The Mountain of Wips

It’s time I told you about my mountain of wips. A while ago I was inspired to do something about this after watching Jilly of the Knitting Broomstick talking about how she tackled hers.

I keep a part of my stash in my bedroom and that’s also where my Mountain of Wips has been formed. It wasn’t on purpose, it just sort of happened with time.

I’m constantly working on a million projects at the same time and constantly giving in to the urge for a new cast on. Then there are projects that must be done or maybe there is a deadline and so other things are put aside for a few days which then turn into weeks and even months. Little by little the pile grows and grows until it has taken on a life of its own it would seem.

My pile had just taken on this ugly image of a pile of bags of all kinds and just looked messy and unorganised…which it totally was. I also knew that I might not want to knit everything that was in there. And I also new that some of the bags did not contain wips but projects to be – a skein of yarn, a pattern and a needle. Ready for me to cast on. But somehow I just hadn’t gotten to do so.

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The plastic boxes on the right house part of my stash and as you can see there are a number of project bags all over!

There was no method to this madness so I just took one bag at a time and looked at its content. If it was an actual work in progress I then decided if I wanted to finish it or rip it out. I admit I only ripped out very few wips.

All the bags containing “to be knit” projects were emptied. I put the yarn back into the stash box and put the pattern aside for future use and the needles back in my bag of needles.

I wanted my pile of wips to be just that, no piles of ready to go knits. I don’t need those. I just get everything ready when and if I want to cast something on.

So after going through all the project bags this is what I ended up with.

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It’s not a very good picture but at least you see there is now only one project bag on the floor. The rest fits in my bin. (since the picture was taken I have added one big “to be knit” bag but it doesn’t count because it is a necessity for Sock Madness).

As for the contents of the remaining project bags, here’s the list:

2 cowls

3 shawls

2 pairs of gloves – one is fingerless and it is my oldest wip ever!

2 cardigans

1 pull over – which is sooo close to being done!

1 scrap blanket – the Pinwheel blanket by Mina Philipp – I have a few squares done

10 pairs of socks! Yep that’s right, 10! Most of those are half done, that is one sock done and the other only just started.

I have decided that I now need to work on a wip at all times. I’m allowed to cast on for new stuff BUT I also have to choose a wip and work on concurrently. This way my Mountain which is now back to being a pile will slowly turn into just an extra project bag or two. (It’s ok to dream).

It may not look like much of an improvement when you compare the two pictures, but it actually is! I now know what I have waiting and getting all this done is no longer overwhelming. I know I can and want to do it. It’s just going to take time but that’s ok. Knitting is  supposed to be fun and that’s how I like it.

As I’m writing this Sock Madness 11th edition has just launched which means that my knitting time will be concentrated on that and nothing else will be worked on except in between rounds but when that is done, I’ll be back to working on my pile of wips.

So you also have a mountain/pile of wips that needs sorting and working on? Or have you maybe already gone through it and come out a winner? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter and how you organise yourself. Please share by leaving a comment below.

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend and until next time, Happy Knitting!

Does a new project equal new yarn for you?

Hi there, I hope you had a great weekend. I did – this weekend was spent with family that came to stay with us for the weekend so not much knitting got done. However last night I learned of yet another baby due this year in our circle of family and friends, bringing the total of new babies to 3. This means I most definitely need to get going on some baby gift knitting. So I’m thinking of doing a blanket with a softie per baby. I shared some of the blanket patterns I like with you the other day. I’ve also found another pattern that I quite like and think I’m going to use for at least one blanket. That pattern is called Heirloom Diamond Baby Blanket by Colleen Dragon Knits and here’s a picture of that www.knittinginfrance.com

Of course I had to look in my somewhat consistent stash for a compatible yarn and despite a rather large stash I of course did NOT find the ideal yarn! Isn’t that just typical? So what to do? Should I go online and buy some? Or should I dive into my stock of undyed yarn and dye some myself? Well I went for the second solution and as I’m writing this I’m dyeing a merino/nylon/cashmere blend yarn in turquoise. I think turquoise is such a beautiful and happy colour and that it can be used both for girls and boys. Do you agree or do you think turquoise is definitely a “boy colour”? Once the yarn is ready I’ll show you the pictures before actually casting on for the blanket.

And then there is the softies that I want to make. A few years ago, I crocheted and sold softies in a baby shop in Iceland. I used mercerised  cotton for those and they were really nice I thought. But this time I was thinking of something really soft to cuddle up to so for the first softie I chose a merino/alpaca blend. This was not in my personal stash but rather in my stock of yarn for my shop. I used to sell commercial yarns and that is where this yarn came from (Rooster Almerino DK). The idea is to crochet or knit a blanket square and then sew on an animal head for a cute cuddly toy. I started doing my typical crochet square – I’m not an advanced crocheter and it’s been a while since I last crocheted anything, so I’m using dc (double crochet) for the square. Then for the head, I actually bought a pattern. For the next softie, I’m planning on using the entire pattern I purchased instead of doing my own square for the base of the blanket. The pattern is called Sleepy the Owl and is sold on Ravelry. Here’s a picture of that  www.knittinginfrance.com Isn’t that super cute?

So far I’m not quite finished with the crochet square but I hope to finish that today. This is what I have done so far www.knittinginfrance.com

So tell me, when you take on a new project, do you 1) invariably go online to buy new yarn because you already know that you don’t have exactly what you want in your stash?

2) Take a serious look at your stash and choose yarn that fits your pattern, maybe compromising on colours just to be able to use what you already have?

I’d love to be a serious crafter, using what I have before investing in any new supplies or even better, look through my stash and THEN choose a pattern according to whatever I have in my stash and feel like using. Even though I have a large stash and access to even greater supply of undyed yarns, I still have this urge to BUY yarn just for this particular pattern. And even if that is how I function when taking on new patterns I still continue to buy yarn just because I love it, even if I don’t have any pattern in mind for that yarn. So this is sort of a vicious circle for me and I don’t see myself getting out of that pattern any day soon.

Do share how you function. Do you only buy yarn when you have a particular project you want to cast on for? Do you buy yarns just because and then when you find a pattern, maybe buy even more because none of those you already have fit? Have you ever done a “yarn diet”? Did it work? Did you have a plan for that?

I’d love to hear from you on this. So until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)