How to Manage Your Startitis and Recapture Your Sanity

Yes, you can manage Startitis and get those multiple WIPs under control

I firmly believe that “Startitis” — that is, the desire to cast on for a new project rather than working on something already on the needles — is not a problem.

It has benefits, truly. It can make knitting more enjoyable, because you’re always working on something new. Don’t we all love knitting new projects?

If you’re reading what I’ve just written and shaking your head sadly… maybe even said something like “Nicole, you just don’t get it…” I hear you.

Regardless of whether I believe Startitis is a bad thing or not, the point is that you believe it’s a bad thing. So let’s address it.

Just how does one cure Startitis?

That is an excellent question. And I’m not sure anyone on the Internet has actually attempted to answer it! Seriously… go Google “startitis” or “fighting startitis” or even “ending startitis” and see what you find.

What I found was confessions! Knitting blogger after knitting blogger confessed that s/he had a serious case of Startitis and went on to describe just how big this problem was.

What I failed to find was any article or blog post that actually detailed how to “cure” Startitis. So one thing that may bring you comfort is knowing you’re not alone!

Manage Your Startitis and WIPs

I think this ultimately means that there is no known cure for Startitis or multiple WIPs. I do, however have some ideas for ways in which you be able to at least get your Startitis or multiple WIPs under control.

(Kind of like diabetes… you can’t cure it, but you can at least manage it to live a healthy, happy life.)

Here are ideas to manage your Startitis or multiple WIPs. Try any or all that appeal to you!

Find some small projects to indulge in

One great way to manage Startitis is to find small projects that knit up so quickly, you don’t even have time to get itchy to cast on something different!

Check out this post I published about knitting patterns for those with hurting hands. Any or all of these patterns would be great ways to manage Startitis (or at least turn it, temporarily, into Finishitis!).

Find and catalog all your WIPs

Before you groan and wonder why I’m trying to make you feel guilty… honestly, that’s not my point here! My point is that finding and cataloging your WIPs can provide two very real benefits.

One, inspiration. When you pull out your WIPs and take a good look at them (maybe even photograph them!), you may just remember why you loved that project in the first place. This could be enough to inspire you to finish at least one, and maybe even several.

Two, culling. Sometimes the reason we have multiple WIPs is because we abandon projects that annoy us. If you even suspect this might be your issue, you may want to carefully consider frogging some of these projects. Why would you want to hang on to a project that you find annoying?

If the reason is “because someone asked me to” or, worse, “because someone is paying me to,” then you may want to consider having an honest discussion with the intended recipient.

Surely the person you’re knitting for doesn’t want you stuck knitting a project for them that annoys or even frustrates you!

One other good reason to catalog your WIPs is to help you prioritize. If you really feel like you need to finish at least some of these projects, a catalog will help you decide which ones you want to finish first. That can motivate you to get them done.

Sometimes one of the reasons we have so many WIPs is because we simply can’t decide what project we want to work on. A catalog like this can manage Startitis by helping us decide.

I’ve created a PDF worksheet called the WIP Catalog that you can use for this exact purpose. You can pick it up via the Mosaic Bookshop below!

Helpful Worksheets from the Mosaic Bookshop

Do you need to catalog all your WIPs? How about your favorite stitch patterns? Pick up these helpful printable worksheets (and more!) at the Mosaic Bookshop–or grab them here!

Let it run its course

Many knitters have found themselves afflicted with Startitis or multiple WIPs. And oftentimes these knitters decide to just go with the flow — cast on all the things — and they find that eventually, those desires wane.

Sometimes you just need to indulge that intense urge to cast on all the things before you realize that you’re tired of casting on and you’re ready to start, well, finishing!

I hope this discussion has helped you! Maybe you felt bad about yourself because of all that casting on or all those WIPs. Or maybe you just wanted some ideas for catching a case of Finishitis instead. I hope now you’ve got some answers, solutions, and maybe even different ways of thinking about this issue.

Have you ever suffered from Startitis but found solutions to it? Do you have your own special way to manage Startitis? Please share below!

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  1. I find that just perusing through my mountain of yarn mitigates my startitis and placing the appropriate yarn with a suitable pattern in its own box or container curbs the urhe to tie up yet another pair of needles. Then there are moments when I just cannot bear sewing seams so I put finished pieces aside and when I get the urge to sew I can finish many projects at once.

    1. Those are two great ideas, Kimberly! I too sometimes get to a point when I don’t feel like knitting but am in the mood to do finishes like sewing and weaving in ends. And I love your suggestion of placing yarn with a suitable pattern in its own container. That can help with the old issue of “too many patterns, too little time” as well.

  2. This article has come at a very good time. I’ve been knitting for years. I normally like to knit, crochet or do needlepoint. Right now, I just can’t seem to get anything right. So, even though I’m not really happy just sitting in front of the tv without working on a project, I am avoiding touching anything. This article has given me some ideas. Thank you.

    1. I’m so glad to hear it’s helped you, Renee! I’m with you — I don’t particularly enjoy sitting in front of the TV without working on something. I hope you’ve gotten an idea that will help you launch a project you can be happy with!