Friday, March 23, 2012

Un-Fun Knitting


I have a question for you all: Do you ever not enjoying your knitting because you feel like you are always trying to finish things up quickly so you can cast on for something new?

This seems to be a problem with me right now and I am determined to make some changes so that I will enjoy my projects no matter how long they take and not feel like I'm punishing myself trying to get them finished so I can cast on something new I've been wanting to work on.

As I'm sure you've noticed, I tend to be the type of person who likes to be doing new things and casting on new projects.  Problem is, when I think that I have too many WIPs going I begin to feel guilty about them, and very ashamed if I cast on something new.  To fix this, I set about working through my WIPs to get them wittled down to a more "reasonable" number, but honestly, who ever said there had to be a reasonable number?  Stephanie Pearl-McPhee has said that there are no Knitting Police, so why do I act like there are?  Where did these standards come from that I'm always trying to live up to in my knitting?  This just does not seem right.  What ends up happening, is that I don't enjoy or even like working on my projects because I'm forcing myself to finish them up in order to start new ones.  This just creates a ton of stress and lots of frantic, "hurried up" knitting.  Which equals a very un-relaxed and un-happy me.

Knitting is supposed to be something I do for enjoyment and relaxation, and my oh my, it has been anything but lately!!  If I am happy and okay with having lots WIPs why is that not alright?  Why do I compare myself with other knitters?  Why do I start feeling bad about doing something I enjoy?

It's not like I never get my projects finished, they just sit a while first sometimes.  And it's not like I'm saying that I should get all out of hand and have tons and tons of projects on the go either, I just think that I should lighten up a bit and learn to enjoy the process of working on each project instead of rushing through it.

So my plan is to no longer worry how many WIPs I have going at one time or make myself finish up a bunch of them before I can cast on for something new, but instead I'm going to just take pleasure in whatever I happen to be working on and not stress about how long it takes me to get it finished, and if I want to cast on something new, I will.  I'm going to view it with the thoughts of - I knit because I enjoy it, this is something I like to do, and I am not going to stress about something that is supposed to be fun and for my own pleasure.  Of course there will be times when I do need to finish something up right away, for gifts and the such, but I don't want the "hurry up" knitting to be a daily and continual thing for me anymore.  It's about time I start enjoying life, and I'm going to start right now.


P.S. This all comes from a chat with my sister the other day who noticed that I was stressed out by my knitting and pointed it out to me.  She encouraged me to lighten up and have some fun, and reminded me why I knit in the first place - because I enjoy it.  So I have to say a big THANK YOU to her!!


  1. One thing that may make you feel better: remind yourself that crochet is different from knitting. Crochet wips are different from knitting least that is what I tell myself! It's okay that I have an afghan on the go and am knitting a pair of socks. It is also okay if you decide that you don't like some of those wips anymore and rip them out. I've done that too. Remember, they are just a delete away!

  2. I think the problem you might be having stems from the thought that you might be a product knitter instead of a process knitter. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee wrote a few interesting discussions about the differences but I remember reading it while on a it was probably from "Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting."

    I'm guessing you probably can guess the big difference, even if you don't specifically know: product knitters are more interested in the finished product and would rather finish a zillion things; process knitters enjoy the process and don't necessarily concern themselves with the finished product (they're like a nice surprise at the end).

    I'm more of a process knitter (though I do love having FOs). I'd say you're more of a product knitter.

    Both are fine. One isn't better than the other. And it's difficult to turn yourself into the other one...

    And now, back to your question: Do you ever not enjoy your knitting because you feel like you are always trying to finish things up quickly so you can cast on for something new?

    Yes. There are times when I really don't like my knitting...and that's when startitis sets in. Example for reference: it took me 18 months to knit a (self-designed) baby blanket for Little Man...worsted weight, US #6's not that it was difficult. It just started driving me nuts and I felt like I would never finish and I needed something different to work on. I had a few other things happen in between and I kept plugging away at the blanket here and there. I just needed a new stitch pattern, I think.

    So, yes, it happens.

    Wow, that was really long.........

  3. I find it funny how knitters seem to go on little kicks (I'm no exception). We have startitis and finishitis and a whole gambit in between. It's ok to be anywhere on the spectrum and most of us swing back and forth pretty wildly... but I agree with you about the fun.

    When knitting/crochet/crafting of any kind isn't fun anymore then you totally should lighten up and find the joy again...

    I hope your crafting brings you pleasure and nothing but this week sweetie :)

  4. Preachin' to the choir here! :)

    Sometimes I feel deflated by what's on my plate to knit. And usually it's all self-imposed deadlines and commitments. No one knows if I didn't get that baby sweater done for a friend, I can choose to buy her something from the registry or find some cute shoes or a toy, or I don't need to have a toy, a baby sweater, socks and 3 shawls all at once. The only one who really knows is me. I find it's usually because I'm so darn anxious to get something new started, I just can't hold back.

    My problem becomes that even though I'm so excited to start something new, the way my brain works, if I have too much going at once, I start to feel suffocated like I'll never finish anything. And then I become the monotonous knitter for awhile until the pile gets smaller. I enjoy the process but I like the product. And I think some of it comes from being brought up to "finish what you start" and "don't be a quitter." Somehow that must seep into my crafting and whisper in my ear that I'm irresponsible for letting projects languish or go untouched because something new and flashier comes along. Does that make sense? I'm constantly trying to find balance. But I agree with you. Knit and crochet what's fun. It's easier said that done, but I'll tell you what...I promise I never judge anyone by the number of WIPs or UFOs in the corner!! :)