Excitement Added to My WIP and WIM

By Veronica Smith – 31 Comments

I had something written for all of you it was titled “WIP and WIM”, that’s changed – as you can tell by the title of the article you are now reading. I’ve kept with the original thread but added some! I know your just bursting with excitement to find out why I have changed the title (pretend you are) – I shall tell you.

Firstly, what am I going on about? For the uninitiated, a WIP is a “work in progress”, you know, the one or ones you are currently working on even if you have only done the first row before putting it into a bag or box and forgetting about it. A WIM is a “work in mind”, they are all the other projects that you know you need to, or want to do next.

My WIM possibilities have just expanded – exponentially, and I need your help. I have recently become the proud owner of copious amounts of natural fiber balls. Many different colors, textures and blends. The one thing they all have in common is that they are natural fibers, wool, mohair, alpaca, cottons, linen and blends thereof. Now I must confess that I have a real thing for natural fibers. I do love the way the synthetic industry has made all sorts of fancy yarns that are easily washable, look fantastic and are more affordable than natural products, and I do use them, they are My new yarn acquisition practical and pretty. However give me natural fiber product and I am in true bliss. I even like brown paper and Hessian bags. Of course the natural fiber must be manufactured without having harmed or killed any animals and I do like my cotton organic. I am one of those odd balls that don’t use any form of pesticides, consequently living in the Australian bush environment we have Learjet to love bugs and arachnids. I do favor free trade as well. As I said, it’s just my slant on life.

Anyway, waffling again…back to the WIP. I have plenty on the go. These things multiply, if you’re like me than they multiply beyond the speed that physicists can work out. Firstly my WIP. In my car I have a bag that contains a scarf that I am currently doing. It is solely for doing at the bus stop when I am waiting for my daughter to get off after school. There is also another bag in the car with a sweatshirt for the same child. I do this at dancing lessons because I get an hour that is relatively uninterrupted.

Then there is the house. My current focus in on a project that I am contributing to a book on free-form crochet work. I have it on a rather large board teetering on the now multi-purpose coffee table in the family room. It has all sorts of things sitting on it waiting for placement, The sofa in that room also has yarns and other bits and pieces teetering on it. In the TV room there are multiple pieces of varying yarns that I am working on for the free-form piece, plus 2 beanie’s and a scarf. So there alone is two rooms cluttered. Just outside the TV room in a not so very hidden plastic box is a free-form scarf in autumn colors and a sweatshirt awaiting completion and in my bedroom An example of a "Coat of Many Colours"another 2 half completed afghans.

WIM – well let’s just not go there…except for my current yarn situation.

I did think I was alone in this phenomenon, the collection of half finished items that is, however belonging to a couple of internet crochet groups I have discovered I am not alone. Maybe it is a disease that us “hookers” get. Certainly a malignant condition however not fatal, unless your stash falls off the shelf and smothers you. Assuming I am going to complete all the things I have started and all the things I want to do, not to mention things I haven’t thought about to use up the embarrassingly large amount of yarn I have, I will live forever. The secret of immortality revealed. Let’s just hope arthritis doesn’t set in and my eyesight hangs in there.

BUT my friends, back to the recent acquisition of balls of wool. I was thinking of making a “coat of many colors” sort of a magic ball coat only using whole balls each time. What do you think? I’ve always wanted a coat.

So folks, a couple of questions for you:

1)  What do you think I should make? I don’t need any more afghans.

2)  How are you going with all your WIP’s and WIM’s?

3) Are you a rare breed of craft-person that can start and finish one item? (If so then you are special, unique, maybe the last of your species)

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31 Comments

  1. Jeanette says:

    Oh dear I have so many WIP and WIM that I cannot imagine ever running out of projects either.

  2. Maggie0215 says:

    I have 6 or 7 WIP that I’m sure I will finish sometime. I am working on an afghan for my granddaughter that I will finish. I have 4 notebooks filled with patterns from afghans to toys to slippers to dishcloths. I hope I can finish some of them.

  3. Tammy says:

    I just got my J.Jill catalog and there is a very cute sweater that has inspired my PIM. I just have never created my own pattern before. Do you have any tips for “reading” manufactured goods to translate them into your own project?

