The rules.

There has been a conversation on one of the Ravelry forums I frequent about schedules for knitting, or, more accurately, the rules that people make for themselves or their knitting.

One person seems to have a strict rotation that, she explained, meant that she worked on one project one night, another the next night, and so on, with each project getting its turn.  Every fourth night was a cast-on night for starting new things, and every fifth night she could knit whatever she wanted.

Someone else mentioned that they only have one project on the needles at a time, unless it was something that needed lots of attention, in which case there could be two, one of which was mindless.

I couldn’t do either of those things.

In general, unless I am doing some seriously deadline-oriented knitting (and even then, some crazy bargaining with myself goes on), I need to be able to knit what I want when I want.  Sometimes I don’t want to think at all, and that calls for mindless stockinette.  Travel knitting for places like the car or movies take that a step further–plain stockinette, plus it has to be small.  Sometimes I want to zone out on the knitting, and I need something with constant charts or lace or counting that take up my whole brain.  Sometimes my hands are tired or cold and don’t want to deal with small needles, sometimes I want to feel a certain texture under my fingers.  It all adds up to me needing multiple projects at a time, and being able to knit according to my whims.

Even so, I realized after awhile that I do have some of my own rules (Well, not rules.  More like guidelines.) for knitting.

First, one big project at a time.  Trying to wrangle two sweaters at a time is right out.

Second, only two socks at a time, but I only have to knit half a pair at once.  This means that I have one patterned sock and one plain vanilla sock going at a time.  Once I finish one sock of a pair, I can cast on for a new pair of socks.  But. Once I finish the first sock of that pair, I have to go back and finish the second sock of the pair before it.  That’s accomplished more easily than it might be due to the fact that I only have two sets of circular sock needles, so I need to get things off the needles before I can start something new.  I have a few sets of dpns, so if I really must start a third pair, it can happen (and has been known to).

Third, a project that I need to have can actively trump anything else I’m knitting and any other rules I’ve set for myself.

Fourth, I can ignore projects as hard as I want for as long as I want as long as there is room for them in the knitting baskets.  If they start feel like they are wasting space there, though, and go into the stash boxes, the needles have to come out and they are written off as lost causes.

And the fifth and most important rule is that if I hate a project, I don’t have to finish it, no matter what.  This one took awhile for me to really get on board with, but now I’m a big fan.  If I’m going to spend this much of my free time doing something that I don’t have to do, there is really no excuse for including things I don’t enjoy.

I have to imagine that other people have their own set of knitting rules.  Care to share?


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. M Ward
    Jan 27, 2009 @ 14:38:45

    Hmmm, I was going to respond and say the same thing you did, “I knit what I want, when I want.” But I too have a few rules, mostly in place to fight against my bad habits.

    I think I see a blog post coming… *grin*


  2. Trackback: TurtleKnitta » Blog Archive » Knitting RULES!
  3. Girlymom
    Feb 23, 2009 @ 05:56:50

    Hey, I feel famous! You mentioned me on your BLOG! 😀 I also have the no knitting stuff I hate rule. It’s gotta be fun, right?


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