Its no secret that Kate and I have a sweet spot for Outlander (who can blame us?). It's hard to not swoon at Jamie's sweetness and Scottish brogue. The reality of finding a man that studly and loyal in the middle of the Scottish Highlands is far fetched, but a girl can dream, can't she? And dream we do... of Jamie telling us "Hey lass, Dinna fash. You can never have too many WIPs". It helps us sleep at night knowing he doesn't judge our absurd number of works in progress (WIP)!
Our lovely Jamie has a point though, you can never have too many WIPs. If you're new to knitting, WIPs are the knitting projects that are not completed. They are those legwarmers you started years ago that sit in the closet on knitting needles, or a sweater you have ten skeins of yarn for but only got two rows done before life got in the way. But don't worry, you can never have too many! I remind myself of this when I'm at my local yarn shop buying more yarn for a new project when I have at least five projects going at home.
I like to think of each WIP as a very different type of project and, as such, I classify them accordingly! This little mental practice helps me not to judge myself too harshly for not being a monogamous knitter! So here are six types of WIPs I pretty much always have going:
1. Long Term - a couple years ago, this was an intarsia sweater that I gave myself the whole year to work on. I took my time and really enjoyed it. These projects are ones that generally have too much yarn to bring with me places so I savor my time at home working on them with a cup of hot tea, soothing music (or a glass of wine and Outlander in the background). Another year it was a double knit baby blanket that took an hour to knit one row! My current long term project isn't knitting, but actually spinning an alpaca fleece.
2. Keepin' my neck warm - I love cowls. The ease of knitting them in the round, and the endless amount of patterns you can knit with them. Currently on size 0 needles I have 250 stitches and two skeins of yarn making a double wrap cowl in brioche stitch. This cowl is a beauty and is going to take me a LIFETIME since I also have a 4 month old baby at home! But I love working on it and it is a great project to have on hand when I can do a few stitches here and there. And, since there is no increasing and decreasing, I can really pick it up and starting knitting it whenever without having to think too much.
3. New stitch pattern to learn or test knits - although I love knitting good ole' Stockinette Stitch I always want to keep learning new things so I try out new stitch patterns when I can. I'll usually do a 4" x 4" swatch and then file it away as a reference for future patterns or project ideas.
4. Made with love - knitted gifts are a joy to make, but with my limited knitting time I don't often get to knit big gifts for people. When I can, I love to knit hats or cowls for friends. Or cute little baby sweaters for future knitters. This year for the holidays I won't have much time to knit gifts, but I have two cowls started that will hopefully be done in time!
5. Have yarn will travel - I always want to have a small project going that is easy to travel with and these are usually hats or legwarmers. They are small enough that I can toss the project in my purse and go. At the moment I have a hat on needles and some legwarmers that I'm working on.
6. Swatches - Kate and I are in Level 2 of the Master Knitter Program with TKGA and it is a never ending series of swatch after swatch after swatch! This is a great way to always be challenging ourselves and keep our knitting patterns inline with industry standards.
What kind of WIPs do you have going?