Friday, April 2, 2010

Why is it... startitis explained

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With the wealth of information now available online, the knitting and crocheting community has come out of the living room and spilled over onto buses, trains, parks, ball games, doctor's offices and anywhere one is apt to be found waiting patiently to be served. We as fibre lovers fearlessly wield our needles, crochet hooks and spindles while the populace at large watches in awe as beautifully stitched garments and yarn flies from our fingers giving birth to original garments, yarns, and much more. It has also given birth to the newest disease on the block known as "Startitis".

Why is it that multiple patterns, stitches, blocks always seem to come in groups? I find one and I want to make it, then I find another and I want to start that one too! and so on and so on...until I have a pile at least 3 feet high of projects that await me, softly calling to me, begging, trying to make me feel guilty. And then, I realise, I've developed a rather bad case of "Startitis"!

For those non fiber readers, I will explain. Startitis is the problem knitters, crocheters, and fibre lovers encounter when they have too many projects on the go and keep finding more wonderful things to try. That leaves us with many many projects begging to be completed. It has become a problem for most knitters and crocheters. We are like children in a candy shop when it comes to new fibres, patterns, stitches, and the accompanying paraphernalia of needles, hooks, stitch markers and so on.We can't resist!

Symptoms vary from one to the other, but the dominant one is bags and baskets holding partially completed projects being hidden in closets, behind furniture, under the bed, in the attic, at friends' homes, in the car boot and the list of hidey holes goes on. These symptoms are not to be confused with stash gathering or stash nest padding. Those are another can of beans I have no intention of opening today.

How to battle it?

Reward system: This works only if the guilty party is willing to finish a project before going on to a new one. It usually works if two fibre lovers team up and encourage each other. Trying this method by oneself usually leads to dismal failure and more 'startitis' items to be squirrelled away.

Frogging vs gifting: Go through your piles, bags, boxes of unfinished projects and seriously ask yourself "Will I ever finish it?" If the answer is no, frog it! If you stopped working on the project because you didn't like the yarn, Gift it! Someone else will love it I'm sure. Once you've separated the projects into 3 piles, of which the to be finished pile is hopefully the smallest. Get rid of the pile for gifting asap! Otherwise it will sneak it's way back into your stash when you're asleep! The pile that's to be frogged, get busy and get it done! You'll be adding some much loved yarn back into your stash to be used for new projects and you will feel so much better.

Once the frog or gift piles are gone, look at what's left and put them in priority of when it needs to be finished. Be it for a birthday present, Christmas, surprise, whatever, assign it a deadline. I surprised myself on how many projects I finished during the Ravalympics held in February, just because there was a deadline!

Now I'm not making any promises that these suggestions will work, but at least it's a start and one way to help ourselves out of the "Startitis" cycle. 

So what do I have in my "Startitis" pile you may ask? Yes, I will be honest and list everything in the pile. I'm not proud of it, but I'm the first to admit, I'm addicted and I need to slow it down somehow LOL

A child's summer top of my own design half done
A kitty blanket - crochet
A skull blanket - knit
A pillow cover (2 squares done, 6 more to go!)
A dress for a 19" barbie
A hoodie scarf - will be frogged and design changed
3 pairs of socks (2 crochet, 1 knit) all 3 are experimental
1 pair of baby socks w/ a 2nd pair needing to be made
2 baby bibs of my own design, one to embroider, the other to actually finish crocheting
A small collection of 3"x3" granny squares for a child's top. (this one doesn't really count since I make the squares out of leftovers from other projects, but I'm listing it anyway)
A dishcloth - trying out a new stitch pattern - See?!?
A child's top for winter - will be frogged - too small to fit any of my nieces

And... a baby blanket I started today! I wanted to make blankets for the twins who were born last month but couldn't settle on a pattern I liked. Yesterday I found the perfect pattern. It's a crochet hexagon block called African flower. It is super easy to make and looks incredibly gorgeous! I'm using stash yarn to make this blanket. The green is from the same yarn I had used to make a chemo cap for my sister last April before she passed away. I wanted to use the rest of the green for the boys' blankets in memory of their aunt who would have adored them. Each hexagon measures 6" from side to side and I'm using worsted weight yarn with a 5.50 mm hook. I'm assembling as I'm going hopefully to cut down on weaving in ends and hours of tedious seaming once the hexagons are all done. I still may run a row of crochet stitches to better secure the hexagons to each other, but I'll have a better idea once I'm done assembling them.

So where does that leave me you ask?

I'm going to focus on the baby blankets and finish them since I want to send them to the boys before they outgrow their cribs. LOL From there, I will finish the wee pair of socks since they are also for my two nephews and can be sent with the blankets. After that, I plan on frogging the hoodie scarf and starting that one over with changes to the pattern. This one has a deadline of May 31st so I have to get busy.

The child's summer top I'm designing now has a due date of June 30th that I've set for myself so I get it done or frogged. Either way, it will be over.
The kitty and skull blankets will remain on hold until it's Fall again since I'll die under them LOL The pillow cover blocks may get frogged. I'm debating on those.

The baby bibs will be next since I want to finalise the design on these and get the pattern published!

Somewhere along the way the dishcloth will get frogged and a different stitch tried out since the current one isn't doing it for me. Thank goodness I'm not desperate for a dishcloth!

Boy do I have it bad!!! LOL
I just joined a CAL over at Crochet Soirée that ends April 30th! Mind you the pattern is really cute and I know who I'm making the scarf for already :) My 16 year old niece will love this funky fun scarf. Scroll down the page a bit and you'll see the Flower scarf post. Nothing to buy, just make the scarf, follow the instructions for entering a picture of it in the CAL before the end of April and get a chance at a prize! How much better can it get? Don't forget to sign up for their free newsletter... which is how I found out about the CAL :)


Anonymous said...

Wow! You do have a bad case of startitis! :) The CAL scarf is very pretty, and I know you'll get that done in time. Get going on the baby gifts before the twins are school aged! You can do it!!! :) sammmmmmmm

MarieAnge said...

Oh I know I do, but I'm working on that blanket and it's coming along very nicely.

I'll have to take a pic soon to show how well it's coming along!