When is a WiP not a WiP?

We know that knitting monogamy is not for everyone. Unlike human partners, knitting which gets passed over for a while in favour of another project, doesn’t experience feelings of abandonment or jealousy (as far as I know). And far from slowing things down, plenty of knitters hold that working on several projects simultaneously means there’s always a suitable project to work on regardless of mood and practicalities. So you’ll find no judgement from me regarding the knitter who’s casting on a vest to knit on the train before they’ve finished that blanket they like to knit on the sofa, which they chose in favour of the mittens and socks they keep for their monthly knit night commute. Afterall, our main purpose here, is to make sure you’re enjoying your knitting. We all know that pushing on with a project that you’re simply not in the mood for isn’t going to do either of you any good. If switching things around for a bit can rekindle your knitting urge or make it fit in the bag, then you should cast aside and cast-on with impunity.

But here’s the thing, the language we use for all these different started-but-not-finished projects is Works in Progress – WiPs. And it’s that Progress part that I think we need to stop and have an honest chat about. In-Progress means that it’s a project which is on the way. It’s started and there’s a level of on-going activity, if not in (m)any actual stitches, then at least in inclination, intention and aspiration.

A Work-in-Progress without any of those things, is about as productive as the proverbial dog-in-the-manger. Not only has progress become a lie, this Sourpuss is also making damn sure no one else can get anything out of the yarn either (not even you!). And that’s the point where I’m going to come clean and say you owe it to the yarn and the knitting: If you hate it and you know it, rip it back.

And so now in the spirit of walking the talk, Brontë has decided it’s high time we checked our own work. Progress or No-gress?

Lakes Pullover by Ozetta
Started by Brontë: 2023 Christmas holiday
Idle since: February 24
Because: I’ve made a Lakes sweater already that I love and that’s enough. I’d really like to use this lovely Rauwerk wool for a MFT Cardigan #7 instead.
Progress or No-gress? I’m going to unravel it and make the cardie. Decision made!

Glastonbury by Sophie Ochera
Started by Brontë: May 2022
Idle since: July 2022
Because: Just not sure I’d ever wear it. Honestly I love the colours of the Tuku and J&S Jumperweight I chose, but I just don’t think it’s my thing.
Progress or No-gress? Unravel. I’m going to use the Yarn for a Midori Hirose Paul Klee instead.

Dagian by Audrey Borego
Started by Brontë: March 2023
Idle since: June 2023
Because: Tiny needles and JC Rennie Supersoft 4ply means that it takes me an hour to do a bobble round, and the Cameo vest (which I finished!) started calling to me in the middle of this one so it stalled. I love the colour and the the yarn. It’s just the knitting that’s driving me nuts.
Progress or No-gress? I’m not ready to call time on it yet.

Storm Sweater by Petite Knit
Started by Brontë: April 2024
Idle since: not idle!
Because: I’ve finished the back to the underarms, and am working down the front, nearly ready to join up with the back and I love the Sheepsoft yarn I’m using. I just had to stop for a bit to make a vest for my mum.
Progress or No-gress? I’m definitely going back to finish this one!

Cameo Vest by Orlane Sucche
Started by Brontë: April 2023
Idle since: June 2023
Because: I nearly finished the end of the second front when I got side-tracked by a test knit for Ozetta to make the Air Tee which had the advantage of being good for the (then) summer. I love the Erable shade of Gilliatt I chose for this project. I’ve just got to get back to it.
Progress or No-gress? I’m going to finish it.

Nine Patch by Julie Wiesenberger
Started by Anna: April 24
Idle since: Last week
Because: I took a train to Berlin for the weekend and I decided all those colours wouldn’t make good travel knitting, so gave it up in favour of casting on Facette by Faïza Mebazaa for the train – different but equally good to knit – and have now returned to realise that Nine Patch still has a place in my heart and on my needles.
Progress or No-gress? Try and stop me! In spite of the tangles, I’m having a blast with this sweater – making it has been a total tonic – a journey of discovery of intarsia and colour play.

White Mountains by Midore Hirose
Started by Anna: April 2022
Idle since: May 2022
Because: I reached the end of the body and tried it on and it wasn’t a good shape for me. And I know that green teal combo is amazing but I can’t quite get there with wearing it myself.
Progress or No-gress? It’s a lovely sweater and I’ve come so far with it. Now that I’ve outed myself with stalling on it, I’m newly inspired to finish it and give it away.

Forest Keys by Teti Lutsak
Started by Anna: May 2022
Idle since: June 2022
Because:Tiny-stitch-slow-going knitting and a V neck which is just not my thing, and also, along came Junko Okamoto’s Elena which was a much more enticing project and when I’d finished the that, returning to this grumpy old vest, didn’t hold much appeal.
Progress or No-gress? pulling it out the bag now I can see I was unfairly mean about it. But still, I know it’s not me. That Pegulhal yarn is too special to leave it like that. I’m going to unravel.

Viana by Paula Piera
Started by Anna: June 23
Idle since: August 23
Because: because because because!! The summer is a distracting time and I really don’t have a good reason. Look how far I got for goodness sake! I’m really nearly there!! The yarn is delightful, if a little misguided for a summer top, but hey, summer mohair sweaters kind of work when June is the new March.
Progress or No-gress? Ok, I’ll finish it already!

Whatever one of the multiple reasons it is, that made you leave it behind, it doesn’t really matter to me. Just do me a favour and take a few minutes to go back and have a look at your abandoned old friend(s) – the ones you liked enough to make a start on once. At worst the love is all gone, in which case there’s no shame in ripping back. And here in the shop we’re just as happy to help you find a project for yarn you’ve unravelled as the brand new stuff. But there’s also the possibility of a best case scenario – you may just discover a nearly-finished sweater that you can get on with, finish and enjoy in half the time of a new project.

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