My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


How do You Guys Do It?

Torn between two projects
Feelin like a fool
Loving both of you
Is breaking all the rules

(With apologies to Mary MacGregor)

Those of you who can have more than one work-in-progress at a time: how do you do it?

I’ve got two measly projects going at the same time and it’s causing me such knitting anguish.

Last night I decided to set Dew aside and work on my qivuit scarf that I had hardly touched since the middle of last week. And I actually felt guilty for knitting it.

The scarf in progress:


But then, when I’m knitting on Dew, I feel guilty about abandoning the scarf.

Such torment!


I finished the first sleeve last night and started on the second sleeve on the morning commute, see?


I got an email today from Kim Hargreaves letting me know that they are working on the enlarged chart and will get it to me as soon as possible. Gotta say it again — fabulous customer service!

I’m thinking if I don’t have it by the time I’ve finished the second sleeve, I’ll set Dew aside until I do get it and work on the qivuit scarf — that should lessen my two-project angst somewhat, eh?

My kit had 4 balls of Kidsilk Haze, by the way — and I can see that will be more than enough to finish the project.

Debbie Bliss Club Sweater

Yes, the photo does look like a little girl modelling it, doesn’t it? But I can tell you it comes in 5 sizes, ranging from a 38″ to a 51″ finished bust measurement. Can’t ask for much more than that, eh?

Yes, I have seen it.

However, I have no plans for piling stuff on Lucy and sending in a photo (no matter how amusing some of those photos are).

Lucy says thank-you and reminds me that she wouldn’t lie still for it anyway.



  1. No, I cannot imagine Lucy putting up with the indecency exhibited on stuffonmycat (even though it may be downright hilarious to us humans). Is that her very dainty paw on Dew’s sleeve?

  2. I dared to look into my WIP pile this weekend. I can say I now have serious issues with my projects. I have too many in progress. I found some I forgot about.
    In order to get this under control, I’ve decided to take the “just need sewing together” projects with me to my Tuesday night SnB group. No more than one commuting project at a time will be allowed. I have too many things that just need an hour or two worth of attention.
    Too many choices can be bad.
    But I can hardly wait to start the next project…

  3. I think you said it best. Guilt. That’s how we do it… with lots and lots of guilt ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. I don’t do multiple projects well, but I have found that some of my projects require undivided attention, which doesn’t convert well to commuter knitting (I ride in a car with another girl – talking is required). So, I justify a couple of projects as at-home knitting and commuting knitting. Other than that I can’t stand the distraction of too many projects – I’m too anal. Must finish things!

  5. I will admit that I have 4 projects on the needles currently. I try to make sure that everything is very different. So, I have a lace project, a sweater, a sock and a baby bootie. The baby bootie gets worked on every couple of nights. The sock is for those evenings I want to knit, but can’t imagine performing the feats of concentration the lace pattern or the increases on the sweater sleeve take. Otherwise, I work on the lace because I’m almost done with it… the closer I’ve gotten to the end of the shawl, the less I seem to work on the sweater; in fact, the sleeve’s been set aside for the moment. Once the lace shawl is done, the sweater will become my main project since I’ve just got the sleeve, the front bands, and the collar to go.

    I think it would be hard for me to only work one thing at a time. I sometimes need to take a break, so I go back and forth between different things.

  6. Now you know how the rest of us feel! There is always one project that gets more love but I like to spread it around;-)

  7. It never occurred to me.. that’s how you maintain such a fantastic pace.. or at least part of the way.. me I jump from one thing to the next.. monkey mind

  8. I’m sure if you put stuff on Lucy, it would be a tasteful lace shawl in a color that looked good on her.

    Lots of projects – oh, how NOT? I’m working on a crocheted afghan, a knit lace throw, a pair of socks – both have been knitted down past the gusset and are stuck waiting for a foot length measurement for the recipient – and a sock, the first of the Fluted Bannister pair, for my husband. I just finished a Jayne Firefly hat (and have to start another one as soon as the yarn arrives), four washcloths with a Louisiana shape on them for my mom’s project, a pair of lace socks for myself, a lace purse for my mother ( and a sweater for my daughter.

    What’s it like to do only one or two at a time??

  9. You said it! I can’t stand to have a lot of projects going at once. I usually have only 1 or 2 projects in progress, and if I have 2 works in progress I tend to spend most of my time on one of them only.

    I absolutely hate it when people encourage new knitters to have several projects going at once. I think knitters have to decide for themselves if they are a multiple project person or a single project person.

    All the talk about multiple projects makes me feel as if I am some sort of weird knitter because I don’t have several works in progress.

  10. Bet you haven’t seen this one though (still don’t know what I was doing looking at this either, I don’t even have a cat!)

  11. I have multiple WIPs because I can’t help myself. ๐Ÿ™‚ There are just so many awesome patterns I want to knit, and I every time I see a new one I want to cast on rightawaythisverysecond. I like having lots of stuff on the go because that gives me lots of choice. I get to choose a project for the day according to my ‘mood’. (Do I feel like lace today? Do I want to work with wool or alpaca? Something complex or brainlessly simple? Etc.)

