Polygamy: A Good Idea!

It really seems to me that I’m getting a lot more done, now that I’m a knitting slut, than when I devoted all my energies to just the one thing at a time. I suppose it could be an illusion caused by the excitement of variation, but no, I really am making better progress. For why?
1. The easy one: socks in handbag. Obviously mobile knitting (trains, waiting rooms, bus queues) is knitting that simply wouldn’t have happened when I was all about one jersey in a basket in the living room. So this almost doesn’t count – it’s my bit on the side. It doesn’t affect what happens inside the home. But then there’s
2. The desk knitting. This one’s quite new, and has yet to prove itself. I decided to try the idea of having some simple knitting at hand for when I’m on hold to some evil corporation, or waiting for a slow web connection, or similar. Well, so far, I’m certainly getting some knitting done (Armin’s washcloth came out in record time), but I seem to be getting less work done. I suspect a plain stocking stitch sock might be the only thing that I can bear to pick up for literally a few stitches at a time – and I’m not sure I’ll ever bother with casting on a completely plain stocking stitch sock. Hm.
3. The bedroom knitting. (Ooh er!) Also newish, and working out nicely. I decided it would be nice to have something availalbe for a few calming rows before bed, perhaps while reading a little, and indeed I like this very much. However, combined with the desk and handbag knitting, this makes for a total of 3 small and simple projects required… and I’m not naturally inclined towards small and simple projects. Which, I guess, explains how my current bedside knitting is that bit of lace I showed you. Anything on 2.5mm needles is immediately disqualified as “small and simple”, don’t you think? Again, hm.
4. The finishing. All these small projects, once the knitting’s done and they no longer serve their time-filler purpose, seem to end up on the kitchen table. Then I work on the stitching of hems and darning in of ends while, say, waiting for the cats to finish breakfast (they cannot be left alone or they will switch plates, with Disastrous Results for both the fat-kitty-on-diet and skinny-kitty-on-prescription), or for supper to finish cooking. Stealing minutes in this way does seem to mean that finishing takes an inordinately long time, but on the other hand, it doesn’t interfere with Real Knitting time.
5. And on that subject. I still always have the big sweater project in front of the TV. The magical part, though, comes when I’ve just finished and haven’t had time to set up the next one yet (gathering of yarn, needles, pattern etc). Used to be I would go NUTS at this point, trying to find everything I needed so I could do some knitting RIGHT NOW. Which drove Armin crazy, if he was trying to watch TV while I fussed, and frankly it usually didn’t work out too well for me either. You need some time to mull it over, don’t you? Can’t just dive in there. So now, when I cross the finish line, it’s easy enough for me to bring out the handbag knitting as a stopgap until I have time to plan. Brilliant!
There you have it. The case for polygamy. What about you? Are you monogamous, or do you wish you were? Do you have a UFO problem? Startitis or finishitis? (I do always seem to finish a bunch of things at around the same time. Very strange.)

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11 thoughts on “Polygamy: A Good Idea!”

  1. I have long been anti-knitting-monogamy. I have a similar clutch of projects both large and small (and don’t knock the stocking stitch sock – it’s a lovely and soothing way to multitask).
    It can also be rationalized by ergonomics – changing up your needle size and yarn weight is a good way to combat fatigue… at least, that’s what I say!

  2. Because of some timing issues with delivery on bits and pieces of projects I found myself knitting multiple projects the past few weeks.
    And I HATED it!
    With multiple projects I just never really felt any momentum on the projects, and I certainly didn’t feel like I was making much progress.
    I generally have one big project (and a pair of socks) on the go at one time. And I can now confirm that’s how I like it!

  3. I’m definitely a monogamous knitter for the simple fact that I’m lazy. If I have something smaller and simpler to do I will do that instead of, say, a giant Aran cardigan. I find the best way to finish something is just to push through and build momentum and think “as soon as I’m done with this, I can start on that bamboo cardi!” I find it’s a good motivator. I hear what you’re saying about small projects for train etc, but that’s why I have Sudoku on my phone. Also, I can’t knit and not watch TV or something, my eyes would get bored. If I could knit and read at the same time, that would be awesome.
    I do suffer a bit from “finishitis” (that word has a rude word hidden in it :P), I hate the sewing up/blocking/finishing bit.

  4. My problem with knitting non-monogamously is that I end up with a lot of semi-abandoned projects. I can keep a travelling sock along with my current major project, but I have these, er, obsessive tendencies, and once I really get stuck into a project, I must keep going.
    Oh, the other exception is cotton. If I’m making a cotton jumper or cardi, I need a woolly project to alternate with, because my hands and wrists get so dreadfully sore if I’m too monogamous with the cotton.

  5. I’m all for project polygamy. It’s not cheating if they’re serving different needs*! One complicated one, one portable one, one big but mindless one…
    *(That’s also what I told my boyfriend about my special friend with the motorcycle and big biceps)

  6. See, I too have a tendency to the obsessive working on one thing. That’s why I like my new *organised* polygamy. They’re all just little casual flings, really, they don’t interfere with the one big project that I really care about.
    But I do get a bit frustrated that the little things aren’t chugging along so successfully. I just have to remind myself, at least they’re getting done at all!

  7. I’m so fickle I can’t be anything but polygamus. Many years ago I used to be monogamus, that was before all the lovely, tempting, luxurious yarns available at your fingertips on the internet. See the yarn/pattern, ah a new project, Oh I really want that now!!! and bang there goes any thought of monogamy. I had to temporarirly set aside my lovely Morning Glories wrap to cast on a pair of socks. It’s not like I needed any socks at the moment but my psyche missed knitting socks so even though no-one needed any socks I’m knitting a pair for me. Then on Wednesday my hairdresser asked me did I take commissions for socks as she would love a pair, so I have at least 1 taker who will allow me to continue kniiting socks for a while, along with the simple cotton sweater (for TV knitting) and the more complex Morning Glories wrap, which is now on it’s second half (not to mention the basket of resting WIPS, the one sweater recently frogged and one disaster waiting to be frogged).
    Oh well I won’t get much done next week as DH and I are off to London for a busy 3 day trip. Happy knitting everyone

  8. Ha – polygamy in knitting. I never thought of it like this before but it certainly made me chuckle. I definitely hate that in between bit where you frantically have to knit and have nothing ready.

  9. Always polygamous. And I have projects I abandon for months (years?) then suddenly finish in a rush. I’m just messy-brained, so nothing else is ever going to happen.
    I do have probs with casting on an easy transportable project then spending all day at home knitting it, however!

  10. I do the polygamy thing – but only in the land of knitting. I have a travel project (socks), a weeknight project, and a more complex weekend project. In the week I want TV watching knitting, and at the weekend I like to get really stuck into someting more challenging. I just get bored if I try and stick to one project. And everytime I go on holiday I love starting a new project – the joy of casting on and fondling new yarn and learning a new pattern with a new stitch pattern etc.
    Does anyone else have specific holiday knitting?

  11. Thank you so much for the laugh…just finishing up my lunch break and thought I’d pop in and wow are you ladies funny!….I must admit…that yes I too am a polygamous in the fibre world…well actually in most of my life’s work…as for romantic relationships I’m no-gamous…single and free to flit around from fibre project to fibre project day or night with total abandon. Happy knitting everyone!

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