Sticking to the deal

I’ve been doing enough designing and deadline work over the last year or so that I’ve started to develop a couple of rules for myself about managing it. It’s consuming work sometimes, and the sort that easily overruns any sense of weekday vs weekend, daytime vs evening sort of boundaries, so I’m gradually realizing that I have to create some of those myself. One deal I made with myself is that between finishing one design project and moving onto a new knitting project of any kind, there must be a) at least one meal, and b) a night’s sleep. It’s a good deal, not just for my own rest but to resist that immediate urge to cast on something new as a reward for finishing up something else. The temptation to do that can be extremely strong, but if you’re going to give yourself another project to work on, I figure that might as well be a decision made with at least a partially clear mind.


I have a similar deal with myself about socks. I always have a pair of plain ribbed socks on the needles – usually for carrying around in my handbag – and it’s pretty unpredictable how long one pair will take me to complete. If I’ve got a lot of transit time or waiting-around-time, or if they’re in thicker sock yarn that allows me to use fewer stitches, a pair of socks could easily fall off the needles in a couple of weeks or less. But then, if I don’t have any of those variables to work with or if I’ve just gotten side-tracked by all the non-sock-knitting or let non-sock projects sneak in as portable knitting (sleeves work well this way in particular), then the socks can end up sitting there for months. When that happens the temptation to just cast on a new pair of socks in a new skein of yarn from the stash is pretty big. Let’s face it, sock yarn is like candy and a gal wouldn’t keep bringing it home to wait in the sock yarn part of the yarn stash if it didn’t look cheerful and tempting.


All of this is a long way of saying that, yesterday I finished off my second-to-last deadline knit project of the summer, and to celebrate, I sat right down last night and ended up finishing my ribbed socks on the needles. Now I have a new pair of socks waiting to join its other new friends come fall (sock weather does come again, I hear, though it might not seem like it now), in Socks That Rock Mediumweight, ‘Carbon’ colourway (in my standby ribbed sock pattern). And to celebrate that


…I cast on a new pair of ribbed socks. In Turtlepurl yarns self-striping sock yarn ‘Poisoned Apple’ colourway, that I treated myself to at the Purple Purl last month. Only half an inch in and they already look fun. Here’s hoping they don’t turn into a pair that languishes in my handbag for too long – I want to see what these will look like.

What’s on your needles this fine Wednesday? More summer knitting time awaits, but fall is just around the corner.


  1. I love turtle purl! One of the first socks that I made was using yarn that I bought from her.

  2. Hey Glenna, love the colour of those new socks! I am craving colour right now…working on a raspberry lace short-sleeve cardi for a new little gal called Audrey, and a gansey-knit pullover in crayon red, for me.

  3. just finished some “preemie beanies” and starting on a shawl for my daughter with Malabrigo Arroyo. Love it

  4. I’ve got a baby sweater to finish for a friend, I’m going to cast on Frostbite as soon as I find my size 10 needles (arg!), and I’m putting off the desire to cast on anything big until the new Twist is released, because I’m sure to want to make something out of there!

  5. Caitlyn · ·

    I can’t wait to see the striping on those new socks! Sometime this fall, you should take a fresh photo of all your handknit socks together so we can drool over your awesome collection. πŸ˜‰

    For myself, I just cast on the Holden Shawlette. It’s my second lace shawl (right on the heels of my first) and it’s my first project in a variegated yarn. It, and this post, made me realize that one of the few guidelines I have for my knitting is trying to do at least one new thing each project. It doesn’t have to be a hard thing, or a particularly outrageous thing, but it does have to keep me steadily stretching toward new knitting experiences.

  6. Caitlyn, I’m knitting the Holden shawlette also and I’m up to doing the chart for the third time. My problem is: I don’t have enough yarn to complete the shawl. I’m thinking that I’ll stop after doing another row and then knit the finishing rows. The skein of yarn that I bought cost $25.00 so I don’t want to buy another one.
    Glenna, I like your rules.

  7. Wait, you’re supposed to *finish* projects before casting on for something new? Well why didn’t anyone tell me this? Sheesh!

    I’m in Toronto for the first time ever this week for work…just a short three-night stay (one of which is already gone!) I looked up yarn stores to visit, but that darn work-thing looks like it’s going to get in the way of checking anything out. So sad!