  4. Julia says:

    I think I can count on the fingers on both hands how many projects I’ve ever completed. But I would need the fingers and toes of my whole family to count my WIP. It is too many to even contemplate. I’m currently trying to force myself to stick to two and pretend the others don’t exist. :-D

  5. wendy says:

    I’s not just crocheters that have WIPs. I have several crochet WIPs, cross stitch WIPs, quilting WIPs and sewing WIPs! I have more WIMs than I care to think about!!

    For the natural fibres – washcloths would be good for the cottons and could be given as gifts, as could pot holders, bags for gift bags or to keep your yarn in! And how about amigurumi, surely you can never have enough cute critters made from natural fibres?!

  6. Jennifer says:

    Regarding projects for your new yarn, I think the idea of a Magic Ball Coat sounds fascinating!

    Regarding my own track record with WIPs….
    For a couple years, I had been doing very good about only having one WIP at a time, mainly because I had promised my family I would crochet each one a Christmas stocking. As I have many sisters, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews, it was imperative that I stick to this rule in order to complete the project before relatives began slipping into that eternal sleep (sorry for the morbid humor!).

    And as I said I had been sticking very closely to the rule, until we moved into a new house with hardwood floors last fall. I love not vacuuming, but my feet were not to pleased about the sensation of these non-padded surfaces in the middle of a long, cold winter. Thus, when I saw a darling rug patten by a display of new yarn at the shop, I succumbed to the temptation. Looking at the pattern I guessed it would take me a about 6 weeks to finish a pair for the bedroom. I had guessed right (give or take a week), but when I came to the last round on the first rug (before attaching the the fringe), I laid the the rug on the floor by the bed and discovered to my dismay that it looked like a doily on a basketball court! Soooo…I began expanding the pattern, carefully making notes as I went along (remember, I have to make a duplicate for the other side of the bed), and I think after another 3 rounds it will be serviceable. Maybe. We’ll see when it looks like on the floor at that point.

    In the meantime, six year-old niece saw my coin purse one day, asked if I had made it and said it was pretty. Indeed I had made it from a Crochet Spot pattern, and I got to thinking that her birthday was coming up and maybe she would like her own coin purse as a present. But what else could I make to go with it? Lo and behold, there appeared in my inbox a Crochet Spot post with a pattern for the Preppy Kerchief–super cute! So I am now making that.

    But that’s it! No more projects started until the birthday presents, the rugs and the stockings are completed! At least that’s the mantra I keep chanting whenever I look longingly at the lovely patterns that appear in my inbox every week.

  7. Kristina says:

    I think it would be fun to make a few different stash baskets, to hold all your yarn. It would
    allow you to see how the different yarns feel in a finished product, and to experiment with
    differently structured baskets.

    I only got back into crocheting a few months ago and am sticking to short projects. But so far, I
    have the following WIPs: 2nd pair of socks, 2 more in a set of juggling balls, another multicolored
    hipster doily – I just love the pattern.

    I have a few WIMs in mind and will collect the special yarns over the summer and bring them back
    here to work on – I hope.

  8. Liriel says:

    I saw a little oval cross-stitch once that said…

    “She who dies with the most unfinished projects wins.”

  9. Lori says:

    Usually, I also keep multiple projects going at once. Usually one or two in each category: crochet, tatting, and embroidery. Recently, I opened up a couple of online stores to sell my crocheting. I got my first order for 6 small string market bags. There is a definite deadline, as my friend has a family reunion in a couple more weeks. She has already paid in full, so I am really under the gun. This has been a great motivator. I have completed 3 bags and am working on the fourth. Each bag I make, I make a little bit unique by using different colors, arranging the colors differently for each bag, and using different stitch combinations for the handle. This helps keep them interesting for me to work on.

    My embroidery and tatting are on hold until this order is out. I’m looking forward to being done!

  10. heather says:

    I used to be able to start and finish one project at a time. I guess my addiction grew or I’ve become easily distracted since having children. Currently I have two unfinished blankets (one baby, one granny square), two shrugs, a windmill bag and two amiguri puppies. Just picked up some yarn on clearance, some of that is for a shrug already mentioned, and the rest is for an afgahn to be made in the future (WIM). I also have some yarn I picked up on a sale last year, but haven’t found a project where my gage and the yarn work. I make a lot of dishcloths and potholders, in between WIP’s because they are easy and I get a finished product usually the same day. Great for gifts too. Cross stitch WIP’s are on hold since my crochet addition has grown. Now I think I want to make some baby socks and hats to sell. Thinking of ways to help out around here and have an excuse to crochet and buy more yarn!

