I remember when I made the switch from knitting anything and everything to knitting just shawls. The turning point came after I had my second kid, Lil’ D. At the time, I was knitting or crocheting a lot of baby blankets for my fellow knitting buddies and finishing up a mitered square blanket that was originally for the first child but conveniently became the property of the second child when I lost motivation to finish it (but I eventually did finish it).
When the selfless knitting was done, I decided to knit myself a sweater, and not just any sweater, but a huge sweater with bulky yarn on big needles. I naively thought, “This will make it go faster!” but it did not, especially when I encountered one error in the pattern after another. I set it aside for months, and I couldn’t bring myself to start anything new.
Why? Because I’m a serial monogamist in pretty much all things. I read one book at a time (or I CAN read one fiction and one non-fiction at the same time). I work on one book at a time (or I CAN write a first draft of one while revising another but never two first drafts at once), and I certainly never knit on more than one knitting project at once. I know, I know. It’s incredibly limiting, but it’s all my brain can handle. I’m really good at multi-tasking several very different tasks, but my creativity energy is nil when working on the same things.
So I forced myself to finish that sweater, which, guess what? I never wear. I said, “ENOUGH! I’m only going to knit shawls! I wear them all the time, and I need more anyway.” I’m a person that hates the cold. Winter is my nemesis. I never find it pretty. I never find it whimsical and magical. Screw Winter! Summer is where it’s at. Shawls keep the cold away when my teeth are chattering and I’m wearing six layers. Why just knit shawls? I’ll tell you, except for my husband constantly asking for more knit socks, there is no reason not to knit just shawls. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, difficulty levels, and yarn weights, which means the possibilities are endless.
My knitting time is very scarce nowadays. The last project I finished, The Different Lines Shawl below, took me seven months to complete. I knit on it when I was between novels or at family functions or on vacation, and that was about it. But I love it, and the shawl is another completed knit under my belt, just like all my books.
Being a serial monogamist means I often get stuck in the mud. I go flying into an obstacle course with my off-road vehicle at full-speed and have a great time, only to hit the dirty muck and spin my wheels for a good while. Most people would abandon their car and go off to find help. I’m the person that stands and assesses the situation for far too long asking such questions as, “Should I go get some wood to put under the tires?” “What if I moved the car to the right?” “How about I rock it back and forth a hundred more times first?”
This is why you may, when it comes to my books, never see me publish much outside of one or two worlds until those worlds are finished and I can move on. It’s also why I only talk about knitting every six months or so on the blog. Lol.
So, do you also suffer from serial monogamy? Or can you easily work on many projects at once? I know I’m not alone!! :)