So Many Projects, So Little Time...

I had always thought I was not unlike most knitters--five or six knitting projects on the go, spread among two or three knitting bags or baskets in the house, and several more projects planned for future days (and the yarns for them stashed away just waiting their turn!).

Even for my first attempt at knitting, I bought yarn for not one but two projects: both cable-knit sweaters. (It was before the days of the Internet, and I really had no idea what sort of project I should or shouldn't start knitting with, so I went with what looked interesting to me.) Before I finished the first sweater, I began the second, and I worked on one or the other, depending on my mood. I finished both in time for Christmas gift-giving. (They were both too big--I knew nothing about gauge swatches.) But the point is that from the get-go, I had more than one project on the go, and I don't remember a time in the intervening 25 or 26 years that I've had only one knitting project in progress.

What I'm learning, though, is that a lot of knitters are sequential knitters. They have one project on their needles at a time; they work away at it until it's done; and then they seek out the next and begin work on it. How organized! How productive! How focused! . . . How the heck do they do that? 

I tend to have one or two "big" projects (sweater, poncho, blanket) on the go at a time and several smaller ones (hat, scarf, socks). So when people ask how long it takes me to knit a pair of socks, I can't really say. If socks were the only project I was working on, probably not long, but in reality, they're on my needles for two or three weeks.

Working on several projects, though, means I always have something I feel like knitting. If I were tackling one thing at a time, I imagine I might go a few days between picking up the needles. This way, if I don't feel like tracking rows on the shawl I'm working on, I can pick up another project and enjoy some mindless knitting. Or vice versa. No idle hands!

But I do see some advantages to having only one project on the go. It would motivate a person to finish in a hurry in order to get to the next one. And it certainly could help with knit supplies budgeting. For one thing, being this type of knitter would mean needing only one set of needles in each size, not the several that I have!

So are you a sequential knitter or a multiple-project knitter? And what advantages do you see to being the kind of knitter you are? 


  • Always have a few things on the go so I’m never bored… and always looking for something else to add to the list ?

  • Numerous projects in progress and in need of a mate or last minute finishing. I have mindless “go to” projects for working on when travelling. I knit and crochet so when I’m in the mood to just have something on my needles or the hook it’s usually a crocheted project I turn to. I love learning new techniques and stitches. Happy knitting everyone!! Looking forward to your next blog Cathy?

    Phyllis Fenton
  • Several on the go at once – smaller ones to take in the car, some that I don’t have to pay too much attention to, bigger or more complex ones for working on at home, and ones that are intended as gifts and have to be kept secret!

  • I am a multi-project knitter. I have several slippers that are waiting for their mate. Along with those I have socks that would love to have a match. And now I have moved to nests. However I buckled down and refused to start another project until my shawl was knit in total (even if it is not blocked). And now comes the mittens. I have completed one pair and started another pair. The nests ( I have completed 5 ) I will go back to after I have relaxed doing something different. I think I need to have a Finish A Project day. :)
    With all the different projects on the go you can never be bored.

  • Always have two or three things on the go. I find this way I am never bored with one project. I too like to have both mindless and projects that take more concentration on the go.


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