Sep 19, 2011

Mood Changer

I love hearing about why other knitters knit.  It's fascinating to know what it is about knitting that draws you all in.  Why do I knit?  I knit because I love working with my hands.  I love the feel of yarn between my fingers and watching something blossom as I do a simple thing like put two needles together.  All in all, knitting calms my mind and it lifts my mood.  Not one for idle hands, I find knitting relaxing even when I'm working on a pattern that is challenging.

Astrid in cascade 220

I really enjoyed working on this scarf, but I'm not going to kid you -- for all its apparent simplicity, I struggled.  In my last post, I wrote about feeling like a magician's assistant. Learning how to knit the bobble fringe was really exciting (yes, exciting) because I was teaching myself something new and it developed so beautifully before my eyes.

But I'm terrible at picking up stitches and I tried several times to pick up the correct number and failed at each effort.  My mood changed from excitement to elation to frustration and finally to exhaustion.  Eventually, I worked out the math (with the help of the designer) but when finished, the scarf was much too short.

I've since frogged the main body of the scarf (in this lovely gunmetal grey) back to the fringe, added a few bobbles, and rethought how to pick up stitches.  While frogging is always painful, I'm at a point in my knitting where I have to do things right!  So this little mood changer is merely another lesson along my journey of becoming a better knitter, and when I really think about it, I know that this is one of the many reasons I love this craft.  Happy knitting, everyone!  


  1. I love this post, and I can absolutely relate! I've finally got to the point with my knitting where I would rather frog something if it doesn't work than simply continue so that I can get it finished.

    I think that just means we're becoming better knitters! Onwards!

  2. It is definitely true that sometimes the patterns that drive you the craziest lead to you becoming so much better at the craft. It looks lovely, even if it is too short.

  3. This "bobble" stitch is really awesome!! Can't wait to show Mom! :-)

  4. I love the feel of the yarn, I too find it relaxing, but not when I'm working on something difficult. I like the easy, no count no think patterns to just zone out. I get frustrating when I'm trying to count and people are talking to me, like at lunch at work. Very cute, even if short...may it's more of collar?

  5. Knitting reminds me of rock climbing. If you don't give your mind over to it, you won't get even a few feet off the ground. I appreciate that this is not the case for everyone, but for me, it gives me a space in my head to myself. It also let me "bookmark" episodes in my life. There are squares in my Babette from the first day back at nursery, and a whole section from a frankly horrible week with my husband away and my child sick.

    I'm sorry that you ended up frogging some of your beautiful scarf, but I hope you'll be even happier with it on the second finish. Lovely thought-provoking post, as always. Thank you.

  6. I think you've said it all. Like you, I love the feeling of the yarn slipping through my fingers and the beautiful yarn becoming something even more gorgeous. The scarf looks lovely! I agree though - better to rip something out than look at hours and hours of effort go down the drain as you can't/won't wear it as is. Your thoughts about challenging patterns making you a better knitter are so right.

  7. I get SUPER grumpy when I have to unravel a project. But yes, the longer I knit the less I like to "settle" for something not quite right. I do like the look of the scarf, though.

    Why do I knit? Over the more than 5 decades (egads) I've been knitting, my reasons have changed. 7-10 (This is fun, my mom buys the yarn, and I end up with holiday presents I don't have to spend my 50 cents/week allowance on to buy). 10-18 (None of my peers knit, they think it's cool that I do, it's still fun). 18-30 (Everybody seems to like the presents I knit for them and I like to do it, plus now I knit for charity events and I enjoy that). 30-45 (My son loves that I knit toys and hats for him, his well-off friends like to get gifts that can't be bought in stores, I love to knit for my son's school, and knitting keeps me sane). 45-58 (This is fun, I buy my own yarn now and buy what I want, I follow my muse and knit what I feel like knitting, I knit toys, I knit for charities, I knit gifts that can't be bought in stores. And it still is what keeps me sane.) Hmm. I guess my reasons didn't som much change over time, as just accumulate over time.

  8. You asked a really great question about why does one knit. Here's my answer:
    I love that gunmetal grey w/the white. I'm so w/you. Gotta do it right; no fudging for me. I learn in the process even tho frogging sucks.

  9. I knit for the same reasons that you do. I find myself often reassessing if it's fun, relaxing, and a positive mood enhancer. I don't mind the occasional bump in the road, but when a project becomes more trouble than it's worth, it's time to let it go. It's not like I'm ever in dire need of a sweater, scarf, etc. While I'm definitely a product knitter, that doesn't mean I shouldn't get to enjoy the process too, right? ;-)