Since the new year started, I've been boiling down my knitting projects to this: One project at a time, until it's done.
That means that even though I've got a sweater to finish, a couple scarves, a sweater to swatch for, three pairs of socks, ideas for something like 58 more pairs of socks, two pairs of ongoing mittens, a pair of fingerless gloves I promised somebody, an alpaca lace shawl, something to use up 50 grams of silk/wool wonderfulness I bought at Artyarns last year, a new sock book, a plan to make some flip-top mittens for myself out of leftover Malabrigo and finally, a super-cool hat kit I got from Joy in our knitting group's secret Santa exchange ... I am knitting a pair of socks in Lorna's Laces.
Why these? They were the furthest along when I imposed this arbitrary rule on myself.
Some days, I enjoy the simplicity of it. When I have time to knit, I knit this sock. When it's done, I'll knit something else.
Other days, I start making up exceptions to my rule. When I get on the second sock of a pair, wait, the foot of the second sock, or maybe the heel ... I can cast on another pair of socks.
Or, I can have as many socks in progress as I have sets of needles (which sort of explains why I have three pairs of socks going right now.)
It's a little silly. It's not like I'm taking two bites out of seven different sandwiches for lunch, or wearing six different outfits in a day.
But I'll confess: I'm the kind of person who keeps a to-do list, even though sometimes, such as before Christmas, the enormity of that list caused me some worry. The sheer number of things I thought needed to be done before the holidays (pack for Pittsburgh, make mother-in-law stew for present, knit Fool socks for present, send holiday letters, bake cookies, etc., etc. We all know what sorts of things go on these lists) was making me a little crazy, and the only way I could figure out to get through it was to keep tackling the items on the list, one at a time, until I finished or until Christmas arrived, whichever happened first.
(So, we're sending out Martin Luther King Day letters this year. What? It's a holiday letter.)
Now, though, I think the idea of doing one thing at a time until it's done and then moving on to the next is sort of my holiday list detox. I've got a list with one item on it: knit a sock.
I'm on the gusset of the second one, and I'll probably have them finished in a week, I hope. And then I'll pick something else to knit and we'll see how long this knitting monogamy lasts.
Although there's a cold snap coming next week, and I'm beginning to think I might break my own rule just so the Fool and Jamie and I have better mittens.