  11. Olivia says:

    I have a few WIPs going on. I’m knitting two scarfs, crocheting a blanket my Momma started but didn’t finish a few years ago, crocheting a cellphone case for my friend, and combining crocheting and knitting to make a doll. I’m crocheting the head and body, knitting the arms and legs, and I’m going to crochet and knit the clothes.

    My WIMs are: crochet and knit coasters, bracelets, cellphone cases, and change purses then sell them. Im going to keep a third of the money and donate the rest to charity and shelters. The reason I’m making small things is so I don’t use up a lot of my yarn. I don’t have much but I’m planning to get more sometime.

  12. Lisa says:

    My WIPs include a granny square baby blanket (just to keep in my stash for the next baby that comes along), a tote bag for myself and an afghan for my nephew’s birthday. I usually am able to start and finish one project at a time but for some reason I now have these 3 started and unfinished. It actually drives me nuts! I really don’t like having them laying around calling out to me to finish them! :)

    As far as WIMs… too many to count and I add to that list everyday!!! It’s good to know I’m not alone in this. I am fairly new to crocheting and am glad to know I’m falling into step with the rest of you! :)

  13. Merry says:

    I only have a few WIPs at the moment but far too many projects that need to have loose ends sewn in. Any offers? :)

  14. Sarah Dee says:

    1. You should try crocheting a purse. They are my favourite thing to crochet, because their one size fits all, and you can make them in colours that no one would dare to wear as clothing.

    2. I have a million projects, (not even all of them crochet) in my head and ones that are more or less halfway done.

    3. There is no way I could only work on one crochet project at a time. My minds jumps around, and then I find a new pattern, ugh, it’s just all over the place.

  15. Finishing a WIP is sooooo satisfying!! Highly recommend :)

    I just finished a pair of amigurumi scarecrows by FiberDoodles that I printed out last March. At the time I had only been crocheting about a week and it turned out to be over my head. But I left it on my Rav project page and it stared back at me stuck on 10% over a year before I finally got the nerve to try again. Very cute and very satisfying to mark DONE!

    Finished 3 hand-quilted UFO quilts this last winter. My quilt UFO’s have had longer to pile up…followed by knitting. Crochet feels more under control.

  16. Stephanie says:

    I have soooo many WIPs and WIMs, where do I begin! A few years ago, my mom helped me finish a pile of WIPs, I thught I had located all of them…. unfortunately I keep running into them (yes, ones that were started before mom helped me). As for WIMs, every time I go on the internet, or check my e-mail, there is another pattern for a potential WIM. I have binders and stacks and files of WIMs, and a stash that would probably nearly complete just as many.

    As for your idea for a coat, I think it’s good, but there are several things to consider….
    Make sure it is a design that will stand the test of time, you don’t want it to end up in the back of the closet, ir the bottom of the cedar chest never to see daylight again. Make sure it’s something you won’t get bored working on or it will be destined for the WIP pile. Other than that, happy needling or hooking, whichever you prefer.

    I don’t mean to be a downer, but if you expend the effort, and the beautiful fibers, it should be worn.

  17. Rachel, I’m one of your Premium Members and I just love your creations! I have just purchased about 3 dozen balls of beautiful cushy wool yarn from Mongolia and what I wish you would do with all of yours is MAKE A RUG!!!! And then publish the pattern or patterns for us! I think stepping out of the shower in the morning onto a brilliantly colored cushy rug would be awesome! So go girl!! Thanks for all your help!

  18. Ann says:

    You are so lucky to have received the yarn. Several years ago a very dear, elderly friend of mine gave me a bag full of yarn that had been her daughter’s. Her daughter, whom I had never met and who had passed away from cancer about 5 years previously, had been working on a sweater when she died. She also had a lot of yarn remanents in different colors. I couldn’t figure out what to do with the yarn until I got to thinking about how close my friend and her daughter had been. I bought some green yarn to use as a “base” for granny squares and used the various colors of yarn as the center rose for each square and made an afghan. My friend loved the afghan and used it for many years. When she died a couple of years ago, her grandson (the son of her deceased daughter) said that his grandmother had left the afghan to him. I have made many items for many different people but the one I made for my friend is the one I will always remember because of the joy it brought to her.

