View Full Version : How do you pace yourself?

05-29-2009, 09:38 AM
I was wondering how you pace your knitting? What I mean is I am currently working on a pair of socks and a cable sweater. But I have everything I need to begin a Kauni Cardi and even another Fair Isle cardigan too.

I don't like to have more than two projects on the needles but I can't wait to begin the other projects too. I don't have any UFO's and want to keep it that way but the waiting until I'm "finished" with one project is getting harder to do!!

I was wondering how everyone else "waits"? :knitting: :knitting: :knitting:

05-29-2009, 10:19 AM
I don't pace myself at all! In so many other aspects of my life, I prefer to finish one thing before starting the next but all bets are off where knitting is concerned.

I think I have at least 4 projects OTN and two are about half done and two are nowhere near done. I have a pair of socks that I will likely never complete but is good waiting room fodder. I have two sweaters, one with cables and one without that I like to alternate between. And I have one prayer shawl near completion. If I get bored with a project, I pick up another one.

I am going to not try to begin another until I have completed another one, though.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun with it! :knitting:


05-29-2009, 10:47 AM
What's pacing? Some items it takes me a couple years to finish, others a couple weeks. It's not a bad idea to have several projects going in different needle sizes and types of yarn. That way you can switch off and avoid fatigue in your arms and wrists.

05-29-2009, 11:10 AM

i am lucky that i don't have that many needles... so basically, i have as many projects on the go as i have needles

right now i have:
a blanket
preemie hats (as i finish one i just start another...)
crocheting a blanket
dish scrubbies and matching dish cloths

Jan in CA
05-29-2009, 12:36 PM
Pace myself? :?? Nah, I just bought more needles and cables so I have enough. :lol:

05-29-2009, 12:48 PM
I've given up on trying to pace myself. Now when I want to have 3 or 4 projects going or I just can't wait to start yet another, I call it enthusiasm. :happydance: Btw, when I do run out of needles, I'll just buy more. :mrgreen:

gotta knit
05-29-2009, 01:30 PM
Looks like I'm in the minority.

Years ago, I never had more than one thing on the go. Always finished my current project before starting another.

Then I took a break from knitting for several years while dealing with some life stuff. Now, I might start a second project while something is still OTNs, but still prefer to get the original item finished and out of the way. Just don't like unfinished things around me.

I currently have one started sweater in the closet since last fall, while I've made numerous other items one after another, but I'm going to do something with it soon. I don't have the original pattern I wanted to replicate, so I was winging it. The body is done all in one piece, but the chest didn't fit well so I put it away. I then waited for dh to pick out a new pattern to use as I frogged it, but he still hasn't. Think I'll pull it out soon and see if there's a way to make it fit, if not I'll have to drag him to the store.)

05-29-2009, 01:54 PM
That's why it sometimes takes me a while to finish something. I get to a point where I don't think it's quite right and put it away for a while. Then when I think I figure out how to adjust it, work on it some more.

05-29-2009, 02:31 PM
I'm with most of everyone else here and not really sure what pacing is. I just went though my WIP, orginizing them and counting the preemie hat that I started 2 days ago and I think I will finish today (it's with bulky yarn and size 10 needles) and the project I'm starting today I am DOWN to 15. Yes I said down to 15. I had over 20 a few weeks ago and have finished a bunch. 2 of those also just need a little work, one is a purse that needs a button, and I think I may have found the right one and the otheris a shawl that I need to find the time and space to block. With 3 little ones it's hard to find the time ans space at the same time. :teehee: So only 13 are actually on the needles.

Some are long term projects, like afghans, (I have 2 of those). And hats in a series that I'm trying to write patterns for that will take me a little while to work out all the kinks. And lace shawls, I have 3 of those, but I think ones going to get frogged and started over, not happy with the needle size.

Then others are quicker knits, like a cuddle bunny that will be really fast and a toddle vest that won't take very long.

And then there's my mindless knitting project that's going to take forever.... it's a poncho that I'm knitting with fingering weight yarn on size 5 needles. I WANT this one to take a long time. I have found that having something that's mindless is good for big projects. Good to have in my bag for when I have to wait for some reason and it's easy to pick up and knit and put away when I need to. And I love the yarn, so that makes it so I really enjoy it even more.

I know that having this many projects would drive some people crazy... but I like it better this way.

And it's somewhat interseting... I always seem to finish several right about the same time. But I always start more right away.