    (I’m an extreme case, though.)

    But it’s not for everybody. If you’d rather knit projects one at a time, then knit ’em one at a time. However, I recommend against letting guilt hold you back. *You’re* in charge, not the knitting. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I’m with Kathleen… I get in trouble because there’s so, so much I want to make. Maybe part of that is being a fairly new knitter. I’m guessing that if I’d made most of what I already like that’s out there, and needed to wait for GOOD new patterns to come along, it might be easier to work on just a pattern or two at a time.

    I have a list that’s so long, I don’t think I’ll need a new pattern to come out for at least a decade (Seriously… in scarves alone I could keep myself busy for a couple of years, and then there’s socks and sweaters and shawls and, and, and, and).

    Being a SLOW knitter doesn’t help things, either.

  13. Until a few days ago I had (gasp!) 13 projects on my needles. However, I am down to a more manageable 11. Whew….I like having mutiple projects because I like the choice (like Kathleen) and because I have knitting ADD. I do try to refrain from casting on for every project I like as soon as I see it, but I do wish I could forego sleep to knit!

  14. Oh, and I don’t feel TOO guilty, unless the knit in question is for someone else, and the deadline to finish it is getting close. Otherwise, the knitting is there to entertain me, not the other way around.

  15. We get photos of Lucy on knitting. And isn’t that better than stuff on random, unknown cats any day?

  16. I found your blog a while ago and have been lurking ever since.

    I often have about three projects on the needles. I generally have a short-commute project (small-ish, can be easily thrown in a bag – so usually something on circs), good for the ten minutes or so I spend on the bus too and from work, a long-commute project (can require more concentration on the stitch pattern than the bus commute) for the hourlong train rides to dance classes and church on weekends, and a project that I only work on at home. One lives in the bag I carry to work, one lives in my weekend bag, and one lives in the basket in the living room. Voila, no guilt ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. The question is – if you don’t have multiple WIPs, how can you have the right knitting for the right occasion? I have the sock-in-progress always in my purse for any lines I find myself stuck in (can even fit into a jacket pocket), the fine lace shawl for ease of packing into carry-on bags for business travel but of sufficient intricacy and size to be interesting in the hotel room after the meeting, the super simple and softly colored scarf for Zen-like knitting in the church pew (bamboo needles so no clicking noises, and even the color can’t be loud there), and then a couple of different projects to discuss at knitting group.

  18. I don’t think that it counts as an abandoned project, since you are waiting for the chart. You were forced to lay it aside and took up the scarf while you waited. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

    Kathy in Mpls

  19. Wendy–
    Beautiful, lovely work! I admire people who have the ability to knit and design these delicate shawls.

    I’m mainly a handspinner, and knit cabled vests and sweaters. Would love to try a Shetland shawl someday, but have difficulty following the patterns.

    Keep on sharing your lovely creations–


  20. The stitch pattern on your qivuit scarf is just beautiful. Simple, yet elegant. You make such good choices!

  21. Dew is gorgeous Wendy! And very good to know Ms. Hargreaves is thinking of us *fluffy* knitters too!!

    Your scarf is so lovely too. And it’s not knitting ADD if you are waiting for charts that don’t make your eyes bleed!

    And to be honest, I got anxious just reading those multi-project comments!! I’m a 2 project knitter.Period. socks and something else.

    BTW, Pumpkin told me to tell you Lucy yearns for some Uggs this St. Lucia’s Day….pleeese?

  22. Guilty with two projets at the same time ? Well, you can knit one in the morning and the other in the evening (?)
    There are two sorts of knitters, those who can’t stand knitting several projects at the same time and those who can’t help casting on a new one every time they change moods. Well, it seams to be a problem all over the world, we have exactly the same discussions here in France. So… happy knitting !

  23. how indelicate of Lucy’s Mommy to show her splaying herself like that…

    pretty knitter though she may be ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Hehe. Your song cracks me up. I feel like making it my blog anthem!

    I want to knit Dew, too. I’m just stuck on a color. Ah! Always the color!

  25. It’s Knitter’s ADD. Sad thing, really, because there’s no support group; only knitting circles that enable people. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My problem is that most of what I knit is for gifts and birthdays tend to pile up on each other. If I waited to finish one thing before starting the next I’d never have them done on time. And winter holidays are not even to be thought about!

  26. Same thing- different projects for different circumstances/whims. The guilt is just part of it.

    Speaking of guilt- there was a comment about knitting in church. I am always afraid to bring my knitting to church or anywhere that people might (mistakenly) think I wasn’t paying attention because I was knitting. I’d love to hear you address this- is there anywhere it’s not okay to knit? And if not, do you ever have to explain that you really are following along?

  27. Laura, Jayne Cobb Firefly hats are like crack (or something else highly addictive that I’ve actually tried…). I made mine last week ( ) and have made two more since. And I’ve bought yarn for more. I love my hat.

  28. I’m a Laura in the middle between Laura G and Laura. While I don’t like having a lot of in-progresses around, I do have projects in progress based on environment.

