Monday, February 25, 2008

knitting, i'm coming for you

Lately I abandon every knitting project I start and I never look back. That's not entirely true. I look back, fleetingly, and wonder why I'm not as enthusiastic about knitting as I used to be. It's true that I learned how to knit because I really wanted to quilt and sew but didn't have a sewing machine. But I never looked at it as a substitute for those activities. Once I started, I loved knitting in its own right.

I've already done my big lament over my dearth of knitting enthusiasm, which has waxed and waned since, and I do think that the thing that chased it away then is playing a large part in keeping it away now. I hardly know how to knit with a cool head. Once I start, I want all the yarn on the planet, and my thinking degenerates into the delusion that I can knit fifteen things at once. It doesn't help that there are always new patterns and new yarns being introduced, faster than I can get through the ones I've already started or queued. Sometimes I swear it's an embarrassment of riches.

The last project I completed was the set that my co-worker commissioned me to knit for his son, and, let me tell you, I was BORED shitless trying to finish the (child-sized!) scarf, annoyed by all the cables in the hat, and ready to set the first mitten on fire when I realized I'd have to knit a second one. The latest project I have decided to abandon is the baby kimono set -- don't even click on that link, unless you want to chronicle the death of optimism -- I was working on for Natalie's friends' twins (due next month. I'll be sewing something for them). I just can't stand the stringy nature of the Pakucho Organic Cotton yarn and all the shaping the pattern requires. Plus, my gawd, it's one of those time suck knits -- probably because I can never seem to keep straight where I am in the pattern and have had to rip back.

Anything to do with swatching and figuring out what size of something to knit I want nothing to do with, but scarves, which generally require neither, try my patience. What the heck is left to knit?

I can't yet accept that something that used to be so soothing and pleasurable to me is now only anxiety and torture, so I am going to try a new approach. In fact, I am going to keep trying new approaches until I find one that works. This one I will call The Fidelity Approach. Wait. The Fidelity Approach to One Small Thing. There. I will work and focus on only one project at a time, and here's what I think will ease the stress, while I am working on it, I won't make plans for my next knit. I'll love the one I'm with. And, for now, I will work on small, relatively quick knits, until I can figure out where to buy some patience.

If there is anyone out there who has been through what I am going through with knitting (or crocheting), please throw me a lifeline. How did you find a way to keep enjoying and practicing the craft?

9 comments:

Adrienne said...

ONE project at a time! I had to start with a quick project!!! I'm doing a tunic but its double stranded on size 15 needles! Im about half way done now lol. I just cast on last night.

del said...

That sounds like a good approach, though it's been ages since I've been project monogamous. I just can't do it. Whenever I fall out of love with knitting, I tend to not do it at all & do other things...

Lola and Ava said...

I usually have several large projects on the needles (sweaters, shawls, that sort of stuff) but one pair of socks at all times since they seem so tiny and insignificant compared to sweaters. Honestly, a pair of socks takes as much time and stitch count as the average sweater, but it seems like less.

I did take a two year break from knitting . . . and I came back to it fine.

Ava

Christie said...

Hmmm....sounds like you need a serious break! I would say, why not choose something simple and only do it when you're watching tv or some other mindless activity. Long roadtrips. Something where knitting is a side activity rather than THE activity.

Anonymous said...

I find knitting very soothing and yet equally frustrating and trying although I have yet to knit something wearable!

I don't have a solution for you. Though I am surprised that you have managed to talk yourself out of the twin babies project...
Did you hear yourself finding all the justifications....
Anyways, as nice as it is to make something as a gift, I personally feel that for babies it makes more time-saving sense to purchase whatever. Save the handmade for later when the growth has slowed down and they can really appreciate the gifts....
Another reason would be that new parents get tons of stuff during the first year then comes the second and third years and the presents have stopped and these are times when gifts would be really appreciated....at least I could have used them then.

Heather

Anonymous said...

Just thought of a solution, if it can be called that...why not take the piece you are knitting at the moment to others who knit and have a knit-in...with good company, it would certainly distract you from the task at hand.

Heather

Anonymous said...

And look what I found whilst looking for something else. Maybe she could be your knitting buddy. She has red yard in the waiting as well...

http://strickeritis.blogspot.com/2006_04_01_archive.html


Heather

sappmama said...

Hey! Thanks for the comments. I'm feeling better about knitting (or not knitting) already.

Sahara said...

Strange as it may seem, I go through periods when I don't knit. Then, I take pictures, as it's more instantaneous. Sometimes I spin, as there's less to do. When I need motivation, I usually find a knitting group, or at least a buddy.

The main thing is, I'm never bored when I knit for myself; I'm not an altruistic knitter. I get a good audiobook and I'm off!