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Why You Should Have Multiple WIPs

Let's talk about WIPs or works in progress. How many do you have? Be honest. How do you feel about the number of WIPs you have? How many is too many?

Some people are monogamous knitters or crocheters. They work on one project at a time and don't start a new project until that one project is finished. There's nothing wrong with being a monogamous knitter, but there's also nothing wrong with not being one. In fact, having multiple WIPs going at one time can be beneficial.

If your multiple WIPs cover different types of projects, then you can fit knitting in a lot more frequently by picking up the project that's most appropriate for that particular time.

So, for example, I almost always have a plain vanilla sock on the needles. It's something I can knit while chatting or watching TV, so it's the thing that's in my knitting basket for meetings with my knitting group. It's also an easily transportable project (if you're working with DPNs and worried about the knitting needles breaking or the stitches coming off, I recommend using something like this needle holder for your sock in progress).

Then, when you have more time and concentration to knit, you can pick up the WIP that's more intricate, such as a lace shawl or heavily cabled project. But if all you have on the needles is a project that takes a lot of time and concentration, you'll only be able to knit when you have that time and space to concentrate. And I don't know about you, but for me that might mean I don't get to knit very much.
Another benefit to multiple WIPs is being able to move to another project if you get bored with your current project and just need a break. One person in my knitting group usually brings half a dozen projects to our knit night and over the course of 2-3 hours, she usually works on all of them!

Yet another benefit of multiple WIPs is the ability to give your hands a break. I know that if I knit a cabled project in fingering weight yarn on size 2 needles, my hands are going to cramp after a while. So I make sure I have another project handy that uses larger needles so I can still keep knitting while also allowing my hands to have a break. If you knit and crochet, then being able to go back and forth between the two crafts can also be great for giving your hands a break.

So the key to making multiple WIPs work is to make sure you have a variety of types of projects (simple projects vs. complex projects), different sizes of projects (something easily transportable vs. that giant afghan that you don't want to carry outside the house), and projects with different weights of yarn. That way, no matter your knitting situation, you should be able to have a project that works and keeps you crafting.

And more time crafting eventually means more FOs. It just might seem like it takes longer to get an FO since you're spreading your knitting time out to multiple projects.

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