I’ve often had as many as four or five knitting projects going at a time. I’ve had my “main” knitting project (usually a sweater) and my “travel” knitting project (something simple and mindless – usually a dishcloth or place mat I can work on in the school pick-up line). I might have another project or two that involve lots of counting or an intricate pattern that requires complete silence and absence of all distraction, something you can’t work on while maintaining any social skills at all.
But lately, I’ve discovered the beautiful simplicity of only having one knitting project going at a time. Maybe it’s the revived pandemic scares. Maybe it’s the implosion of the schools (again). Maybe I’m just figuring out that focusing on one thing at a time is crucial to my emotional well-being during this stressful time.
Whatever the reason, I’ve quite enjoyed working on one knitting project, rather than have several knitting projects scattered all over the house and in my car. I seem to enjoy knitting more when I don’t feel like I’m struggling to get one project moving along, with six others in an unfinished state. And – duh! – I get projects finished much, much faster when I direct all my efforts towards one project. This gives me a sense of accomplishment, seeing a completed sweater, shawl, or cowl I can immediately wear and enjoy, and on a regular basis of every week or so.
We’ve all seen the memes online, ridiculing ourselves for having way too many knitting projects (or WIPs – works-in-progress). Maybe it’s time to listen to ourselves and realize that more is not always more. For every WIP that’s left languishing in a work basket, there are unfulfilled aspirations and a sense of giving up. You don’t need that, not when you have enough stress in other areas of your life.
Enjoy your knitting. Enjoy that one project you chose and for which you have high hopes. Feel good in a few short days or weeks about what a great job you did on that one sweater you worked on to the exclusion of all other crafting projects.
Appreciate the simplicity and quiet time of meditative crafting that knitting gives you.
Cynthia Coe is the author of The Prayer Shawl Chronicles, a collection of interrelated short stories about knitters and those they meet through knitting and sharing prayer shawls.
Copyright 2022 Cynthia Coe
One thought on “The Beautiful Simplicity of One Knitting Project At A Time”
A podcaster I follow did monogamous knitting last year and plans to continue this year. While I don’t work on only one project, I feel best when i don’t have more than 2 or 3. I like to have a pair of DK socks on needles to knit while I’m walking. Then I like to have a bigger project for my daytime knitting. I want to participate in some monthly sock KA Ls so I plan to start a new pair the beginning of Feb so that will be 3 projects. I know that from an ergonomic standpoint there is value in switching between large needle and small needle projects. Also having a project I can knit Continental and one knit English helps reduce stress on wrists and elbows. But that’s my limit. I can’t relate to those with 8+ WIPS!!!
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