In Focus

It was Friday that I wanted to cast on a whole bunch of new projects.  Like many Fridays, I greeted the morning with the expanse of the weekend before me — I felt like I had plenty of time to take care of all of the must-do’s, and a good chunk of the could-do’s, as well.  With my fingers itching to get going on some fun new projects, why not?

“Why not, indeed,” the Responsible Voice inside my head remonstrated.  “What do you think this is, May?”

I sighed.  Responsible Voice had a very good point.  This wasn’t May or June.  This is mid-August.  The kids are back to school this week, the maples are beginning to turn, and fall camping outings are just one flip of the calendar away.  In summer I have the luxury of indulging myself when startitis hits.  Wanna start mittens?  Sure!  Go ahead.  Howzabout a hat?  Spiffy!  I can start and work on whatever I want, knowing that it will be long, lazy months before anyone needs to wear any of the items on the needles.   In autumn, though, I have to get serious.  I need to focus.

I like to have several projects going at once.  I think it’s good to have a variety of things on the needles, so that at any given time, I’ve got a project to match my mood or the time available for knitting.  Too many projects can lead me to have fragmented attention, however.  I’ll get a little done on each one, but there’s not much measureable progress to show for the time spent.

Recently, I finished the last of the summer projects.  After the making up and blocking, I typically reward myself by casting on a new project or two.  I visited my stash.  I looked at my favorites on Ravelry.  What to do next?  I considered colorwork mittens.  I fondled the yarn for my son’s Christmas scarf.  I pondered patterns.

And then, I came to the conclusion that the best thing to do was to make progress on the remaining projects I have on the needles.  Instead of casting on, I turned my energy toward finishing the first sleeve of Eric’s Aran:

Diamonds Rings sleeve finished

I cast on the second sleeve and have knitted away on it.  I decided that I’d reward myself for finishing the sweater, which needs to be ready for fall campouts, by casting on for Chris’s Christmas scarf just as soon as the sweater is finished.  If I focus, if I keep at it, I just might have the sweater done in the next week or two, in plenty of time for the fall outings.

To tide me over until I can cast on some other projects, I loaded up my Ravelry queue with coming attractions.  It’s not nearly as satisfying as actual casting-on, but will have to do.

Right now, I have a grand total of three projects on the needles:  the Aran, the Shawl-Collar Shawl, and the Shetland crepe shawl.  That’s not much variety at all.  In fact, it makes me a little nervous to not have four or five things going at once.  Focus, I tell myself.  Fall: back to school, back to discipline, time to buckle down and get it done.

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