11.08.08 Confessions of a WIPaholic

Hi, My name is ExecutiveKnitter and I am a WIPaholic.  It's true.

After a careful inventory (not too careful - didn't check knitting bags and under the couch) I have discovered I have 45 unfinished projects floating around.  No wonder I was overwhelmed.  How did I get this out of control? 

To ensure I understand why I ended up with so many WIPS, I need to better understand why these projects were abandoned.  Even more important - is there a trend?  Do I stop working on projects for one reason more than others, can I use that to prevent WIP abuse?

The analysis
I exported my project page information to excel, sorted by status and deleted all the non- hibernating projects and extra text.  I inserted 8 extra columns and titled them:

Data input
% complete - from Ravelry project page,  I added the percent % completed.
Issues -  What, if any, were issues that stopped me from continuing to knit on this project.  For the first input I put the first thing that I thought of , did not analyze, just wrote it down.
Project characteristics:  all scored 0-10
  Product - Do I/will I like the finished product when done?   0 - not at all to 10 - can't wait to wear it
  Process - Am I having a good time knitting/crocheting this?  Am I looking forward to starting back up again?  0 - hate this project to 10 - this is so much fun
  Effort - How much effort will it take to finish this - time and attention  0- will take a long time and lots of attention to 10 - only have a few things to do/could finish quickly.
  Motivation - How motivated am I to finish?  0 - not at all to 10 - can't wait to pick this back up
  Score - used Excel to average the score of the four characteristics above
What's left to complete-  what's left to do (i.e. needs sleeves, pattern issues need resolved, fit check etc)

Next I reviewed my answers and decided that the "issues" section had many common answers.  I revisited each one and tried to standardize the words.  They all fit nicely into these categories:
Bored, Product issues (I don't like how it's turning out), Weather changed, Tedious (takes all my concentration), Yarn issues (bad pattern match or hate the yarn), Pattern issues (fit issues, pattern problem), distracted (could not think of reason)

Then I sorted and tallied the like answers, created a pie chart and analyzed the results.

Boredom - 27%
Product Issues - 23%
Weather changed - 20%
Tedious - 14%
Yarn Issues - 9%
Pattern Issues - 5%
Distracted - 2%


Bored:Getting bored is interesting.  What does that mean?  Was it taking too long, no progress, not exciting, just plain didn't care anymore? (and a quick scan showed that they were not all Straight St st.)   I am interested in how the projects will score to see if the bored ones are also the lowest scoring projects. 

Tedious: makes sense. You know the one - can't have any noise or conversation around - the cat walks by and you lose your place.  These projects just aren't convenient.  I don't have enough total silence moments to work on these.

Weather changed: So I must still want these projects now that fall is on the horizon?

The rest seemed self explanatory.  But why didn't I frog them?  

Frogging is tough for me.  When I frog I see the lost hours of knitting wind away.  Each unwound row is painful and I feel a deep sense of lose and regret.  I have wasted so much time.   I usually lose my zeal for the yarn too. It done me wrong. My disappointment with it past performance evident by my languishing stash of "used" yarn.  But Frog I must!

Next post - Project Characteristics Analysis
Here I will score the projects and see if the lowest scoring are my candidates for frogging.


  1. I LOVE this!!!! I have 12 WIPs and that's a lot for me. goal over the next few months is to "finish or frog" all of them. you've given me a fantastic (and fun!) way to figure out which solution makes sense for each project. thank you!!!

  2. My friend Mary who commented above led me to your blog! I'm a " new" knitter, i.e., picked up after many years of not knitting and I'm already behind...I'm going to try your process on the 7+ WIPs and also my myriad gazillion other projects in their various stages of "in process" aka as undone! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Wow, that is quite an analysis! Your project management background is evident. What I find totally amazing is that you have so many finished objects ... in addition to the many unfinished ones. You are one fast knitter.

    So when you lose your zest for the project ... and then for the yarn - what do you do with the yarn?

    Nice start on your blog. I consider myself a new blogger - even though I just celebrated by 1st Anniversary in July.

    Hope you stop by for a visit. Mine is more eclectic - knitting and stuff but bits and pieces of my life.

    Retired Knitter
    Columbia Sip and Knit Member

  4. You are my Yoda! I'm a Financial Analyst and this post makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. And, although your large number of WIPs overwhelms you, it encourages me to allow myself more than one WIP. When I get bored with my project, I usually stop knitting. No more!