a Guilty Knitter

This is getting ridiculous.

Another Skew appeared on the needles, Flax Skew.

I’ve now casted on four Skews, in as many days. They are at the top of my Ravelry Works in Progress page:

I work on them all. But only until the phase named “Heelmarker”. That’s the moment where I have to think hard about where to put in the heel marker. It’s a tough spot in this pattern if you’re working with your own numbers instead of the pattern numbers. I have not traversed it yet on any of the four socks. It’s easier to cast on a new right sock…

Here’s my spot on the couch today:

And this is my view of the table. That’s another five Skews waiting to be cast on:

The only thing stopping me is the fact that I only have four circular needles in 2 mm width. (I am however contemplating the dpns…)

“Hmmm. That nice green blob of handspun on the table looks familiar…”
It’s one of four projects that’s on the second row of my WIP page:


I’m so ready to work on any of these projects!
I want them finished.
I want to show them.
I want to wear them.

I’m looking forward to figuring out the next step in their processes: get to work on the Spring Brioche in another direction; learn about neat borders for Deco Cardi; work that lace partition in Sprig sweater.
I really don’t understand why I keep on casting on for Skews instead.

After these WIPs are done I very much want to make a cardigan with Wollmeise. I already made a test swatch. The pattern is waiting. This is the cardigan I want to wear asap, as in this Summer.
It’s Pumpkin Ale by Ysolda Teague in Wollmeise Twin Mauseschwanzchen

I’m not casting on for this now because I know if I start another cardigan I’ll likely abandon one of the two I’m already working on. I’m that kind of a knitter: a one project knitter. If I don’t keep at it I’ll probably wander off with another shiny.
That and the Wollmeise swatch told me I’ll be knitting Pumpkin Ale Cardi on 2 mm. Which I have no spare one of at the moment.

Which reminds me that Spring Brioche shawl is knitted on 2 mm too. Right now the small strip is done with dpns but once I pick up all the stitches and work my way up I’ll be needing a circular 2 mm…
I guess the fate of all the Skews just got shaken because no way will I wait two weeks (aka one pair of socks) before I pick up Spring Brioche again. Or will I?

There are Summer tops waiting too. One in silk. One in linnen. One of them will be on 2 mm too. At least.
Besides knitting I want to spin. Felt. Weave.
I want to do a 1000 things and I have planned some of them very sensibly.
But instead I am casting on Skews like … like … I don’t know. Words fail me.
Yes, I’m a knitter lost for words:

  handmade yarnbowl by Heidi

There’s one word I found though. But it’s a word that doesn’t apply here.
That’s the word “guilt”
I’m not feeling guilty about any of this ridiculousness that’s going on with me and the wool at the moment.

Ever since I made enough sweaters, socks, hats and shawls to keep me well covered in wool I’m good guilt wise. My finished knits may not be the right colour for my face or have a dropped stitch or look way too homemade to be worn in public, but they for fill their function. Keeping me warm and healthy. Only when they are worn down it’s time to have a proper replacement ready. Until then: no hurries, no worries.

But all these plans! All this wool!  All the wips I’ve abandoned before  but still expect to return to sometime in the future! All the stash that needs to be knit down. The fleeces I’ve carded. The fact that we now sleep in the little attic because the stash has taken over the master bedroom. All the clutter in this house. All the things that I wish were better cleaned, organized, maintained?!

Well, I’m not feeling guilty about them.
I refuse to. I laid awake one night this week, fretting about wanting to knit Skews but not even having picked up Sprig even though I said I would. Feeling bothered by the ridiculous amount of stash and fleece in the wool room while still planning to buy more because it would fit better with some sock yarn or other.
I was trying to defuse these feelings by thinking up jokes for you:

But I knew I wouldn’t be fooling anyone. I was actually feeling obliged to knit only from the stash, to organize the WIPs and for sheep’s sake, don’t cast on one more Skew!

That’s when I realized I was doing this to myself. This thinking, this fretting. This feeling guilty. I was acting as if knitting is a job and as if I need to justify my actions to someone.
It was me who chose to be bothered by the WIPs and the plans that I laid aside just so I could indulge in more Skews. So that’s when I decided not to. And promptly fell asleep. And when I woke up I casted on for one more Skew and put the yarns I plan to knit on display on the table. Just because I can and just because I really like the view from the couch now.

Have you ever realized how much we are invited to feel guilty about the things we do or do not do?

In many aspects of our lives we are told things ought to be different and much of the time it’s implied that it’s our fault that they aren’t. It’s not only our responsibility but we should actually feel bad about it. Solely because we have the ability to change.

Something as human as being attached to the past or be anxious of the future unknown is apparently wrong. And holding you back. Holding you back from being a better version of yourself.
A better you, with better hair too, I’m sure 😉

The eye of Martha Stewart rests heavy upon us and our homes. Motivational quotes are secretly judging our current state. Or not so secretly and just blatantly commandeering us what to do:

Read the hidden message? “you’ve been doing it wrong, so wrong!”

We are invited to feel guilty about the way we keep our house and about the way we keep our knitting and our stash.

After the initial chuckle we are expected to feel a bit embarrassed. A bit guilty. Not good enough. Because you didn’t finish your projects. You do not love your kid well enough. And your stash room is a disgrace!

Of course there is something to be said for decluttering your living environments. Because clutter does tend to crowd the mind’s eye.

But this is only a problem when you feel like every thing you see is speaking to you. Demanding action from you.
“I’m your Spring Brioche Shawl, you should knit me!”
“If you cannot walk into the craft room you really ought to straighten it!”
“This is Mount Washmore speaking, you should iron me!”

If instead you adopt an artist’ eye and see the things around you in colours and shapes instead of chores and projects oozing disapprovement in your general direction …

 stillife by Giorgio Morandi, 1962

… then your mind’s eye is free to wander and dream about anything and everything.
I refuse to adopt guilt from inanimate objects. It’s all in the head.

That being said, there is a certain pleasure in decluttering. In getting rid of stuff. In travelling light.
There’s a nice article doing the rounds at the moment about culling the knitting stash back to only the things you really love: article in Twist Collective.
But do beware of the guilt-assigning that invariably creeps into articles like this. Whether actively pursued by the writer or willingly self applied by the reader.

Remember, guilt is just another item you can lie down beside you, next to the four Skews, the sleeping cat and all the trinkets you keep at the side table. While you sit on the couch and knit and enjoy the view.

It’s true, there’s a nice feeling of accomplishment once you cast off and get to wear your knitted item.
And almost every project does have a stage where you have to persist and go on even though it’s no fun. Where stubbornness is needed, discipline even, until the fun part begins again.
But these emotions have nothing to do with guilt.

Guilt and feelings of inadequacy should have no place in a knitter’s life. Or in anybody’s life.

With this comic Natalie Dee has got it wrong, all wrong.

This is more like it:

and then laugh, because knitting as a hobby can be utterly ridiculous and so funny.
Now I think I’m going to buy some more 2mm circulars, I haven’t maxed out on yarny ridiculousness yet.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.