On Arbitrary Rules

I have some serious process-knitter tendencies. I love love love to buy yarn, pick out patterns, and start projects. I do also love to have knitted items to wear and enjoy, but that love has never pushed me into productknitterdom. It’s in the sticking to things and finishing them where the whole thing kinda breaks down. So, I set rules for myself. They usually don’t have any real substance backing them up, and there are almost never any consequences if I break them. I just have to give myself deadlines and parameters so that I will not drown in a sea of 6-rows-of-this and 3-repeats-of-that. It’s about getting myself to focus.

Last year it was a pair of socks a month. I was buying a skein of sock yarn a week and not knitting it with nearly as much frequency. So, I set a goal for myself. And I totally didn’t meet it, but it gave me something to focus on and brought a few new favorite pairs of socks into my life. No consequences for failing, but even in failing there was some reward. This year it’s a sweater every two months. First it was owls, then it was the surprise squishy raglan, and now it’s Francis Revisited (I also started a Plain & Simple Pullover in there) to be knit in May-June.

It’s June 30, you may have noticed. You may also have noticed that so far this post does not seem to be about a finished Francis Revisited.

Anyway, my point is it’s a good thing that arbitrary, self-imposed rules have no consequences, or I’d be in trouble right about now.

Here, have a picture of CSA week 4:


We have 1 bunch each of kohlrabi, turnips, and beets; one head of red-leaf lettuce; scallions; new potatoes (NEW POTATOES! THEY WERE PURPLE! OHMYGOD!); peas; and collard greens. There was also escarole but I passed it by this week, as last week’s came out sort of bitter and terrible and I think it caused my cast-iron skillet to rust and I sort of hate and fear it now.

And that’s Thursday, folks.

8 thoughts on “On Arbitrary Rules

  1. I love beets! I usually roast them. Hubby doesn’t like them so more for me.

    I’ve been knitting since September 2007 and the arbitrary rule’s I made for myself were: 1) don’t get carried away buying yarn. Only buy for the project you want to make. 2) Only one project at a time. No WIP’s.

    Well if you look at my stash page and and project page you’ll see that neither of this rules lasted very long!

    1. With last week’s bunch of beets, I quartered them and cooked them like crispy fried potatoes. The edges got all brown and bubbly and it really brought out their sweetness. Loved them. Haven’t decided what I want to do this week.

      And, yeah, it’s tough to care too much sometimes about the rules you set for yourself (which is why I like that kind of rule). I’m still aiming for 6 sweaters this year, but my next one is bulky weight on somewhere around 5-6 mm needles, so that should make up some time.

  2. I like to have monthly goals too! It helps me stay focused I finally got back on track with my monthly goals in June, but prior to, I’ve had a lot of trouble keeping to the plan. At any rate, I feel like I”m letting myself down if I don’t finish, and that’s enough to keep me in line!

    1. Since I mostly knit for me, sometimes focusing on how much I want a particular item done and usable is enough to push me through. Hard to use that method to find sweater knitting motivation in July when we only have a/c in the bedroom, though!

  3. If you are having UFO trouble, try having a crafty day! I sometimes do this with my cousin and aunt (but no more, she moved). Pack up a project and get together. You make at least some progress and get some good conversation too.

    1. Usually I get stuff done on lunch breaks, this sweater’s just at the point where it’s not so portable anymore. Maybe I’ll have to have some folks over for lunch.

  4. Haha I do the same thing! Set arbitrary rules and then don’t follow through. I need to try that sock a month thing though since I continue to buy sock yarn without knitting any socks. No socks. None. And yet I buy. It’s a sickness.

    1. The sock a month program was definitely good for me, even if I didn’t finish as much as I wanted to. It reminded me that the reason I buy beautiful sock yarn is so I can enjoy some beautiful socks. I may have to do it again next year, as the sock yarn drawers are overflowing once again.

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