Knitting Should Bring You Joy

I have always been a project knitter.  I would pick projects primarily because I wanted the resulting finished object.  Occasionally I did pick projects because of the technique, like a process knitter, but most of the time, it was the project.  Being a project knitter means that even if I began to hate knitting the project, I felt compelled to finish it.  Let me refer you to the Hatefude cardigan I knit in 2015 for an example.  For that reason, I either finished knitting despite my hatred or threw the project to the side.  I admit it, I had a hard time frogging things.

I am trying to turn a new leaf.  I’ve invested almost a year in getting myself healthy and fit.  I’ve had to make major changes in my sleep, diet, and exercise routines and in my lifestyle in general, and it’s something I have to work on every day.  Add to that a teenager and preteen with all their after school activities, a busy husband who needs my help with garden club and boy scouts, and a new home that requires much more upkeep.  I end up not having a lot of free time to enjoy my crafting.  Frankly, I don’t have a lot of free time period.  For that reason, I decided that 2017 would become my year of finding joy in life.  I really want to focus on things that bring me joy, and on getting rid of the things that don’t bring me joy.

Which brings me to the sad story of the Lillian Fay cardigan.  I bought the pattern at a festival several years ago.  This is important to mention because the pattern has since been revised, but since I didn’t buy the pdf on Ravelry, I don’t have the most recent version.  I knew going into the project that I would change a few things (if you know me I ALWAYS change a few things!).  I added full length sleeves and I reworked the neckline to be a crew neck instead of the larger boat neck in the original design.  I picked out some yummy Dream in Color Classy from the stash and started knitting.  It went amazingly fast!  I worked on it primarily at night (in low light) and somehow did not realize that one of my 6 skeins of yarn was VERY different from the others.  Until I did notice:

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Lillian Fay in DIC Classy, Flamingo Pie colorway

Yep.  A giant dark orange stripe in the middle of my sweater, like a corset.  I promise you, it is not as noticeable in real life except under certain lights.  Obviously, had I realized the difference, I would have skipped that particular skein and used one of the correct color (I only need 3-4 skeins).  Once I noticed, I did what I normally do — kept on knitting.  The more I knit, the more I hated this project.  Finally I realized what would truly bring me joy is to rip out the whole sweater and knit something else, preferably in the same colored skeins!

That being said, I do have a few other things on the needles that do bring me joy right now.

On the left, my last sock design, the Going Up socks.  On the right, one of my new sock designs, which I’m currently calling the Crosshatch sock.  Basically both are riffs on my love of knitting a small design on a self-striping sock to keep it from getting boring.

Surprisingly, I am also kind of into a new project.  I have a little basket of partial sock yarn skeins.  I brought it into the living room the other day and started knitting garter stitch mitred squares (I just made up my own square pattern based on 41 stitches).  I am hoping this will eventually become a sock yarn blanket.  I have a partially finished crocheted sock yarn blanket in the stash, so who knows.  I find this project much more relaxing, and because I have a lot of self-striping yarn, even when using the 5 skeins in the basket this week, it looks like a lot more!  (Don’t worry, I have a substantial sock scrap stash up in my attic once this peters out).

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Yeah, it is pretty clown-barf-tastic but I like how it’s coming along.  I’m going to knit squares until I have a strip the width I want and then start building off of that.  Good thing I like to weave in ends.

So that’s the knitting that’s currently bringing me joy.  I hope I can stick to my goal of giving up on projects that I don’t love, regardless of how far along they are.  My yarn deserves to be knit with joy, not with hatred.  And I deserve a break in my busy day to do something I truly love.

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3 thoughts on “Knitting Should Bring You Joy

  1. Hi Wendy! Just watched y’alls last episode and admit I got pretty sad for a bit. Even though I truly understand why y’all needed to stop recording, it felt like a loss since I associate happy feelings with knitting & spinning + a cup of coffee + my East Coast girls’ podcast.

    I also totally understand why you need to frog that cardigan. Last year, I finished an entrelac scarf that I made with cheap yarn that I hated. I hated the feel of it, the color, etc. It took me four years to get it done because I grew to hate it so much. After that experience, I came to the same conclusion you have come to: Life is too short to knit something you hate, whether it’s the pattern or the yarn or the needles. So I just say no now.

    I am very much looking forward to reading your blog, and I do hope that Sheila can make a guest post from time to time.

    All my best,

    Teri in Texas

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You mentioned that you changed the boat neck to a crew neck. I would love to learn how to do that. Any information available on that subject?

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    • In this particular sweater, I used Elizabeth Zimmerman’s percentages to decrease the yoke to a crew neck. Knitty.com has a good article on the method or you can get it from one of the Zimmerman books

      Like

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