You've been there... the sudden antsy, overwhelming desire to cast on all.the.things. We crafters generally refer to this phenom as "start-itis". But what is it really? What causes this, and how do you deal with it?
I inevitably make tragic combinations of patterns and designs. I frantically wind skeins, search for needles and cast on disasters - often repeatedly and eventually killing otherwise excellent fiber. I make dozens of heavily edited charts, piles of sad swatches, and in the end, I'm so disappointed and burnt out that I often can't knit for days afterwards.
It took many, many episodes before I started to watch the symptoms and work out strategies to survive start-itis.
I think start-itis stems from the intersection of boredom (or fear thereof) and inspiration. When these two states meet, inspiration by contrast is exponentially bigger, and with a lack of structure becomes a wild fire. Therein lies perhaps an answer: structure.
Inspiration in a structured environment channels into great designs, great projects, great everything. Take the pressure cooker "Project Runway" as an example. Give designers a limited budget and limited timeline with a general goal and blam! Genius happens. Loosen this structure, give them a bigger budget, send them home for 6 weeks, and flop! Designers without discipline and self imposed structure develop expensive ten piece collections that lack coherence and vision and spend three days in a panic reworking and starting from scratch. My start-itis differs only in that I often have a time constraint, and I'm the only judge.
And so now when I recognize an outbreak coming on, I apply structure. My structure consists mainly of a forced lengthened timeline and a current project. I pull out a notebook, a WIP and I determine that I won't cast anything new on until x amount of the current project is complete and/or I have a definitive plan/design in place - with ALL the details worked out.
I've found this technique solves the boredom, channels the inspiration, prevents disaster and in the end I'm infinitely more satisfied with my cohesive plan vs being horribly disappointed and burnt out.
Have you found ways to channel or control your start-itis?