I read this post on Instagram the other day by Karen of Fringe Association and it resonated with me. I’ve been struggling to finish my Flaum cardigan and finally decided to put it to the side officially. I’m not motivated to knit it and most sweaters fly off my needles. It could be because the Fisherman’s rib is tedious or the oatmeal neutral color is just too boring. Whatever it is, I’m putting it down for a bit. And if I let it sit for too long, I may just frog it and move on to the next project. No need to waste my time on projects that don’t spark me creatively. And honestly, although I see others knitting neutrals I realize that’s really not me. Rainbows are my neutral. Exhibit A, this is a neutral sweater to me:
I knit a lot but I’ve realized that I plow through projects that spark me creatively. When the yarn is super dreamy and the pattern is interesting I can’t wait to finish it. When a pattern is tedious and the yarn is boring I don’t want to be bothered. Once people come to this blog, check out my Instagram feed or look at my Ravelry page they always comment on how many sweaters I knit. Non-knitters hear that I knit 24 sweaters last year and immediately ask me why I don’t sell them (there’s a long list of reasons why not). Knitters typically just ask HOW!?! And I’ve realized a few things that make a difference for me:
- I don’t have children. Don’t get me wrong, I love kids. I have 3 godchildren and a cousin I treat like my child. I just don’t have biological children of my own. If I did have children I think most of my hours would be spent with them and attending to their needs like my Mom did with us when I was growing. That would just leave the end of the day when they’re asleep to knit. Instead I have two small dogs who just want me to sit down and let them curl up on my lap or right next to me. It’s a perfect opportunity to knit, although sometimes I’m swatting a tiny chihuahua out of my face who just wants to lick me.
- I always have knitting with me. A couple days a week I commute in to work with my husband and that means I have an hour in the morning (and in the summer an hour in the evenings with daylight) to knit in the car. I can do a lot with just an hour. I knit when I bring my lunch with me or go to eat by myself at a restaurant. If I could knit in meetings I would but I feel like it would be frowned upon at work. Even my students know, when they have a test I sit at the front of the class knitting and watching for an hour and a half.
- I am a hermit. No really, I am. I relish my solitude. My husband travels for work and when I have a week or two in the house to myself, I knit without guilt of ignoring him. When I knit this pattern he was halfway across the globe.
- I don’t put deadlines on my knitting. That is a big difference to me. I’ve done one test knit and may do others but only when I feel like I have the time (usually in January or the spring when I don’t feel like I really to make myself a new sweater). If I’m making something for a baby it might not make it for the baby shower but they’ll get something from me in due time. And I’ve said I want to knit things for the holidays but if it doesn’t get finished by December 25 I know it’ll still be cold in January or February! Taking away that pressure keeps my knitting more enjoyable.
These things make a difference in the amount of time it takes me to knit a sweater, on top of the fact that I’m pretty fast and don’t have to look at my hands anymore when I’m working on straight stockinette stitch for big sweaters. I consider myself lucky that I get to make as much as I do and can hopefully keep up the pace for a bit but also know that I have to give my hands and wrists breaks so I don’t over do it (I haven’t knit anything for about 36 hours now because I just need to pause). So that’s the method to this sweater knitting madness and why I’m already on sweater number 24 this year (you can see all my projects on Ravelry here) and will most likely surpass last year’s total.
Any other questions?