« The Romantic Answer | Main | The Lucky One »

A Knitting PostDecember 7, 2012


Digit - You know what I wanna do? Check it out. Wait for it...



Digit - Wut. 


Knitting News

I'm in the knitting doldrums. 

I'm not sure how I got here. I've been here before, of course, and the knitting wind eventually picked up and blew me to the right merino shore, but I'm not enjoying it. I'm working on a blue cabled cardigan which I'm already predicting won't be right. I'm already mad at it (and myself) because I majorly screwed up and had to rip two weeks of work (you know what that is in writing-a-novel terms? A hot minute. Don't know why it's bothering me so much.)

I don't know why I think it's not going to be right, except I fear it might end up too big. But I've been around this particular block enough times to know that I never really know. The sweater I thought would never fit me because I was making it too small ended up being the one sweater I've worn most this year. Sweaters I'm sure I'll love the whole time I'm knitting them end up wrong, and I never see it coming. (I do love this year's Mischke -- I like to put the top down at night in the cold, foggy air, and wear it while I run the seatwarmer.) 

But mostly, I've been just . . . reluctant to knit. I look at my knitting bag and I sigh. I don't WANT to knit on that blue cardigan. I want to START something, something else, right now. 


I've assuaged the startitis by making a few small things (socks*! Did you remember how satisfying it is to finish something in a few evenings? I didn't!). I find that every year around the 6th of December, I decide to make all the things for everyone. It's ridiculous. And I always fail. But yesterday I literally used my break at work to make an emergency run to the yarn store for hat yarn. And I have a gajillion sewing projects I want to make. 


I did make a purse. It's no great shakes, but it's a good prototype, and I know what I want to do differently next time. Based on the Phoebe free pattern/tutorial

And I still don't know what I actually want to be knitting. I would love to be deep into a complex shawl that I've mostly memorized. You know that time? When you don't need the chart, and you think you'll be knitting it for years? I love that part. (Funny, when I trained for that marathon, I liked the mid-distances best. Of a 20 mile run, I love miles 12-15. I love being in the middle of a novel, too, stuck in the thick of it.) 

What I don't want to do is start something that requires great concentration to begin (like a shawl). I don't want to be in the beginning of a sweater. What I should do is pick up that damned blue sweater (THIS pattern for the curious) and finish it because just maybe it will be all right. I have to remember that during every book, I'm sure I'm the worst writer in the world. I know I'll never pull it off. Everyone will know I'm a fake. 

Then I just keep writing. 

I guess I'll just keep knitting. (I honestly thought I was going to write this blog-post to give myself permission to start something new and awesome. I didn't know I was going to lecture myself. Way to go, me?) 

HEY, SCREW THAT! A couple of you just reminded me what's important -- that I love what I'm doing. I'm going to start something else. Just as soon as I figure out what that is. 

*That sock up there is Amy Klimt's self-striping sock yarn. Her yarn is FABULOUS, and the stripes are to die for, and she can dye any colorway for you. She would have to, because [ahem] I just bought the last skein of it on her Etsy shop


Ditch the sweater, you can always come back to it. Do something that brings you nothing but pleasure. There should be no guilt or shame in knitting.

You are singing my song, sister.

Maybe it's the blue colour that's a downer. My mother who has been knitting for 80+ years, and LOVES blue, says it's a depressing colour to knit.

I am a finisher. I have a shawl that's been on the needles forever, and it taunts me. I like to get a project done before starting another. This is unfortunate because sometimes (esp. around the holidays) I need to have something I can knit on autopilot, but once I start a pair of autopilot socks, I knit on them all the time. Then they're done and I'm back to staring at that shawl. It's a problem.

What I'm trying to say (and not doing terribly well) is that if you can convince yourself that yarn is just yarn and knitting is just knitting and there's no deep, dark personality flaw in you if you don't knit the things you're not enjoying, then please please please do it. That's what knitting should be about. It should be fun, period.

Rip the sweater. If you hate working on it, take it out back and rip it. It's a sign of maturity that you can see a mistake and do something about it. I just ripped out a sweater that wasn't going to be how I envisioned it and knew I wouldn't be happy with it if I jerryrigged a finish.

