Are you a monogamous knitter? I'm not. Whilst working exclusively on one project means each item gets finished faster, I like to pick and choose what to work on depending how I feel and where I'm knitting.
I like diversity in my knitting: in size of project, yarn fibre/weight and the concentration needed. Four is the ideal number of works in progress for me. It gives options for what to work on – but much more than four and it gets overwhelming as they all clamour for attention.
Here are my must-have projects to cover all bases.
1. A portable project
We're talking small items that are easy to carry around. Socks are ideal, and mittens are nice too. Not the two-at-a-time three-colour mittens I made in Mendip 4-Ply last year, though. Those were a yarn management nightmare and became an at-home-only project (see number 4!).
I'm currently loving my Pebbles & Pathways socks – they fit in the pocket of my dungarees (yarn ball and all), and have just enough interest in the stitch pattern and hand-dyed yarn to be fun to knit on the bus into the centre of Bath, at my local knit night and watching TV.
2. A fast, chunky knit
These are excellent for instant gratification and a sense of achievement. They're a nice way to try out a stitch pattern or something new with minimal time investment. Hats and cowls are brilliant for finishing in a few hours. I designed and knit my Gaderian Cowl in about 3 hours; it's a nice introduction to twisted stitches and single-source, undyed organic yarn.
The bonus is that chunky knits are great for keeping you toasty in the colder seasons!
3. A garment
I love jumpers (oh go on, sweaters for you non-Brits). I like to have one on the needles at all times. Towards the end of one, I'm already planning the next. I recently finished a raglan in hand-spun yarn and Marina Skua Mendip 4-Ply in a natural grey.
Currently my Ginkgophyte is hibernating until spring (so doesn't count!), and I'm working on a cardigan design with intarsia details that I've been planning for years!
Garments are the projects that I look forward to wearing the most. They can showcase perfect yarn, awesome design details and there are infinite options. And it's always nice to hear 'you made that?!'
4. A complex project
Bring on the lace shawls, intricate cables and fine colourwork. Give your brain time to concentrate on the task at hand. These are great long-term projects and give so much pride when they're finished! They don't have to be huge, but are brilliant for expanding skills.
And this is where my gap is! I'm due to start a replacement mitten for the ones I mentioned in point 1; Righty abandoned me on a trip, so I'm going to make another with a thumb hole so I can use my phone.
Knit all the things
Of course, some knits will tick more than one of these boxes. What are your favourite kind of projects? Does the idea of having lots of the go at once fill you with anxiety? Leave a comment below!