I really do LOVE the entire process!

I say knit things when you want to. Knitting should make you happy! :knitting: And if that means waiting just remember why you want to wait. Why you don't like having more than 2 WIP at a time.

05-29-2009, 02:54 PM
I only have one project of any one type on the needles at a time. Each project was started for a specific purpose and that's how I justify it.

I have patterns and materials for three afghans that I want to knit, but I'm not going to start either of the other two until I finish the one I am currently working on. It's too big to carry around, so this is what I work on at home in front of the tv.

I have one hat project going. This is my main carry-along project that requires a bit of thinking.

I have one bib project started. This is my secondary carry-along project for times that I am not able to concentrate and need something that does not require my entire focus.

Everything else just waits until a spot opens up. :)

05-29-2009, 03:25 PM
I don't pace myself. I like having more than one on the needles that way when I get bored I can do something else.

I don't worry about UFOs, they're terminal UFOs for a reason.

Making myself finish one before starting another would be too much pressure and that is the opposite of what my goal is.
I don't worry about UFOs or the extra yarn stash. They'll eventually get frogged, finished and/or used.

05-29-2009, 06:18 PM

The only time I pace myself is to make sure that I don't trip when I run to my yarn when I have an idea.:lol:

05-29-2009, 06:53 PM
I do pace myself... Usually i have 3-4 projects at a given time. Usually they are of different weight and needle size and of different type - a shawl, a sweater, pair of socks etc. I really like to start new projects, but i also like to finish and use them. So i wait to start a new project and when i get to it, it's a real pleasure:cheering: Just like wearing something i finished:cheering:

05-29-2009, 09:11 PM
I'm a fairly new knitter, but I don't do more than one project at a time. I've started and stopped enough of other hobbies to realize one thing about myself: if I start something new before I've finished what I'm working on, then the previous project won't get done. Period. I am too easily distracted (by pretty & soft yarn...), and would end up with a string of unfinished projects. Then I would feel guilty for not finishing them, and from there start looking for a new hobby that doesn't make me feel guilty. :roflhard:
So I have a simple rule: I don't start anything new until the old is finished, no matter how bad it is looking. After its done, if I want to frog it, that's another matter.
I also use my desire to buy the pretty new yarn to spur me on to finish.

05-29-2009, 10:48 PM
I've been knitting, crocheting, sewing, quilting, beading, and every other kind of creative craft you can name for so many years, I can't keep track. Many years ago, when my husband and I were newly married, I had brought with me many unfinished projects. My intention was to finish them all before starting anything else new, since we had no space for STUFF and no money for supplies. A Christmas night fire in our apartment complex right after our first anniversary took care of all of that for me. We lost everything we had put into our storage area in the attic, which included all of my unfinished projects. That was my new beginning.

While I might have a few different kinds of projects in progress at the same time, maybe a knitting project by my recliner for evening relaxing, a sewing project down in the sewing room for daytime work, I don't usually have more than one of the same type of project at a time anymore. I find it too hard to go back to something after not working on it for some time.

I also discovered the wonderful feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing a project and either using it myself or giving it away as a gift. I like that much better than the overwhelming feeling of having lots of unfinished projects hanging over my head.

Interesting topic. I've enjoyed reading everyone's comments.


05-30-2009, 04:30 AM
I usually like to finish one project before beginning another, because I fear never getting back to something which gets 'stuffed' and put away.
I can almost here it screaming: "Nooooo, don't 'put me away'!" LOL.

but today, I have two projects OTN: one is an afghan which I need a large lapspace or tablespace to work on; the other is a simple little lightweight scarf, which I keep by the door, and grab on the way out, to knit in the car. (say! I just got an idea: I can keep a third small project in the car....:muah:

05-30-2009, 08:15 AM
I can't say I never have more than 1 WIP at a time, but I don't like to have a lot going at once. I will usually have at least one mindless project and one I need to concentrate on. If my mindless project isn't portable, I'll have a portable project as well - but that's about it - usually. I, too, find it difficult to go back to projects after they've sat for a while. Making myself finish one project before letting myself start another one I'm excited about is sometimes my motivation for finishing.

05-30-2009, 03:37 PM

The only time I pace myself is to make sure that I don't trip when I run to my yarn when I have an idea.:lol:

That is great. Please don't trip, and if you do, don't run with your needles. Ouch!!!:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

05-31-2009, 12:36 AM
As I am finishing up a project, I am preparing the next...at least on paper. When I am blocking project A, I allow myself to swatch and cast on for project B. When project A pieces are dry and ready for seaming, I stop B and finish A.

