, which is 2. While I'm knitting one, especially a 2nd sock, I am concentrating/planning on what the next one will be. It's hard...maybe set a limit on how many UFO's you can have at any one time?

Red Rocket said...

I have no good advice for you, because I am guilty as charged for doing the exact same thing. However, this spring, I've actually started several projects intentionally. Mostly to have a good excuse to buy more yarn. Progress, even stalled, deserves reward, right?

P.S. I LOVE your Noro bits; the squares, the bags, the whatever that is in the pic. Must get some....

elizabeth said...

You know, I think I'm going to have to address this in a blog post because it's been on my mind lately and I think I've figured out why my projects get stalled and eventually abandoned (some of them). It's very deep and psychological and stuff. It's also a good way to avoid finishing something! heh.

Bobbi said...

ok when I read - are you able to stay focused on one project at a time, the voice in my head cackled! That's a resounding no from me. I'm terrible at it. But I did recently admit I might be a process knitter.

eusebius said...

As you can see from all your comments ... you're definitely not alone! I work best when I'm working on one major project (an adult or child sweater usually) plus one sock project, but even then I get stalled or distracted. The best stuff always gets done though ...

Great looking noro square!!! I've never tried noro ... you are enabling me :)

Deb said...

I agree with all tha's been said. I have a suggestion for a way to get things finished though. Take your projects out to coffee. I find if I take only one project to say, knitting group, then it gets all the attention it deserves. Sometimes, when something is close to being done but I just can't focus on it, I'll pack it, and only it, in my bag and go sit at the coffee shop by myself just to have time to work on it.

Bezzie said...

Shame. It's all about shaming myself. Plus I feel really weird having more than two or three things on the needles (a travel sock, a tv knitting thing, and usually a weird thing to knit)

Monika said...

Hmh, you know me, I have usually a blanket going, and something else. Right now it's a shawl. But I have to admit, that I have two bulky scarves somewhere stashed away, I've got to find them and ripp them. I'm not going to finish them. I's really hard to focus, with all the temptations on the internet, be it yarn or patterns. I limit myself to reading fewer blogs or surfing the net. Other than that, I just can't stand it if there's more unfinished stuff around. I get so nervous, because I don't know where to knit next, and so knit even less. Now I have a plan, because I want to spin as well and I have to make room for that. Early mornings are for spinning now; I knit 2 squaeres for the blanket each week, and the rest of the time I have goes into the shawl, and after that, a new project. I would ripp stuff you don't have touched in a long time; it frees up your mind and if you don't feel the guilt maybe you can focus on a few projects. It feels great to cast on new stuff, but it feels even greater to finish them! I love the process. Most of the time I couldn't care less what happens to the stuff I knit.

Batty said...

I know the feeling. Right now, I only have 2 projects going, and I don't feel like knitting either. The knitting group idea works really well, though. Watching TV or listening to opera, musical, or some other music with a plot also can provide enough distraction to make finishing the dreaded or boring project bearable.

gilraen said...

I so identify with the not finishing things immediately. I'm not good on closure maybe? I can finish for someone else but not for me.........weird. :)

Mom said...

I have always thought that quilting, knitting or any craft/art is about the process and not the finished product. It makes me feel less guilty about not finishing things immediately. Don't get me wrong - I love the finished piece but for me it is mostly about the "doing" and not the end product. (unless of course you're doing it for someone else-that's a whole different story)

Dipsy said...

I'm one of these knitters - close to extinction it seems ;) - who usually only works on one project at a time. And please don't ask me why! I'm not sure really - I think it's because I just feel the need to concentrate on something completely, because I fully want to go through the steps in the knitting one after another - or because I'm just way too un-organized to focus on two or more projects at once? As I said, I'm not sure - off to pondering about that now! ;)

angelarae said...

This is interesting. I think we try to apply our inborn desire to finish tasks like at home and at work to our knitting. But knitting is art, involving texture and color and fiber and pattern. Look at any other art form, works are started, reworked, discarded, started again. This is art. You can start a project, decide it isn't for you or not holding your interest and rip it. Or...you can like a project, start it, find something else you like and start that too. Do you think DaVinci started one thing, and did nothing else til it was finished? Don't think so.

ang