WIP Motivation

One of my goals this year is to decrease the number of craft projects I have “in progress” at any given time. I’m usually very enthusiastic at the beginning of a project, but after awhile my interest starts to wane until the project gets shoved into a box somewhere for months on end. Over time this has led to a build-up of unfinished projects that adds to the background stress in my life. Its the same kind of feeling I get when my apartment starts to become too cluttered: I’m often not consciously aware of the stress it is causing until I experience the relief that comes with tidying up. Recently, I decided that it was time to tidying up the WIP pile.

So, to help motivate me to finish (or discard) as many of these projects as I can, today I’m posting my Project Pile of Shame for the world to see!

2016-04-02 16.51.48

Every item (or pair of items in some cases) in this pile represents a crafting or mending project that I have started but not yet finished. Some of these projects have been around a lot longer than others. In the interests of full disclosure, there are actually two more projects that didn’t make it into the photo: the plain socks of last week’s Yarn-Along post, which are still on the needles, and a Vivid blanket, because I forgot about it until after I took this photo. I need more yarn to finish the blanket and at the moment I’m not really buying yarn, so that project is in an indefinite time-out.

Starting from the top left in the photo above, there are eight projects on the top “row”:

  • First, hexipuffs! The green bag holds the blocked puffs and the basket holds unblocked puffs. I need to do another round of blocking soon. The puffs that I’ve sewn together into the beginnings of the beekeeper’s quilt are tucked away somewhere until I’m ready to do more seaming. This project will likely not be finished this year but I’d like to make progress on it.
  • A blue and white striped sweater with a broken zipper. I took the old zipper out, bought a new one and then stalled out trying to figure out how to get the new one back in.
  • Two t-shirts that I want to turn into bags of some kind
  • A pair of pyjama pants that needs a new elastic
  • A khaki green long-sleeve shirt I plan to turn into a short-sleeve shirt
  • One of my favourite sweaters (burgundy) that has a tiny hold in one sleeve cuff that needs repairing
  • The applique pillow I started at a workshop in May 2015 (I didn’t get very far). I’m not sure whether to give up on this one or not.

Down on the second “row”, again from the left, are:

  • A sunhat I knit that came out way too big. I want to try adding elastic on the inside to make it a bit snugger
  • The pieces of the water bottle carrier I was sewing last summer. This project is past the halfway point, but I lost interest when the weather turned cooler.
  • A tan bag I love that developed holes I decided I could mend. This one may be past saving.
  • A blue T-shirt I’m trying to mend, this one with a hole on one shoulder seam
  • A green Ribbed Lace Bolero that I need to try on. I suspect it came out too big, in which case I need to rip it out. If it is the right size it will just need a bit of seaming.
  • My Splitstone vest, another project that seems to be coming out too large. I blocked this piece to make sure of the size before continuing, but I may need to start over.
  • And a red cowl with a tear in one seam. Easy mending, I just haven’t gotten to it yet.

To the right of the water bottle carrier pieces are:

  • A blue and white mitten that just needs a thumb. This is the last knitted piece I need to finish for the Master Knitter program I started in 2014. After adding the thumb I have a bit of writing to do, and then I can submit it all. You do not want to know how long that mitten has been waiting for its thumb.
  • My Moonfleet shawl, which has both lace and beads and so requires some level of concentration. I haven’t had much brain space for it lately, but I might pick it back up again once I get sick of hexipuffs.
  • A cotton baby cardigan for the Guild Charity bin. I cast it on to use up some cotton scraps and it just fell off my radar. There are many ends to weave in and some applied I-cord and buttons to add before it is done.
  • My beaded wristers that need seaming
  • Rainycloud that just needs its Rainydrops sewn on
  • And an envelope with a few antique stamps I want to frame

The final row contains:

  • The pieces from my Stained Glass quilt top. I think I’m about half-way through this one, and I’d love to finish it. I just haven’t pulled out my sewing machine in awhile. As far as I can tell from my blog archives I haven’t worked on this at all in over a year, which is kind of sad.
  • Next are the only two squares I have finished out of another double-bed-sized quilt top. Another slow project, but one I would like to make progress on at some point.
  • Finally, the completely untouched dropcloth sampler

When I piled all these projects up in one place for the photo it didn’t seem so bad, but listing them all out here is a little overwhelming. There are so many hours of work here, work that I want to do and just haven’t for some reason. Mostly because I get distracted by the shiny new projects that come along. In some cases, especially with the mending, I want the end result of the work more than I want to do the work. With each of these projects I made the conscious decision at some point to keep them and a commitment with myself to finish them. I’d like to honour that commitment, or at the very least make another conscious decision to let them go. My goal for the year is to get this pile down to as few projects as possible, ideally just 2-3 long-term projects. I don’t want the mending and easily-finished projects to linger as long as they have.

Luckily, there is one success story already. Just taking that photo motivated me to finish up the easiest project and attach the rain drops to the Rainycloud:

So that is one project done! Hopefully I’ll be able to finish a few more soon and build some momentum. I’ll be sure to post updates if (when) I make progress. Wish me luck!

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4 Responses to WIP Motivation

  1. Christine says:

    You are awesome to share this!! My inner project manager is thinking up ways for you organize these…by amount of time you’ll think they’ll take (1-2 h, 3-6h, 6h+) or by personal priority? I think for me the key would be to treat it as one large project, have a tracking system (spreadsheet – you already have a list!) and to get some quick wins off the board – seaming those writers, finishing the mitten thumb, putting the elastic in the Jammie pants would all be good nominees if this pile were mine. Good luck! Cheering for you! Love the rain cloud!

    • Jess says:

      I actually have a list (not on the blog) that organizes these by priority and captures the “next step” for each one. It also lets me add notes etc if I ever think about the project when I’m not working on it. I never thought of sorting them by the amount of time, though, that’s a great idea! It would be nice to get some “quick wins”, plus then I would have something to post about next Monday:)

  2. Pingback: Yarn Along – Neverending Shawl, and the last Daisy Dalrymple | One Stitch, One Step

  3. Pingback: Conquer Lingering Tasks | One Stitch, One Step

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