Thursday, March 08, 2007

Periodic Table of W.I.Ps

Now, we all know that wips are not all created alike. There is a discrete system of classification in force for all of them. We are talking about the knitter's equivalent of Linneaus' binomial nomencalture, the Periodic Table of the Elements, or if you are a particle physicist, the Eightfold Way.



The Long Haul
There are those wips that are what the French call '
un travail de longue haleine', meaning that they are just complicated enough that they will take a while to finish. But you will finish them, there is simply no question. They strike the right balance of doability, interest and promise of a statisfying garment. For me the Anemoi mittens are in this category--the magnetic chart holder is saving my place, and when I have a long stretch of time, I will have the gumption to sit down and refocus my attention on them. They are not the problem here.



Sock Purgatory
You have your pile o' first socks that are patiently awaiting their mates, relegated to the purgatory of knitted garments. "
Any day now..." they seem to be politely wondering. At some point you'll get so annoyed with yourself, you'll just finish one and wonder afterwards what your damn problem was to begin with and why can't you be the kind of (good) knitter that has discipline and fortitude rather than a (bad) slothful knitter whose indolence prevents any project completion in a normal time frame. However this category does seem to cycle fairly quickly, and although a new one pops into the category just as another one is completed, it's not a major irritation because it shows that a certain level of productivity is happening.



It seemed like a good idea at the time...
Then you have the out of gas wips--the projects that you began with a sense of unbridled enthusiasm. Perhaps an impulse purchase contributed to your initial élan, you were convinced by a well meaning and eager LYS employee (we're talking hypotheticals here), began the project over a weekend and then just sort of fizzled out over time. There are plenty of those hanging around this joint and I truly hate them the most--an odd baby sweater for a friend whose child is now 3, a scarf that when it comes right down to it, looks craptastic and fugly in the light of day and you just can't bear to interact with enough to even frog it. Their role is to mock you very time you go to your knitting corner looking for something else. You almost wish that your cat would pee on them or that one of your kids would accidentally smear Nutella on them, so you could feign appropriate stern dismay but then (secretly, joyfully) thrown them out.

WTF?
The last category is indeed the most inexplicable. It is the least understood of the species. Please tell me why a knit blogger, someone's whose voracious appetite for posting finished projects in a sort of pathetic primary school 'show and tell' kind of way, would finish knitting a sweater over a year ago, seam half of it, go get a cup of coffee and then never bother to complete it? WTF? After reading the Subway Knitter and her discussions of finishing it suddenly dawned on me
Hello, you have a sweater that is 98% done in an Ikea bag upstairs?!! So, after a trying day at work, I gathered my wits about me, went upstairs and retrieved it, and am wearing it to work today!



The Specs
Pattern: LYS 'Three Day Sweater" (Yes, a hilarious title)
Yarn: Woolpak 8 ply in Royal red
Needles: Size 11 circulars

So, there you have my utterly scientific system of classification. See how the Darling Resident Marxist Curmudgeon's empirical mind has rubbed off on me? Please let me know if there are any categories I am forgetting...

21 comments:

Prof. Knitwit said...

I LOVE your periodic table!! I can totally relate to all of those - and it just has me giggling.

Veronique said...

Those are great categories! May I add the "soon to be knitted" category? It's for the projects where you have the yarn, you have the pattern, you just have to actually sit down and make it... (I have a lot of those).

K. said...

Haven't you forgotten the "started when I was pregnant" category? The things you started when your hormones were all whacked out and now you wonder WHY???? I can't be the only one who has done that....

Lauri said...

Thanks for sharing your WIPs. I do like the sweater - congrats for finishing it!
(I am in total denial about the number of WIPs that I have. I'm pretending that they aren't there! LOL)

Gingersnaps with Tea... said...

Very funny! I SO have every single one of those in my haul, as well as a stack of the soon to be knit where I was seduced by a completed project in the store bought the pattern and everything I needed to make it, got home and wondered if I lost my mind.

KnitPastis said...

These are some great categories for knitted items you have come up with.

Love the sweater! It looks fantastic girl!

schrodinger said...

It's all so true, I love those categories. I like V's addition of the soon to be knitted category too.

Well done for finishing the sweater.

Dove Knits said...

Hahaha, I never figured out the almost-finished projects, either. I have a ton! Great sweater, though!

Divineladi said...

You nailed every category on the head. I have a lot of wips that I start, never finish, and end up ripping out. The WTF? category is where I am with the sweater I started for my husband in December. I'm almost done with one sleeve. I got frustrated with the decreasing and hasn't pick it up yet. I'm at the point where I want to rip it out, but I worked to hard on it. Such great titles for these categories.
I adore the color of your 3 day sweater. lol.

Diana said...

I also have a JC category, as in Jesus Christ, I really thought I could knit that.... only with the help of God.

knittingphilistine said...

Oh, it's so true! Everything of which you speak! It's the sock purgatory that is plaguing me at the moment...

Sophie said...

Hello there! I'm a TN member and picked up your blog address from the message board...
Your taxonomy is just brilliant. I don't have a sock purgatory as I am far too obsessive to even start a new sock before the previous pair is finished. But on my behalf you can add the "frogging hell" category. I have a couple of projects now in the form of half-way ripped bits and pieces and ridiculously curly skeins awaiting for soaking... Believe me, they can make you feel just as guilty as the "seemed like a good idea". Ah, knitting!

Melissa said...

Love your classification system. I'm still laughing at the idea of a Three Day Sweater.

Heather said...

I love these...they are all so very true. You've inspired me. I'm currently knitting on a work in progress that has sat at the bottom of my basket...and I'm MAKING myself work on it - it's *this* close!

PS LOVE those striped socks...love them! so mork and mindy! so awesome!

nicole said...

I loved loved loved your list. Here's another one:

How about the "high-maintenance relationship" projects. You know the ones that demand a level of attention, either because they're too complicated (traditional lace), too hard on the hands (thick aran weight with woody bits stuck in the yarn for good measure), too finicky (purl 3 tog through back loop), too many colours (Alice Starmore fair isle hell), too many ends to weave ($@& intarsia) or too much math involved (Zimmermania) etc...

Then there are the patterns that look lovely, but were clearly written by someone on crack and then layed out by a graphic designer who has something against hitting the return key (Charlotte's Web pattern anyone?)

carrie said...

great categories -- you should have a "dreaming of knitting" category, since those are the ones that take up so much space in your mind ...

Rachel said...

That is a spot-on classification system. I like other people's additions, too.

And your red sweater looks GREAT!

Janet said...

excellent classification system! *sigh* i'd like to tell you that i don't have things in each of those categories, but man... i'd by lying!

i love your anemoi mittens. i bought the pattern awhile back and have been itching to cast on. i'm a novice with the colorwork, though. and i promised myself i'd finish some of the WIP before casting on for new stuff... you know how well THAT usually goes!

PlumpKnitter said...

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HA HA HA HA HA.. I fit in each damn category!! I have WIP for each of them I swear..I am going to save this post to reference back to my projects *hahahah* Love the sweater.. Wool Pak is one of my faves.. I guess its because I work for the Distributor *lol* so I am a little bias.

Dipsy said...

Now - if there ever were perfect categories for a knitters' WIP-dilemma, then it's yours - I had so much fun reading through them!
And yay for finishing the sweater, it's a beauty and looks heavenly cozy!

Caren said...

Love your categories. I, too, have one of those 95% done sweaters sitting in a bag. It's a cardigan whose front and back are done; and both sleeves are about 90% done. It just needs a final sleeve lengh measurement, blocking and seaming. Sigh.....