In the interest of full WIP disclosure :-) May 25, 2016 – Posted in: On the Needles, Project Ideas

So, based on the array of confessions and responses Lisa’s post elicited yesterday, it seems few of us are alone in experiencing the occasional knitter’s funk / WIP pile-up! It’s funny how some (many?) of us tend to treat our cache of UFOs like a dirty little secret, something to feel guilty and stressed about.  Why?  Is it because we feel those unfinished projects say something deep and significant about us and our ability to “follow-though” and “commit” to something? Is it because we feel wasteful? After all, knitting is no inexpensive pursuit and all of those WIPs stare back at us in their idle state daring us to do the mental math and sum up their collective cost. But, really, who are these projects hurting? The truth of the matter is that there are no knitting police.  There is no upper limit on the acceptable number of WIPs beyond which we are accountable to someone. There is only the waxing and waning of our creative desires 🙂

If you’re like most knitters, every project you’ve started was cast on in a state of inspiration and excitement. Whether it was the opportunity to challenge yourself with an interesting or complicated pattern, to use yarns and colourways that made your heart sing, to soothe yourself with something peaceful and meditative, or just because you could see how fabulous the finished project would be on yourself or someone you loved, they were all chosen with intention and all served their purpose for a while. Chances are, most of them are still near and dear to your heart but just not what you want to be knitting “right now”.

Despite having a pile of WIPs accumulating in project bags around my house, I find I usually make my way back to most of them when the planets align and the mood strikes. That said, I’m all for taking stock every once in a while and having a proper weeding out. An uncomfortable number of unfinished projects can take up mental energy, blocking our creativity and sapping the pleasure we derive from our craft.  I recommend collecting all of your WIPs in one place and making an honest appraisal.

If you can still find that sense of inspiration or excitement in a piece, chances are you’ll return to it. If any of your projects make you feel anxious, stressed, or annoyed just looking at them, it’s likely that they will forever remain at the bottom of your priority list. Be brave, be bold – let these ones go. Just because you started something does not mean you need to finish it. Seriously. There is no rule about this. Just frog them and free up the yarn for something else. And if you’ve fallen out of love with the yarn, simply send it to a good home and feel good about it – there are so many charity knitting groups out there on the lookout for donations.

Life is short. Let guilt go and enjoy your process. Take pleasure and comfort in your WIPs – after all, you will never lack for a project.

A review of my own WIPs last night led to the decision to finally frog my Stephen West Doodler shawl. This was a case of me trying to step out of my comfort zone in terms of colour choices but the resulting combination now leaves me cold. I will not be picking this one up again so I will put it, and myself, out of misery…

Below is an accounting of my current projects. I know what you’re all thinking – apart from the Unicorn Stripes scarf, there is a definite dearth of colour on display! It’s pathetic really. I’m thinking Stephen West’s new Knit ‘n Slide pattern with Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles may provide temporary relief. Stay tuned 🙂

–  Melissa

Holey Square Shawl by Marianne Sigg in Handmaiden Lino.


Unicorn Stripes by Antonia Shankland – with Madelinetosh Unicorn Tails, of course.


A scarf / wrap I’m designing with Handmaiden Maiden Hair and Shibui Silk Cloud.


Fate by Kim Hargreaves. The back is finished and I’ve started the left front but this has been on my needles so long the yarn has been discontinued. I love the coat so much though, I will persevere!


The Doodler by Stephen West – will be frogged today!


The Bowery Vest by The Third Piece

3rd piece