"Why?" takes longer to answer. Tracking hours accomplishes several things:
- It helps me predict how long it will take to complete a project.
- It helps identify certain projects that are being neglected and are deserving of attention.
- It provides a sense of accomplishment when I see a certain number of hours completed.
- It is one way of setting goals (e.g. "complete 10 hours" as opposed to "finish the front piece of the sweater").
- It is a good way to impress people. I usually get a stunned look when I tell someone I'd spent 200 hours on a cross-stitch project. This could be interpreted as, "I am impressed by your dedication!" or "You need to get a life!"
For these reasons, there are a great number of on-line forums for cross-stitching, more I think than for most other hobbies of this sort. One really needs support groups for this activity. Where else would one get loads of praise and encouragement for an uploaded photo of a project that's only 5% completed?
My favourite forum is Rotation Stitchers. This is a long-running forum totally devoted to management of multiple stitching projects. Topics covered include time-tracking methods, styles of rotations, stitch-along (SAL) groups and even meta-discussion about whether rotation stitching or one-at-a-time stitching is best. If there's anything I like more than stitching itself, it's examining and analyzing the process.
For the record, I have about 10 cross-stitch projects on the go, with 5 of them "active" and the other 5 at some risk of becoming UFOs (Unfinished Objects). I have been pretty good the past two years about not starting new projects and consequently am not yet at the SABLE (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy) point.