Then you don't.
A project started, an idea on the way to becoming reality, physical evidence of hours spent with the needles...
I'll leave the philosophical (i.e. kinda hokey) ponderings on knitting to others, but I did have to think about change and starting over today as I pulled out two projects that just weren't meant to be. There was the initial gasp of mourning over hours lost, but then the rational side kicked in and justified that I was instead saving hours in finishing projects that ultimately wouldn't be loved or used. That mohair wrap was just going to be butt ugly and the pink blob has always had a rather shaky existence. If anything, I should've known to frog these two long before I did. I guess sometimes it takes awhile to learn when it's time to call it quits.
Because every so often, the pieces do shape up and come together. This is when you know it's time to start the seaming.
Ribby Cardigan... blocking on a Sunday afternoon. Finished sweater coming soon.
And just in case you are a family member who is currently freaking out, no, I'm not quitting grad school or scrapping my dissertation. It's just knitting, no bigger metaphor, I promise.