The Bog of Lost Scholars

June 21, 2010

Unfinished Project Guilt

Filed under: Crafts,Dejunking and Organizing — castiron @ 12:21 am

The Yarn Harlot recently posted wondering why she feels guilty about bailing on a project to knit something that’s more appealing. Predictably, many of the comments in response were along the lines of “Don’t feel guilty! Knitting is supposed to be fun! It’s the Puritan Work Ethic coming to harass you; just ignore it! You produce plenty of finished projects; you have nothing to feel bad about!”

All good points.

But sitting here surrounded by 20+ unfinished projects, I can tell you one reason why it’s legitimate to feel guilty about neglecting one to knit something else: the waste of money.

Yarn isn’t cheap. Even a few skeins of big-box craft store acrylic represents some money that could’ve been used for a lunch out; a sweater-quantity of luxury fiber could buy a week’s groceries; a large stash could represent enough money to rewire the house or take a nice vacation. Now, when the yarn’s still in skein form, the pleasure of petting it and imagining what projects you could make from it may well be worth what you paid for it. The process of turning that yarn into something nifty is another pleasure that’s well worth the cost; ditto the enjoyment of using or giving the finished item.

But when the project is sitting half-finished in a bag somewhere, it’s not doing any of those things. No dreams about what to make from the yarn, because a project’s already chosen and started; no fun of watching the project grow and feeling the yarn as you work, because you’re not working on it; no finished item to be proud of. If the project’s packed away somewhere, you don’t even have the pleasure of petting the yarn. It’s a waste of the money you spent on the yarn. You’d have been better off putting that money towards paying off debt or going out for a memorable meal…or buying yarn for a project that you actually would enjoy finishing.

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