Lately, I’ve had almost no desire to knit. I think I’ve knit twice in the past 3 weeks. Many many times, I’ve felt like I should be knitting, and almost forced myself to pull out a WIP and get to work.

I’ve stopped myself though, because I can’t convince myself that I need to knit. I don’t need to knit for income, or for warmth. At the moment, I also don’t need to knit for emotional well-being, as spinning is filling that role perfectly. No one is any worse off due to the fact that I haven’t been knitting. I also know from experience that my interests move in cycles. A few months ago, I had no interest in spinning because it took away from time that I could be knitting. It’s only a matter of time before I once again burn with knitting passion.

So this leaves us with the question: Why do I feel like I ought to be knitting? Here is some speculation:

  1. When I knit, I reduce my stash, and when I reduce my stash, I can justify  acquiring more stash. This is true. However, I am not in a hurry to use up my stash, and I’m also not anxious to get new yarn. I enjoy my stash very much and appreciate my yarn in skein form. Therefore, this isn’t a good reason for me to make myself knit.
  2. The only way to become a better knitter is to knit more. By not knitting, I’m denying myself the opportunity to improve. This one is also true. I do want to become a faster, more efficient and more skilled knitter, and I do need to practice in order to do this. But what’s the rush? I hopefully have decades of knitting ahead of me. Also, think about it this way: Time that I spend knitting is time that I’m not spending on other meaningful activities. I also want to become an excellent spinner, and that takes a lot of practice, too. Because I’ve been allocating a lot of time to my spinning, I’ve seen a lot of improvement.
  3. If I want nice handknits to wear, I need to get busy knitting them. Again, this is also grounded in truth. In reality though, there were maybe 7 days this fall/winter in which it was actually cold enough for me to wear any of my knits. It is 90 degrees outside right now. I do love the things I’ve knit for myself, but in all honesty, I don’t get to enjoy them too often. If I do move somewhere colder, I’ll be so motivated to knit then that I’ll have a pile of woolens in no time.

This is really all I can come up with. My conclusion is that if I don’t want to knit, there’s no reason why I ought to. I strongly believe that hobbies are meant to be enjoyed, and if they’re not bringing you pleasure, it’s a good idea to examine what’s going on. Maybe you need to change what you’re doing, or maybe you need to change your perspective.

Knitting has taught me that if something is supposed to be fun, and it’s not, it’s okay to stop, at least temporarily. The commitments I make to my knitting aren’t unbreakable vows. If something isn’t working out, I am allowed to take a break, change the parts that I don’t like, or even stop entirely. The yarn’s feelings aren’t going to be hurt. It’s completely unreasonable for me to expect myself to have perfect foresight and to never change my mind. This applies not only to my knitting, but to a lot of other things in life as well. Expecting everything to always go as planned isn’t realistic, and that’s okay. I can adapt and move forward.

Let me be clear that I don’t think hobbies must solely bring you pleasure. Knitting has certainly brought me frustration, disappointment, boredom, and even physical pain when I’ve pushed myself too hard. I don’t stop knitting every time it’s less than pleasant though, because it’s often worth pushing on. Knitting has taught me to be patient and dedicated and to struggle through new techniques until I succeed, because I will succeed. Knitting is teaching me how to overcome adversity in bite-sized, non-threatening doses, and that’s a big part of why I love it.

Having said all this about how I don’t feel like knitting right now, look what just arrived in the mail:

20150314_152033-2When I feel inspired, I have to seize it. These Shades of Portland minis, created by Canon Hand Dyes, are screaming to be knit up. They’re too fun to resist. Maybe I will have knitting to share with you soon after all 🙂

Readers: Do you ever knit because you feel like you ought to? What do you think I should knit with my new minis? I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments below!

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5 thoughts on “I Should Be Knitting?

  1. I feel like you never “have to” knit. For about a year, I didn’t knit a whole lot. I felt like I’d never finish any projects and I was also spending just about all my free time reading books (which is of course a good way to spend one’s time). Recently I sort of revamped myself and finished a lot of hibernating projects! It felt great. I think the key here is to make knitting fun again! Try a new technique, buy some cool yarn, design something. 🙂

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    1. Way to go finishing up old WIPs! It’s so much fun to finish things, especially when they’re already partly/mostly done.

      And I agree with you-mixing things up is a great way to get excited about knitting again. I think a big part of my problem was the fact that we had a heat wave. Now that it’s cooled off a little, knitting is a bit more appealing. I hate it when wool sticks to my hands, which even happens with superwash.

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  2. I’ve done some ‘ought to’ knitting for gifts and for designs, and it can certainly be a slog. I’m a selfish knitter motivated by the end product a lot of the time, so I understand a lack of desire in a warm climate. I find that knitting and spinning fill different roles for me, depending on the day. Sometimes spinning feels more relaxing, sometimes less. Sometimes knitting feels more productive, sometimes it feels like I’m getting nowhere and a twirl of the spindle feels better. A lot of it is physical. If it’s late and I just want to curl up on the couch, I usually knit because spinning is a more physical activity for me.

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    1. I’m so glad that now I can spin when I don’t feel like knitting. They are very different experiences. Have you tried support spindles? You probably have mentioned this somewhere, but I can’t remember off the top of my head. I’m thinking of getting a support spindle next for times when I want a less physical drop spindling experience. It would also be a great way for me to practice longdraw without worrying about the spindle falling.

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