I've always been a focused knitter. One project. One self-inflicted deadline. One timeframe. Recently I stumbled across a conversation of knitters at my LSY, discussing their "projects." Yes, they were working on more than one thing at a time. Diane was knitting a sweater and hoped to finish it in a year. A year! This stressed me out greatly. In the meantime, when she was bored with the sweater or needed a break she would work on a pair of socks, a scarf and was thinking of starting a baby blanket. How can this be? How can you hope to finish anything with all those projects in the works. Then another knitter agreed. She said she always has sock on a set of needles no matter what she's working on.
This got me to thinking. Is it possible that most knitters work on more than project at a time? And why? The more time you divert from your main project, the longer it will take to finish it and the greater the chance that you'll never finish it. I found this whole concept stressful. I've been knitting for ages and never considered starting something before finishing a project. But so it is in my daily life. I do one thing, completely, then move on. I don't multi-task well (actually I don't multi-task). It's not that I don't want to... I try, but I stall. I just can't seem to switch gears like that.
If the personality trait of being "focused" versus "multi-tasking" is behind this pattern of knitting, then by evolution, most knitters today would have more than one project on their needles at a time. I believe the two distinct groups of knitters could learn from each other. I would love to learn to swatch a new project before the finishing on my current project was complete. That way I'd have time to buy different yarn or needles, or make necessary changes before jumping full fledged into my next project. Finishing something, starting a new, then realizing you don't have what you need is frustrating. You're all ready to start your new project but these needles won't work at all and the yarn shop is closed. Sigh.
I believe the task for the focused knitter is to relinquish control, and just jump right in with the new project. I believe you must not fixate over schedules and time, rather j
ust enjoy the feel of a different yarn in your fingers and go. I believe. I don't know for sure because I just can't work on two projects at a time. I get into a rhythm of one type of yarn, the way it feels when it moves across the needles, the way it behaves on the needles, the tension my hands must maintain while knitting. Switching mid-stream to different yarn, needles, patterns, can throw everything off.
Maybe one day one of you master, multi-taskers will shed some light on the subject and I'll find myself in the new majority of knitters who knit more than one project at a time.