    My beloved husband saw a picture of Lucy and the shawls. Our cats have always been clawed, so he freaked a little. I had to show him that our cat isn’t the only exhibitionist out there when he sleeps.

  29. I’ve never felt guilty about having multiple projects-in-process, which is good because I’ve always had at least four things going and usually ten to fifteen. (Stressed, now, is another story….) But that’s scattered around several different kinds of needlework — knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, needlepoint, patchwork, general sewing. And I’m happy with that; if my hands are starting to get sore from knitting, I can work on the sewing machine, etc..

    As far as multiple UFOs in a single craft go: definitely different projects for different environments. Right now I’m knitting a fairly mindless worsted-weight scarf and a lace shawl; I work on the shawl when I’m better able to concentrate on the knitting, and the scarf when I’m likely to be interrupted by my sticky-handed child. I may soon need to start a gift for my nephew or a small sample project to test the yarn I’m considering for another gift, both of which would replace the scarf as my interruptable project, but I won’t feel guilty. I’ll just get annoyed that the scarf is lingering unfinished, and eventually in a burst of frustration I’ll complete that sucker in a weekend!

  30. Did you see the trailer on tv last night for the new Wallace and Grommit full-length movie?? I believe it comes out in October.

  31. Try scheduling yourself… M-W-F work on one project; T-Th-Sat work on the other. Sunday is for buying more yarn! ๐Ÿ™‚ Really…give up the guilt! Enjoy your knitting! Life is too short for feeling guilty! hugs to Lucy! Kate F./Massachusetts

  32. My cats would be more inclined to participate in a Cats on My Stuff display, since it’s impossible to keep them off of anything, including but not limited to the space above the kitchen cabinets, where they lurk a lot of the time.

    Does Lucy have special places she lurks? Or is she just the very public kitty she appears to be in her photos?

  33. Susan Maurer says:

    Debbie Bliss is another designer with great customer service. I just sent in a suggested pattern revision to her Grace cardigan from the Cotton Angora book (missing instructions for the middle cable up the sleeves), and they responded very kindly. Kim and Debbie are obviously both classy designers. As far as working on more than one project at once, you get used to living with schizophrenia. Actually, it’s more like mood knitting. Depending on my mood, a project usually grabs me out of one of the two I have going at present (which is not counting the other projects being punished for one reason or another and currently languishing in closets). Sadly, it’s the boring knitting (k2, p2 cardigan) that gets left alone a lot, even though it’s perfect for phone call or meeting knitting.

  34. I actually have what I call bouts of “start-itis” and “finish-up-osis”. It seems to coincide with the change of seasons. At the end of a season, I feel the need to hurry up and get done with things that have been on the needles awhile. Then I feel free to start some new things. Like right now, I just finished some summer-y small projects, lacy shawl, cotton “net” sweater, lacy socks. I plan to enter them in the fair this week. I am making cute little cabled purses for my girls, then I will probably start a heavier wool cardigan for me! But everyone is different. One lady in my knitting group is only happy when she is knitting charity items. Those kind of things make me feel pressed for time and then I can’t enjoy the knitting. Plus I’m one of those people who feels like your emotions go into your knitting, and if you’re upset, it will definitely show in the “tension”!

  35. Why not have more than one project going? I have MANY going on to suit my moods and the level of concentration it takes for me to work on it. Also some have to ripen and mature to move on. Others need rest. And then someone has a pressing need for something to be knit and other projects get bumped.
    Bottom line is ADD with knitting kicked in there.

  36. I have six projects in progress (if you want to call that progress) right now. Of course, I have no angst about it. I’m a knitting sociopath, or something. ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. More than one project at a time? I have the Isis Wrap, three shawls and miscellaneous other projects. I have a very short attention span when it comes to knitting and have to skip around to whatever catches my fancy at the moment. I felt guilty when I got down to ONE project and had to immediately start a couple more:)

  38. Well for myself, mulitple project addiction is definitely a problem. Currently I have 16 WIPs. I’m attempting to focus simply on one or two right now and hopefully get some finished up, and some of those 16 aren’t technically in progress yet. But I have attention problems, I get side-tracked and annoyed easily, so having multiple projects helps me when I just don’t feel like knititng something. I also have a theory that I won’t knit a project at my LYS unless I’ve purchased the yarn there, so I always have one project with yarn I purchased from her on my needles in order that I can go there at lunch and sit and knit when I need to get out of the office. I would like to be one project knitter but I’ve tried it, and while it works for a month or two, it quickly goes by the wayside.

    Lucy, that photo is a hoot, it looks like you only have 3 legs, and are quite large. But we know your a dainty gal.

  39. Wendy, I’ve been mooning over the Caryll Designs qivuit for weeks. The colorways are divine! Thanks for the photo of your scarf in progress; seeing how beautifully the yarn takes stitches may have pushed me over the edge. As soon as I finish the lace shawl in progress, and sew up the cardigan, and…

    My Lucy (a 14 lb. Maine Coon princess) wonders if your lovely Lucy has seen Cat News: