I prefer not too have too much WIP - I feel guilty if I have too many unfinished projects on the sticks. I do, however, agree that it's important to have a variety of projects in the works, and mine generally fall into three categories:
- The most important project type to me is the Mobile Project: usually a small item like a sock or scarf, which isn't terribly complicated. I find that "mobile" gets less so if I have to keep pulling directions out.
- Then there is the TV Project: usually a larger project such as a sweater, which is too large to lug around, and requires that instructions, measuring implements, and/or special tools be close at hand. The difficulty of these project can range from easy to intermediate, as long as I can knit without missing the plot of the movie (or audiobook).
- And finally, the Thinking Project: projects that have complicated patterns or are being designed as they go. These projects often involve ongoing math, frequent trips to Excel spreadsheets, and/or lots of counting. When I'm working on one of these projects, it's pretty much all I can do at the time.
I've hit this funny cusp in the universe right now where my three active projects (one from each category, no less) have all hit a stage where they are nothing but mindless repeats of two-row stitch patterns. I'm finding it particularly odd, because I can't remember a time before this when I had a project with a two-row stitch pattern, and now I have three of them at once! Here they are:
My Mobile Project: This is a Scottish-Themed scarf (shown at the top) that I've designed to go with specially hand-dyed yarn to create the plaid effect. The two-row pattern is stockinette with a seed stitch border on each side - the yarn does all the impressive work, so I don't have to!
My TV Project: This is the Catalina sweater by Jordana Paige. I'm making it out of DK weight Lisa Souza baby alpaca/silk, and it is the softest sweater EVER! So far it seems to be knitting without incident due to well-written instructions, and it seems to be fitting well, too. It's a top-down raglan, and I've reached the section below the waistband which is a two-row stitch pattern. The pattern is lacy, but easy - an 8 stitch repeat on the right side and all purl on the wrong side. Great TV knitting!
My Thinking Project: This is the new Man Sock (to be named later) that I'm working on. It's a two-color sock, featuring corregated 1x1 ribbing, a cool looking diamond pattern below the cuff, and a sweet two-color yarn over short row heel. It looks complicated, but the cuff and diamond pattern can be worked mosaic-style - and I guess the heel can be, too, if you use DPNs. The solid blue section on the leg and foot-in-process are (wait for it...) a two-row stitch pattern. In this case it's a two row slip stitch rib that is pretty nice looking.
So - I guess I'm currently enjoying a phase where all three of my active projects can be worked on auto-pilot. This is a good place to be on a Friday. With any luck, I won't have to think again until Monday.