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May 11, 2009



Great question.

A few years ago I resolved to limit myself to three project on the needles at one time. Knitting is supposed to be relaxing, but when I had too many projects going at once, I was finding it to be stressful.

At first, it was very difficult. But now I enjoy finishing things within a reasonable amount of time. Most surprising, sometimes I frog a half loved or unloved project in order to be able to start something else. There hasn't been one yet that I regret frogging. If I had wanted to finish it, I would have wanted to knit on it.

I do allow myself to not count swatching as one of the three projects. So when I can't resist casting on some new yarn, I am allowed to swatch (although I never swatch socks.) That solved another of my knitting problems - wanting to cast on without swatching.


I am one of the rare knitters - the monogamous breed! I don't even speak the language of several projects OTN!!! I would go crazy! 99% of the time I cast on one project & finish before going to another.
And - my solution to SSS, I knit 2 socks at the same time, sort of. I don't like knitting 2 socks on 2 circs or magic loops, therefore I knit my socks on 2 circs the same way that I did when I used dpns - I have a sock on it's own set of needles and I knit the toe on one, then the other, the foot on one then the other (or cuff, then leg, etc). I have an embarrassing number of sock needles, LOL, but I don't know if even I have enough to knit 2 socks as I do with 5 or so pairs of socks OTN at one time!
Even though I'm a monogamous knitter - I can kinda understand where you are coming from because you have that HUGE amount of gorgeous sock yarn in your store!!! I would probably be tempted to do the same thing!
With all that said, I suggest knitting 2 socks together and/or perhaps casting on a lesser # of socks @ the same time :0)
Have Fun!!!


I am not entirely monogamous but tend to be closer to that than to the have-20-projects-at-a-time knitter. I generally have a pair of socks & one other project at most (sometimes just the socks). Currently that is a Wonderful Wallaby; I just finished a top for my granddaughter. Sometimes I have only socks on the needles. I do have most of one sock that I started earlier but I'm afraid that it will take more yarn than I have so I'm holding off on that pair for now. I find that, if I have more than a couple of projects going at a time, I never seem to finish anything. Maybe it's because I'm a fairly slow knitter but more than 2 projects makes me feel unfocused. But I have had periods where I start several projects & NOTHING seems like fun to knit. Nothing is satisfactory. Usually that feeling doesn't last for more than a couple of weeks. But it is a couple of weeks dithering around, starting several things & never getting more than about 5-10% of each done before abandoning it.


Sounds like spring fever!

I often get myself into your situation, and then when I regroup, I look at what NEEDS to get done (work knitting, gifts), and then figure out what I WANT to get done - if the ArtYarns sock is making you happy, do it - ultimately, it's supposed to be making us happy, not stressed...


I hate second sock syndrome so I cast on and do the rib for one sock then cast on the second rib and finish that - on to the leg and the second leg - and so on. It is so great NOT to have to wonder what I did on sock one! It is fresh in my mind and usually spurs me on... and when you are done - you are DONE with a pair. Trust me - it is worth the second pair of needles. I read about this years ago in a magazine and it works - Good Luck!

As far as projects - I currently have two sock projects (and #3 in a knitting bag ready to start when I need something new), 1 sweater for my grandson - which is high priority - so he won't outgrow it before I finish, a sweater for me, a pair of mittens for a friend and a project we worked on during a knitting workshop through our guild. I personally like having several items in progress. Some need more thought, etc. Just don't kick is suppose to be FUN!!!! I do set priorities when it gets out of hand.


oh, I must admit that I have many projects on the needles. From socks to sweaters, to scarves and a cowl. I get so excited about a project and then can't wait to get started and cast on the yarn. I do prioritize by gifting and then also by how much farther a project has to go. I am always amazed when I pick up a project I haven't done for a while and there is not much left to do, why I stopped? It's usually the lure of another yarn..

Jean Marie

Three projects...and a half. Shawl (Ulmus from Through the Loops) is getting the most attention as I intend to gift it as soon as it is finished - 10, no I just counted, 8 rows to go! Pi Shawl which needs edging finished - sitting while I work on the first one. Tofutsies socks - also sitting at the moment. The half is either the toe of a sock started in Panda Cotton, or the finishing work on my Sandrine sweater. The sweater might win, I could wear it on Monday if its done as the weather will be in the low 60s...hmmmm. O.K., five projects!

I tend to have 3 to 4 projects in rotation at any given time, and I do sometimes pause on one (or more) projects to finish a particular other project. Or just because I'm tired of that project at the moment, and want to do something else. I rarely do anything with a firm deadline, as I'm usually knitting for myself or family members - although sometimes I want very much to finish a hat or mittens or such to wear - it helps to be working on something appropriate for the season!

I also sew most of my shirts (in the interest of having them fit) and do a bit of quilting and a bit of sewing bags - so sometimes those projects are "in front". But I try not to stress over any of it - the knitting and sewing are a combination of stress relief and product - so I usually avoid hard-and-fast deadlines. I love playing with the colors and materials, and I also really enjoy wearing things (that fit better) that I have made! I vote for enjoying your knitting - so do what pulls you, the rest will be there when you are ready for it.


I'm going to have to try the suggestion of doing two socks at A time. I usually start with A sweater and then when I need gifts I put the sweater aside and start knitting mittens, scarves,booties etc. A quick knitting project is fun to work in during A long sweater project. I agree that when you are knitting for A little one you don't have time to procrastinate!When I start something new I always swear I won't knit anything until that piece is finished ...sigh..that has never happened!


SSS has not been a problem for me. When doing socks one at a time the second one goes so much faster b/c I know the pattern and zip right along. But my real salvation is two at once socks on two circulars. Finish one and in a few minutes finish the second one. Makes for efficient knitting. I also knit sleeves and sweater/vest fronts two at once. Takes a little bit longer than one and both are done together with all shaping and patterning aligned. Multiple projects are the bane of avid needle folks. Sometimes I get on a finishing spree and usually can whittle the projects to one or two before the need to start a few hits again. I've been this way since my 20's and I'm 62 now. Guess you just have to find your happy medium - enough to keep you happy; but not enough to make you crazy, eh?

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