At least, that is the 'plan'. I basically 'leapfrog' my projects.

I think you are very wise to have no more than 2 projects at a time. If you have too many going at once, you never seem to get anywhere for the longest. And, if you really concentrate your energies on project A, you really can knit faster and with fewer errors cuz you have your mantra rollin'! When we stop and start and stop and start, it's like starting from scratch a dozen times!

05-31-2009, 07:55 PM
the only UFO I have is my daughters blanket but that's like 6 projects in itself. I'm spinning all the yarn for it not to mention recycling about 7 sweaters for it. I'm still on the spinning the yarn part so.....we know how far that's going...

I do projects on a needed basis so I try not to have more then one at a time. I guess that's a way of pacing myself. At first I thought 'pacing' was how fast you knit lol. If that's the case, as fast as possible.

05-31-2009, 09:19 PM
I don't pace myself, but I wait until I'm absolutely SURE I really want a big project like a sweater before starting it. I do need to have several types of WIPs at all times, that allows me to always have something with me, depending on what I'm doing while knitting.

For example DH's aran cabled sweater I can mostly do without looking at the stitch pattern, so I can even do that while watching TV but now it's gotten too large to carry so it's no longer portable.

I ALWAYS have a simple garter stitch or stockinette project going so I can do it in the dark in bed watching TV or in the car. Something I don't EVER have to look down at. Right now I'm finishing up a simple garter shawl from Lion Brand in Homespun, so even if I make a mistake you won't see it because of the yarn.

I pretty much always have a sock or 2 going, it's small and portable and I love the weird looks I get from people when they see me knitting socks. You'd think I had 3 heads or something.
I don't blame them, I would have thought the same thing a couple of years ago before I started knitting.

I'm also working on a mitered square afghan. I only have to look down at the pattern for the increase, otherwise, it's straight stockinette and very portable.

I guess that's it for now but I'll get a hankering to make a dog sweater, or a scarf (just finishing up Branching Out for my cousin (from Knitty)), or I'll feel the need to cast on for a hat for instant gratification knitting.

05-31-2009, 10:47 PM
i had told myself when i started knitting again this year that i would only do one thing at a time...then i started the blanket from hell that i measured and found out i made seven feet wide. that's when i decided 2 projects were ok. the only problem is i'm waiting this week for more yarn to finish my tank top, so i started some scrubbies. and i figure the tank is getting to the size it won't be portable soon so i need something little. so i have 3 for now but i'm sure i'll come up with a reason to start something else soon. or i'll just start something and justiy it later

06-01-2009, 12:23 AM
then i started the blanket from hell that i measured and found out i made seven feet wide

Just make that the long side and you won't have as many rows to do...

06-01-2009, 09:16 AM
I seldom have more than 2 projects OTN at a time. Generally I have one mindless project (something easy to do in the car or when I am tired) and one complicated (requiring my constant attention). I find it takes too long to complete things if I have too many going at once. Or, the project I least like gets shoved to the bottom of the pile and forgotten.

Like you, I am excited to start my Kauni Cardigan but refuse to let myself until one of my two current projects is done. I consider that extra incentive to get moving. I do have a couple project "hibernating" but that is because I really don't like them, so don't want to spend the time or yarn to finish them but just haven't had the heart to frog them.

06-01-2009, 05:39 PM
Just make that the long side and you won't have as many rows to do...

i thought about it but the way the pattern goes it won't work. i just gotta keep on truckin

06-01-2009, 10:08 PM
I like the theory of finishing one project before starting another. I do feel a little uncomfortable if I have more than two things waiting to be finished (like now) possibly a slight 'pressured' feeling.
I have such a queue of projects in my head and really need to finish two things so I can plan another in depth while I finish up the third. Then I will feel back in control again. How silly!!

06-02-2009, 10:13 AM
I am still very new to knitting and am working on a baby blanket for my baby boy. I am not touching anything else craft related until that gets finished. I am bad about not finishing things if left too long.

Jan in CA
06-02-2009, 10:48 AM
I am still very new to knitting and am working on a baby blanket for my baby boy. I am not touching anything else craft related until that gets finished. I am bad about not finishing things if left too long.

Good for you! We all start out that way though so be prepared. :teehee: