Wednesday, July 23, 2008

UFOs: Knitting Project Purgatory...

See all those bags on my doorknob? It's a lot, right? But wait--the door has a knob on the back, too. And we have more than one door in our house. Each with its own little assembly of UFO "cocoons." So I guess the question of the day is: Will these butterflies ever emerge?

There's a reason, of course, why I have so many projects going at once. Some may call it an excuse... You see, I design knitting (and crochet!) patterns. Not so good about taking the time to put them in a nice PDF format, but I do create the patterns.

When you're designing, if you're like me, the time it takes to finish a pair of socks, say, can feel uncomfortably unproductive. I've succumbed to the just-knit-one-sock-and-take-a-photo habit lately. Not one of my more admirable traits, but at least it allows me to get more done in a given day, week, or month.

Another aspect of my dilemma is the simple fact that the creative process is self-propelling. In other words, the more I create, the more ideas I get.

So I often cast on while my enthusiasm for the new idea is high, making notes as I go. Then I might get another idea and, if I'm feeling totally crazy, will cast THAT one on, too. A never-ending cycle of creativity-gone-wild.

I'm not complaining about the fact that I have ideas, and certainly I'm not complaining about having the TIME to follow up on my ideas and get them to some form of completion...some day. It's just that these projects add up, and eventually make me feel more than a bit guilty.

There are exceptions, of course. Recently, I cast on the Freesia socks with some gorgeous Shalimar hand-dyed sock yarn from Eleganza Yarns. If you scroll down a little, you'll see a photo -- a blue and yellow puffy, lacy confection with a heel that allows the pattern to continue all the way down to the sole. THESE socks will be completed. I love them, love how they look, how they feel, and how much fun they are to knit.

But the Freesia socks really are an exception. I LOVE all of my patterns and my projects. Time is limited, though, and I can only do so much knitting, crocheting, and spinning (don't get me started on the latter...I've been in fleece heaven lately!).

For every problem, there must be an answer. What will mine be? Rip out some of my older projects (the ones knit from book or magazine patterns that I might be feeling bored with)? Or should I try working with a test knitter?

Ahh....a test knitter. Wouldn't that be marvelous? Writing up the patterns would be a must, obviously, since even the best test knitters are unable to produce exactly the designer intends via mind-reading.

But maybe that's the kick in the ass I need. Cast on, swatch, get it right, write up a draft pattern, and send to test knitter. It's a process I could get used to pretty quickly.

Needless to say, at this point, I can't afford to pay anyone, except by offering free versions of my final patterns. But maybe there are people willing to knit new patterns just for the challenge (read: finding mistakes) and enjoyment of knitting. One would have to be a process knitter to be a test knitter, don't you think?

Let's get back to the bags-o-knitting above, though. In my next post, I'm going to list my UFOs, with photos when possible. Anyone interested in joining me, talking about your own unfinished projects?

I know, many of us already list them on Ravelry. But here in blog-land, we can TALK about our WIPs (and NOT in progress) in-depth, explore their nuances, and share new ideas.

And, who knows, maybe we'll even find a way to lighten our doorknob loads along the way...


1 comment:

amanda j said...

I don't have many UFOs at the moment which is a complete turn around from the way I used to be. I have been knitting things to wear, which means I want to get them done as quickly as possible and the best way to do that is with project monogamy! How boring of me!