A New Year’s Knitter : Part 4 – WIP Boot Camp

Okay, so this is the last installment of the ‘A New Year’s Knitter’ series.  So far, we have discussed cleaning up (and out) your stash, your needles, and your patterns.  Today we will discuss the what is perhaps the hardest clean out of all — the WIP pile.  You can do it, however, because we’ve built up your ruthlessness over the month.  You have steeled your heart to rid yourself of Stash that you no longer like, Needles that no longer have a mate, and Patterns that you admit you will never get around to knitting.  Be strong — this one will be like a bandaid — do it quickly and the it will hurt the least. I promise.

Nearly every knitter on the planet has more than one Work In Progress at any given time.  It seems impossible to work on one project in every circumstance.  That sweater you have been slaving away on at home is impractical to work on in the line at the bank, or at a red light, or on the commuter train — so you start another project.

That is fine — it really is — but eventually, in the process knitting those boring manly stockinette tan socks that you thought you would not mind working on, you get the itch.  You need something more [fun, colorful, intricate, NOT TAN] and those socks end up tucked away somewhere out of sight.  Occasionally you find you need your size 3 DPNs, but when you realize you left them in that sock, you back away slowly hoping that particular WIP won’t see you.  You needed another pair of size 3 DPNs anyway…

Unfortunately, this happens to a lot of knitters — and it happens a lot.  Projects get stored away for another day for all kinds of reasons — they’re boring, or the color is monotonous, or you realize that baby is now in middle school and no longer needs a baby blanket.  Whatever the reason, they are stored somewhere.  In your house.  Taking up your needles.  And your yarn.  And they make you feel guilty when you see them.

Well today you will cut yourself free.

Step 1 – Gather up all of your WIPs.  Search the house this one last time.  Pile them all together somewhere and then go get yourself a big glass of wine, or scotch maybe…

Step 2 – Be honest with yourself as you go through each and every WIP.  Why did you put this away in the first place?  Did you hit a wall?  Was there a mistake you couldn’t face correcting?  Will you really finish this?  Does your son still have size 4 feet?

Divide these WIPs into two piles: One you will finish, and one that needs to be Frogged.

Step 3 – Steel yourself!  *Take a WIP from your Frogged pile and RIP IT OUT.  After you’re done, go wind that yarn back into a ball.  Repeat from * to end of pile.

Step 4 – Make sure you add that yarn to your Ravelry Stash and remove the WIP project from your active projects.  Also be sure you counted these needles when you worked Part 3 of A New Year’s Knitter — if not, add them to your Ravelry Needle stash.

There now!  That WIP never even existed!  Feel the guilt of that project just melt away…  🙂

Step 5 – Sort and queue your remaining WIPs.  Then be sure to work on these until they are complete.  This should not be a problem — remember that you have determined they are worth completing!

Step 6 – It’s worth identifying where these WIPs should be kept — in the car, at work, by the bed, or in your knitting chair.  Place them each in their own WIP bag along with what you’ll need to work on them (scissors, cable needle, etc…) and put them in their ‘spot’.

I like the variety of WIP bags on Etsy.  These are my favorite:

They are handmade by Knitterbag in Lithuania and they come in small medium and large…

Congratulations my friend, you are now
 a New Year’s Knitter!
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