Knit socks or a scarf or find a new sweater pattern to try and just move on. It'll be fine.

I've got 3 knitting projects and 2 spinning projects going on right now, plus I'm supposed to be committing 3 patterns to paper so that I can get them up on Ravelry.

Some projects just develop a mind of their own and refuse to flow off the needles. Hibernate the sweater or frog it, which ever feels righter. Spend time doing things that feel good whenever possible!


So good to see that swwet ole' guy (and Adah too!)

Maybe that blue sweater just needs to go hide in a drawer for a while :)

Digit!!! So good to see you!

When I have projects like that sweater, I blame The Yarn. It's The Yarn, obviously. Clearly. The Yarn does not want to be made into that particular sweater. It's not you, deary. You love to knit. You knit things well. You want to make the sweater.

It's The Yarn that's causing the problem. Either put it in a drawer until it learns its lesson, or rip it out and make something that The Yarn wants to be.

Until then, knit socks. Sock Yarn always cooperates. I don't know why that is!

I'm a relatively new knitter trying to finish two pairs of mitts for my beautiful son and his girlfriend who are in Canada. I could (now)easily knit a pair in a relaxed day but I'd never done it before and I've had to knit and unravel these things more times than I can count, as well as call in to the place I buy my wool because I needed help with making the thumb hole properly. Unravelling is the hardest part - it keeps getting stuck! Like Sandy, I was blaming the wool but I know it's just me and my inexperience. I reckon you should knit whatever you want and enjoy the process! It's so enjoyable isn't it?

So lovely to read your post - I check regularly to see what interesting new thing you might have written. Your Digit reminds me so very much of my beautiful Lynx (who hated everyone) but whom I loved and miss.

I hope you, Lala and your cats and dogs have a wonderful Christmas.

Um thanks? ;-) I've added another sweater to my queue. Really should start making myself one of them - maybe in January for selfish knitting?

I went through an almost two month knitting slump. Could not excite myself to knit anything, so I spun. Lots of pretty yarns added to my stash. I made it through Ravellenics with some nice small projects and then bam! Back into a slump. I'm back to small projects after trying unsuccessfully to get a pair of Rivendell socks going (darn mountain climber calves!) so I could wear them to The Hobbit premier done.

Small easy to start soap sacks with easy to memorize patterns and some handmade soap are going into my gift giving basket. Just try to remember that when you make the i-cord to put it in the soap sack before seaming it together. (Yes, I did do that in the excitement of finishing the i-cord. I'm trying to look at it as a wrist distaff for some spinner.)

When did Digit become mellow enough to be near Adah? And when did Adah become social enough to be near Digit? Those are cute pictures!

Start something new and small (scarf with a pretty pattern, fancy or plain socks). Keep your hands busy and you'll end up with gifts or useful items - soon you'll find something that you can't wait to knit.

Put the sweater away until you want to work on it. In the meantime visit your favorite LYS and buy the yarn that calls your name. Knit from it whatever your heart desires. Knitting is your hobby--not your job. Give yourself permission to make what you enjoy when you enjoy it.

Eh. I'm in the Everything Doldrums,and I'm bored with the doldrums. Must finish sweater for kid... But I don't even want to distract myself with another project. Or spinning. Reading's good because it's distracting, but I'm getting bored with that too.

But I like that stripy sock!

There's our Digit.

I've got a wicked case of startitis, too, at the precise moment that I need to be having a case of finishitis so I can finish my husband's socks. Somebody stop me before I cast on for that tea cozy!

I have been in the "knitting doldrums" for 2 weeks now. Thought it was just the holiday season getting to me. Good to know I'm not alone. Love the socks. Maybe a visit to Amy's Etsy Shop would help me. BTW I agree w/Rhonda - set the sweater aside for now. It will be there when you are ready for it.

