The number of on-going projects seems to be one of the most varied things I can tell about crafters, although that might just be because there’s always someone saying how they need to reduce the number of projects they have on the go, or how they’re having a real crack down and plan on finishing a few.
I’ve been on both sides of it- there have been times I’ve had one project on the go, and at other times I’ve had 5 or 6. Which isn’t as wild as some poeople I’ve talked with on fb- I think I remember reading a fb from someone who had 20. I think I’d’ve lost track of them all by that many! Although I suppose that ravelry is a great help for knitting/crochet projects.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both systems, as with anything really!
Having just one project on the go makes it easy to pick up and work on it whenever you get a chance- no need to spend ages debating which project you’re going to do. While you can get around that by having some sort of rota, it’s still possible (and I tend to do this) to become so overwhelmed that you loose track of the rota, or decide that you don’t want to work on whichever one you should, and be unable to decide which one to work on.
Additionally, having just one project makes it much easier to see progress! Working on one project rather than many naturally means that you’ll spend more time on it, and therefore see it grow more in front of you. This can be mitigated somewhat by either not stressing about how much progress you see (variable success rate for me), or by keeping track of the fact that you’re seeing progress in more projects (photos and a blog help for this, as does recording how long you spend on each project).
On the other hand, working on just one big project ends up feeling like a drag (at least in my experience). Having several on-going projects means that you have a variety, and therefore can have something small to finish quickly at the same time as something big for when you can’t deal with progress (or maybe that’s jsut me. Does anyone else get times when they don’t want to see progress on what they’re making???).
Another advantage with having several projects on the go is that you can have somsething for every occasion. Get in and need to do something really technical to distract yourself from the real world? You can have a project for that. Be braindead and just want to do something really basic that you don’t need to think about? You can have a project for that (I recomend socks).
I try to combine the best of both worlds with these. Currently I have 4 on-going projects. I have a pair of socks, which are my travel knitting (they get left in my back pack most of the time, and I work on them when I need a break from work/in my lunch hour). Then I have my scrappy blanket, which gets worked on when I’m tired/busy with something else and just need something for my hands to do! Although it does sometimes get turned into travel knitting, if I want a break from the socks, or they’re at an awkward stage. The third project is the Rohan scarf. This is my concentration project. I work on this while listening to music/watching something on the iplayer without any other distractions. My final project is the cross stitch stockings. These are essentially treated as a SAL (stitch along), and I do one each month. Whilst working on these, I ignore the Rohan scarf, since cross stitch is currently a concentration project with me, and I can’t really see that changing.
So, over to you all! How many WIPs do you have? Are you happy with that number, or does it stress you out? Any advantages on either side that I haven’t mentioned? I’d love to hear what you all think about this.