Filler Knitting

May 26, 2011 at 9:24 am 1 comment

I have never advocated monogomy with knitting projects. Knitting is supposed to make you happy, if you aren’t having fun, why keep trying to make it happen?

But there’s one little problem with this knitter when it comes to juggling multiple projects. I’m an obsessive knitter. Now I don’t mean that in a my house is never clean because I only ever knit sort of way.  I’m obsessive on a project by project basis. When I start something I get so excited about it that I don’t want to knit anything else. The current project is my sole knitting pursuit and desire, to the exclusion of all other sweaters, socks, and scarves.

This energy seems to create itself at about row 10 of a project. I actually hate casting on and starting the first couple rows. But by a handful of rows or rounds in, I can start to see the yarn and the pattern and the needles start to work their magic and I’m on the edge of my seat thinking, daydreaming, and planning for the final product.

Trying to regenerate this energy mid project is not easy. I’ve had finishing binges, where the sheer fact that I was cranking out finished projects at such a quick clip was enough to reinvigorate even some of the most boring projects. But I feel like finishing binges are a project of their own. You’re not out to finish a lonely half finished sock and it’s partner, you’re finishing three pairs of socks, two baby gifts, and that shawl you started a year and a half ago, and you’re going to finish them all in the course of about two weeks. Talk about instant gratification!

This obsessive behavior is something I’ve been mulling over for a week or two. The other day I mentioned the great knitting crisis of May 2011. I had nothing to knit. Or so it felt. But see, that wasn’t true at all. I can think of at least 5 little projects sitting around that I could have worked on. And I tried. But for every project I could think of a hurdle that was just too high to create that energy I needed to actually make the knitting satisfying and not a chore. The funny thing is that each and every one of these projects were started during similar knitting phases. I was bored or tired and needed a small project to blow off some steam. But then the bigger more important projects called, and they were left to themselves so long that I forgot why I was having so much fun knitting them.

Because I really hate having an excessive amount of these projects tying up perfectly good needles I could be using for more interesting projects, I’ve come this close to vowing not to start any projects I don’t foreseeably have time to finish before something else comes along. But I think that’s a really bad idea. Everyone needs filler knitting. You know, the simple knitting you do after you finished that gorgeous cardi and while your waiting for your LYS to call you about that yarn you ordered for gift you promised someone for Christmas.

Here lies the dilemma I face every month or two. When it’s time for that filler knitting, do I try to finish some filler project from before? Pushing through the hurdles and the chore-like feeling, trusting that the fun will kick back in when I start to make progress again? Or do I throw something else on the needles?

Oh, the deep and probing questions that baffle the soul…

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Entry filed under: Knitting. Tags: , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. eehresman  |  May 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Haha. funny you should mention this. I’m sure it’s a dilemma we all face – staying focused until the end. I just finished a bag this morning that I had started last September because I want to take it on our trip this weekend. It only needed one seem removed and then two seems sown, but having to remove that one seam killed all motivation to finish for some reason and it sat on the shelf. It only took 20 minutes to finish too and now I’m asking why I waited so long…not to mention I’ve started and finished several projects in-between times :). Elizabeth

    Reply

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