  19. Grace says:

    1.) You should crochet something nice, simple, and pretty for a battered persons shelter. I know they are in need of some business jackets and nice office clothes at the one I’m near. I find giving my created items away a new joy and a new drive to create more things. There is also the options of given them away as gifts to loved ones that you can then “borrow” them from later.

    2 & 3) I’m the insane type of crafter that has to finish what I started before starting anything else. Strange? No, not really. It’s more OCD and being a clean freak. So, my WIM is written down neatly in a crafting “wish book”, along with pictures and sketches. I’ll get to them when I have the yarn for it. My WIP is currently getting rid of the annoying large mound of yarn I got for Christmas! Annoying because it isn’t clean and organised, by the way. I do love the yarn. I’m making many amigurumi’s for the boy’s and girls at the battered person’s shelter since their family has essentially fallen apart. They need hope. I’ve also been making blankets, shawls, stoles, and bags for the same reasons. I’d like to start making clothing, but sleeves defeat me. >_>

  20. Ann says:

    Regarding my story above….I know you don’t need anymore afghans, but I bet someone you care for would love to have one.

  21. Ghostwtr101 says:

    I have several works in progress. I have an afghan stitch with counted cross stitch afghan that I have been working on for over 25 years. Yes, I work on it then put it down and do some more and put it down. Finding just the right colours for the cross stitch design is/was the hold up.

    Then I have the “I am going to the doctor’s office” project. You know the one that you work on little sections because you do not know if you will be waiting there an few minutes or a few hours? When I was pregnant I remember finishing 2 afghans just waiting to be seen.

    Then there are the road trip projects. Yes, the bag is packed and just pick up and go.

    There are NEVER enough afghans in my home. As the children grow up and leave I see their beloved afghans go with them. But I do get visitation rights. And sadly my children were not interested in learning to manipulate the thread so I have community children I teach, Girl Scouts/Girl Guides. I have boys that say if Rosie Greer can knit why can’t I? But they want to a little better than the girl until I point out that the girls will help them learn. [Okay so I am a match maker on the side.]

    But I love the sampler afghans. I try a pattern for a new afghan I find and make a square of the pattern, usually 6 inch to 8 inch square and put them aside. when I collect enough of them we take them out and lay them out on the cement patio and arrange them to the best colour arangement, pick them up in rows, and put them together. They are colourful and unusual.

    I try and keep my WIP down to 10. The only time that is comprimised is if I have to make a baby blanket.

  22. Daria says:

    I am currently knitting some of my natural fiber into those big sockhead hats that are oversized and long. Natural fibers look and feel so soft and luxurious, not to mention how nurturing they feel to wear. I wear my big sockhead hat in the evening while I crochet, even though it’s near 100 degrees outside.

    I know hats and scarves are like a cliche’ for knitting or crocheting, but it’s a different story with the natural fibers, and I say anything that touches the skin is a good idea for stitching your natural fiber yarns. A great way that I’ve found to provoke ideas is simply to start a piece with a new stitch that I’ve never worked before. WIP pieces can then become creations later when you come back to them. One time I didn’t have any WIM ideas, but I was feeling creative and wanting to crochet, so I looked through my bags of WIP pieces and found a rectangle of popcorn stitchwork. I looked and looked at it for awhile, then suddenly I saw the piece as a purse, so I stiched all around, added a strap, and a button and it’s one of the cutest purses I’ve ever seen if I may say so myself.

    I learned to hand spin yarn about year ago and, though it is a little challenging, it is very rewarding to see the finished work and adds another element to the process of creation. It also makes one appreciate the natural fibers and what a gift they are to us. You have been blessed to receive an abundance of it! I say just stitch what you know how to stitch and let the ideas flow from that as you go along. Share your pics with us here if you can!

  23. Veronica Smith says:

    Thanks for all the suggestions. As for the charity suggestions – lovely sentiment – however I already make and donate to charities however this yarn is not suitable for that as being wools etc they need special washing and there are many people who are allergic to wool. So my afghan and sweaters will have to continue being made with acrylics.

