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5 Ways to Conquer your WIPs!

Many of us are plagued with WIPs that have gone weeks, months, and sometimes even YEARS before they have been completed. We love this sweater or shawl, have the perfect yarn, and happily start. Then …
  • … life gets in the way
  • …or the yarn isn’t what we thought
  • … or it’s not working the way you want it.
  • .. or… or …or <put in your reasons>
Most of the time, I usually have one project each of crochet and knitting at one time, but this time of year I find that I have more WIPs (works in progress) because of all the personal projects I need to complete. How do I clear them out so that I can have a fresh start now? (or any time of year) Here are a few tips to get you started on reducing the WIP pile(s).

#1 Purge your WIPs!

The first thing you want to do is go through all your WIPs. Bring them all into the same room (I know you have WIPs all over the place, even your cars!) Then go through them one by one and separate them into piles.  These are the piles I use:
  1. Need to finish first (mostly gifts or projects with some sort of deadline – like a baby that is due soon)
  2. Not pressing (something I am doing for fun or for myself)
  3. I don’t want to finish this (I just have no interest in this or its not turning out the way I thought)
If you have projects in #3 go ahead and FROG them and put the yarn back in your stash and be sure to put your hook away so you can use it for a future project.

#2 Organize your WIPs!

Now you should have two piles left.  Starting with the most pressing projects, grab a piece of paper, and create a list!  I know there are some bloggers that have special downloads that are pretty to do this, but I just create a list in my planner. On this list you will want to list the following:
  1. The name of the project.
  2. Who it is for.
  3. When it needs to be finished.
On the initial list, I do not necessarily have them in order of completion dates.  I take a red pen afterward and number them later in the order I want to complete them. Once one is completed, I cross them off the list. I make a separate list for the not pressing projects using the same info. Another part of organizing the projects is to make sure each project is in its own bag.  If it is small enough, I will use Ziplocks so that I can see the project, but as most of my projects are pretty large, I tend to have a bag for each one. All of my bags are different so I usually know what’s in each bag, but if you find you cannot remember, at that as the 4th thing on your list (what project bag it is in.) Once all the projects are separated, I have a basket near my crochet spot in the living room that I place all the current in-progress bags so they are all in the same place.

#3 Start with Easy Win WIPs

So maybe you have a project in the need to finish first group that only needs to have the ends woven in and be blocked to complete.  Do that first! even if you have another deadline prior to that one, getting something that will finish up quickly will make you feel productive! From that point, make sure you go to the most pressing project and complete them in order. (And when I say complete – that means weaving in ends and blocking too!)

#4 Remove All Distractions

Remember earlier when I said I have a basket that I keep my WIPs in?  I can hide it in a corner where I cannot see it. When I cannot see other WIPs, it keeps my mind on the one that I am working on. Also, make some rules for yourself when you are working on a project.  Do things like:
  • Set aside crochet time that is ONLY FOR WIPs.
  • Don’t buy new yarn for a new project until the current WIP is done.
  • Keep your smartphone away from you as you work so that you aren’t tempted to scroll through Instagram or other social media.
  • Set aside time every day (or week) to work on the current WIP.
  • Bring your current WIP with you where ever you go when you aren’t the driver and if it is portable enough.

#5 Reward Yourself

This is my favorite! when you finish a WIP, do something for yourself.  Maybe head to your LYS or favorite online shop and buy that skein of yarn you have been wanting. Or maybe head to your favorite coffee shop and get yourself a treat. The reward could be anything, but make sure it is something that makes you feel great for finishing a project! The most important thing when it comes to finishing WIPs is to make a plan and stick with it.  The tips I have here are just a starting point for you to jump off with. You might find some other ways to help you stay the course and get things done.  If you do, make sure to let me know what they are!  I would love to hear them! Post your thoughts in the comments below


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