Perhaps it is not yet the sweater's time to be born yet...maybe its more of a January sweater than a December sweater. That gives you more time to be like an elf and MAKE MAKE MAKE all those gifts adancin' in your noggin. Crank up the Christmas carols, sit where you can see the loverly twinkling lights on the tree and reward yourself with a hot chocolate/toddy/ buttered or spiced or both rum and a wee Christmas sweet. And stay away from the mistletoe!! The gift prep is my favorite part of the year.(Really its the mistletoe but don't tell Santa)

Put the sweater down. Go to the yarn shop and buy some wild crazy yarn. Set down and make a hat or warm mittens for some very cold homeless kid in New Jersey or New York. Look at the finished item with absolute delight, pat it for a while, then send it off (I'm sure you know some addresses but I can give you one for Atlantic City New Jersey if you would like). Go back to the blue sweater humming to yourself with the joy of giving in the season.

I've done that. Sometimes you have something "stuck" in you that you need to get/give out. Happy Hanukah kiddo!

I wish there was an "agree" button for the comments. The sweater pattern is darling & I know you would rock it, BUT if it's ornery, put it in time out until you are ready to face it.

I also agree with the suggestions of going to your LYS & letting the yarn talk to you, or go to ravelry & search through the patterns and see what makes you want to check stash or dash off to shop. I frequently look at the top 20 patterns, which is why my queue is so looong.

FYI: Your cauliflower rice is still part of our "regular" rotation - "regular" as in 2-3 times a week. DH likes it when it starts to brown a wee bit. Thanks again!

Nice sock. go knit whateverthehellyouwant. More Digit, plz.
Happy, Merry to you, Lala and the entire menagerie and clan.
hugs also.

That sweater pattern is pretty awesome, though! It's going to be so awesome when it is all done and on.

I'm really bad at finishing things - if I can get past the halfway/three-quarter mark before my attention wanders, I can usually push through and get it done, but if I put a project aside it is probably doomed.

I just read "Life in Stitches" over the weekend, LOVED it, and am so happy to see a picture of Digit where he belongs!

I'm with all those who suggest "time out" for the sweater. I think it could explain my good collection of cables for my set of interchangeable needles. However, I find it far easier to pull out something that was knitted six months ago, than something I was just working on yesterday, and usually I know what I want to do with the yarn by then. Although some yarns seem destined to repeated unravelling. Sigh.
Occasionally I will find the abandoned piece and wonder how on earth I could have set it aside. But those are rare occasions.
And you are not alone in the slump! (Comforting for me to read of several others, so thanks for posting this.)

i'm sorry. love the crafting and all that, but it was the kitty photos that snared me. reminded me too much of one of my MIL's stories.
she was driving my to-be-husband and brother to all the band, pee-wee football, baseball, catechisms after work, sole-supporter because my FIL was on disability, on a snowy road when there was an absolutely blood-curdling scream from the back seat of the 50's era sedan. she screeched and skidded off to the side of the road as soon as she could, certain that somebody was dead, and turned to the peanut gallery to ask what was wrong. my husband, 8yo, with much quavering and many tears and agony, pointed to his brother, and declaimed, "he touched me!"
in retrospect, having two children myself, i'm always amazed that she didn't leave them there on the side of the road.
glad, but, she was much tougher than i am.

I love making socks and have three pairs on the go at this time . They are great to take with you when waiting for appointments etc.
Thanks for sharing your interest also.

What about some socks with self-patterning yarn? You can choose a simple pattern, then try different yarns and be amazed at the patterns they create! Check out Web's yarn store (on line) in Northhampton, MA. They are having a great sale.

I am a guest blogger (for knitting) on the Sidewalk Shoes blog. I have a question for you. I have not knitted sweaters in a couple of decades and just returned to it. I discovered that just about all the patterns I see are now done on circular needles, as opposed to making the pieces (back, left front, etc.) separately. Hmm.....I like the separate pieces as I usually find a sweater than fits me perfectly, then use that as a measurement to assure that my pieces are the right size and lengths. I ventured out and am now just about completing a beautiful sweater all done on the circular needles. But, I think it will be too small! While using circular needles, I couldn't lay it out to measure nor try it on. How do you get around this? Which do you prefer? Thanks, Rosemary Quagan

Hi Rosemary, That's a good question. I do the math while knitting. If I'm making a 44in chest (which is what fits me), then I make sure my gauge at the widest point of the chest is getting 44 inches.... that seems to work for me. (Gauge is tricky! but it does help to keep an eye on it...) Have fun knitting! 

The comments to this entry are closed.