  8. I’m working on a scarf for my boyfriend and trying to ignore the niggling second sock syndrom I have going on (I finished the first sock, cast on and got to the gussets of the second sock and realized I didn’t make the heel flap long enough and had to rip it out, I’m still bitter).

  9. I too am working on some socks today. One of Wendy Johnson patterns – Van Dyke Socks. The yarn is just a plain brown, but soft as all get out Blue Sky Alpaca Yarn. Your socks make me want to cast on a variegated or striped yarn, but I will resist until these are finished πŸ™‚ Love your rules too!

  10. Caitlyn · ·

    Gita, I’m sorry to hear that you’re running short on yarn! I don’t blame you for sticking to the single skein you already have. I, too, picked the pattern precisely because I could make it with one skein of splurge yarn.

    Leann, don’t mind me, I’m one of those crazy ascetics who stays project monogamous. It’s a product of having a small amount of free time and a lot of other interests besides knitting. If I didn’t limit myself to one project at a time per craft, I’d never finish anything, and I’d probably be broke inside of a week buying yarn and fabric for new ideas. πŸ˜€

  11. I have rules of my own too! I use to have at least half a dozen of projects on the go at the same time and never really took the time to finish them. About 1 year ago, I decided no more then 2 projects at a time and I don’t allow myself to start a new one until the finishing and blocking are done.

    That being said… I spent the summer finishing a shawl that was ripped 6 times (stubborn me not to use a life line!) and complete my 1st pair of fairisle mittens. Now I’m working on a sweater I started last January. My boyfriend is short but bulky so I have to play with measuments and check as I go to make sure it fit. Next I’ll be tackling my 2nd pair of mittens in a much smaller weight but supper fun design :o)

  12. I’m working on the Nefertim shawl. I never wear shawls, but I love this pattern so much that I’m knitting it anyway and will figure out what to wear it with when it’s done. I do want to be someone who can throw on a piece of knitwear and look effortless. We’ll see…

  13. I have two afghans/throws on the needles right now that I keep saying are for my new couch. Still need to actually buy the couch, though. Thank heavens for air conditioning! My next project will be much smaller. πŸ™‚

  14. I’m madly working on my Lakeshore Shawl to have chart 1 complete for this Sunday’s KAL at Needles in the Hay!

    I have a question about the self-patterning yarn – do you try to get both socks to have the same-ish patterning? I knit a pair, and the pattern is completely different on both socks, which I find a tad annoying.

  15. sounds like a good idea to me. i am obsessive compulsive and if I start a project and finish it, i have to cast on another. that’s part of the reason my arm is in bad shape. your socks are lovely!

  16. I always have at least 3 or 4 projects on the needles at once. Right now I’m really focused on finishing a cowichan for myself and one for a woman who has hired me to alter a pattern for her. She’s so tiny that the smallest size was too big! I’m *almost* done my own, but feel like I should work on hers first, since she IS paying me:-)

  17. Cynthia K-R in Canada · ·

    I usually have at least 3 projects going at once. This time–2 pairs of socks, and one sweater. Love that “Poisoned Apple” yarn–gorgeous and will make beautiful socks. Lucky you!!!

  18. Just finished a baby blanket. I just love the colors!! Now I’m working on a winter hat. Maybe for a Christmas gift. I hate to say it, but I need to start thinking that way. I always wait too long into the season.

  19. Your convoluted logic makes such perfect sense to me.

  20. loulouandlillybean · ·

    Socks! I’m presently in sock knitting withdrawal since my dog chewed up my needles……..he was gracious enough to leave the stitches in tact though so just waiting for new needles to come in the mail. In the meantime I’m working on the Pimpelliese Shawl and just finished the Log Cabin Throw. Starting another blanket as we speak!

  21. That’s super pretty. I’m finishing up a shawlette (hopefully today), and then casting on my Viper Pilots. Can. Not. Wait.

  22. i to love the reds and greens in the new socks. as for whats on my needles. i have a dish cloth to finish and one more to make. they are both my own design.

  23. You and are I much a like and I have now started similar rules. Not only one WIP at a time, but other creative crafts are now in the venue as well. I love your socks, the color is fantastic πŸ™‚ Happy knitting!

  24. […] Sticking to the deal ( […]

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