I know, there are lots of people who regularly have that many, and more, project on the needles, but it's a new behavior for me. Usually, I have one fairly boring knit, that I can talk through and not have to pay too much attention; and something more complex that I can watch TV through, but not necessarily make conversation. I have both of those on the needles now. Plus I've added a beaded lace scarf that is taking all my attention (at the moment. That may change as I become more familiar with the pattern), and another beaded lace scarf that is going to be a present for someone (I'm not sure who...yet).
Which brings me to the next point. Knitted Gifts. Who to knit for? Who will appreciate it? Who won't...and why not?
These are the questions that rattle around in my head whenever I start a gift project. See...I like to give knitted gifts. Probably for the same reason I like to cook for crowds of people. It's a way I get to share my love. However, just like I won't cook beef bourgingnon for a vegetarian, I'm not going to spend the time and energy (not to mention the yarn) on a project for someone that won't wear it.
I had this conversation with someone a little while ago. This person said that while s/he would love and appreciate the time and effort put into such a gift s/he would probably not ever wear it. And while I appreciate knowing this, it makes me so incredibly sad that I will never have the joy of spending hours handcrafting a gift for someone I love...because honestly...I make garments to be worn, not stuck in a drawer and "appreciated."
Honestly, I don't understand why someone would prefer to wear something constructed from the cheapest materials possible, made by a machine operator who earns 30 cents a day, over something that was hand-knit, custom fit, and crafted with the best materials available, including my own handspun, handpainted, 100% 'soft as a baby's ass' merino wool? Is it that we all have visions of reindeer sweaters knit out of Red Heart acrylic yarn.
Maybe I have too much time on my hands. Maybe I know the difference between having my feet go through the sweat/freeze/sweat cycle of nylon socks vs. the warm, toasty and DRY sensation of wool socks. Maybe because I know that during the time spent knitting something for someone, I think about them - what they mean to me - what I mean to them, and somehow all of that gets knitted into the garment. Whatever.
I don't have any of these answers. So for now, I'm going to go downstairs and work on something soft and wonderful and beautiful.