  24. Nicole says:

    I am one of the rare creatures that has only one WIP at any given time. However the WIM list I have is huge and i will probably only get to make a small fraction of them.

    As for your large pile of wool…my sugestions would be

    1. Put aside a certain amount of the wool to dedicate to charity items. Beanies and booties for your local hosptial preemie babies, dog coats for your local animal welfare group, nice thick bed socks for an old folks home are a few suggestions.

    2. I think you should do your coat too. I want pics when it’s finished too.

  25. Katy says:

    I am the unique breed of one at a time, I like to finish a project to get to the next one. However I crochet at a super fast rate and with obsession to finish it as I am also a person too impatient to wait. My current work follows me everywhere, literaly! The bathroom, on outings, in the room, washing laundry, work… everywhere! I will use any spare moment to complete a current projects and go through any lengths to get to that next one. Also this requires that I also take many “crochet vacations” to spend time with my fam, to give my kids laughs and giggles, and also to bestow my husband with love and affection. These breaks don’t last too long, my kids can be entertained with a hook in hand and I don’t need my hands to give a kiss right?

  26. Delecia says:

    My WIP’s include crochet, beading, cross stitch and sewing. If I were to retire from work and only work on my WIM’s, I would never finish in this lifetime. I get bored so I have several WIP’s. My rule of thumb is this, if the projects leave my craft room and start taking over my house, then there are too many. I need to control them, not let them control me. It’s hard sometimes, but it works. Oh, wait, just bought some bamboo yarn. Gotta go! (-:

  27. Artfully Done says:

    I think you should think about felting the wool, you could make bags for your crochet projects!
    The coat idea is a good one, too. I’m with you about natural yarns, they’re the best.

    I have 6 WIP just off the top of my head, no, 7. I know I’ve forgotten some as they are older. I like the rush you get starting a new project and the ideal project is one where you don’t get bored with reps. If the reps a varied enough, that’s fun. I find myself switching off projects of either different reps or different yarn weight/hook size. That keeps me from getting bored.

    WIM, hmmm, that’s interesting. I’m a new intermediate crocheter, I’m learning new stitches all the time and I know the basics. So, I’m just starting to turn towards designing – more making changes to patterns at this point. And I’ve got so many ideas, well, I wish there was more cash for my stash, if you know what I mean!

    I’ve never done a project start to finish, always have six going of different skill levels as well. If one frustrates me I go to an easy one and when I get bored I go to a different weight yarn.

    I had you pegged as being in England, so you’ve dropped a veil and let us know you’re Australian. I’m in Virginia (USA, of course).

  28. Dawn Taylor says:

    I have never responded to a blog or website, but I could not resist this question. I don’t know how many WIPs I have, but I can tell you all the WIPs are for me, my sweater, my vest, my afghan, my curtains, my tablecloth…Completed work always seems to be for someone else. My most recent WIP is a shawl for myself that I will finish before starting another WIM.

    I think that you need another category, WID, “work in dreams.” This would be something made just for the fun of it, just for the challenge, just for the uniqueness. One of my WIDs is in Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Crochet. I believe that it is called a Poet’s Coat (my book is currently packed away.) Not only is it a coat of many colors, it is a coat of many stitches. Given a bonanza of supplies, this is what I would make.

    I will look forward to your decision.

  29. Kelsie says:

    I have a ton of WIMs,I have notebooks filled with them!Crazy right?I think the coat would be a great idea!

  30. Olivia says:

    By the way, since I am a weird person who LOVES to type (lol) I will list things you can crochet to use up your stash. Blankets (to donate since you’ve already made some for yourself), hats, scarves, mittens, headbands, doilies, bookmarks, pillow covers, cozies for cellphones, picture frames, your toilet seat…(ok maybe I’m going over the edge a bit) basically, anything you can find a pattern for. Also, this is a good time to start on your holiday gifts for family and friends. A lot of people start on their gifts in November or December and end up finishing them in July, or not at all. So yeah, start on them gifts and use up your yarn stash. And just think, when you use up all of your yarn, you can go out and buy more to celebrate!!! Lol. TTYL everyone! Crochet on!!!

  31. Veronica Smith says:

    Ha ha ha Olivia.
    You do love to type.
    Some excellent suggestions.

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