I would not call myself a knitter. I am a person who knits.
A knitter, in my mind, thinks constantly about the craft; she ceaselessly eatsdrinksbreathespondersplansanddreamsabout projects; her fingers (when otherwise unoccupied) find themselves attached to knitting needles at any moment and every opportunity. A knitter creates, works on, and completes her projects. She perseveres.
I’m more a “fits and starts’ person who knits, a needtodothisprojectbythisparticulardate person who knits.
I’m not really a knitter.
I learned to knit in early 2012 in a local yarn shop’s beginners’ knitting class. I decided to take the class when I learned I was becoming a grandmother for the very first time. Grandmothers knit, right? So I would learn to knit. This fifty-one-turning-fifty-two-years-old gal was going to learn a new trick.
For mutual support and encouragement (and, of course, giggle factor), DTS and I joined the class together. I had previously given her a book called Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair about a woman who learned to knit as a form of therapy after her unfaithful husband dumped her — something DTS was going through then that we won’t talk about now lest you get me started — and the book prompted DTS to become interested in knitting, too. Our learning together made the class less intimidating and more fun for us both.
Sometime during our learning experience the knitting bug bit me.
And it introduced me to yarn. Goodness me! Glorious yarn. Magnificent yarn. Textures and colors and fiber types, galore.
I fell in love with yarn and the potential it held.
Fast forward seven years. I have a few dozen knitting projects under my belt. I do knit and purl, but not every night, and sometimes I don’t knit for months at a time. I cast on and bind off, but consider myself a novice as I use basic stitches (cables are as complicated as I get). And, if I’m learning a new pattern I still have to look up abbreviations, probably because I don’t knit every day or anywhere close to every day, so terminology is not fresh in my mid-life, absentminded brain.
But you’d never know I was just a person who knits (and not a knitter) by my stash.
Oh, yes, indeedy. The s.t.a.s.h. Every knitter (and person who knits) has a stash. Here’s mine (she says sheepishly, as she raises her hand from the back corner of the room and says shyly, “Hi, I’m Joan, and….”):
Looks like overkill, doesn’t it? (Well, probably not to other yarn artists.)
The thing is, I envision a purpose for every single skein of yarn you see in the picures above. I have specific undertakings planned for each item just waiting for my fingers to fly. So many projects, so many gift ideas, so many exciting (to me) colors and fiber combinations teasing my imagination.
The possibilities are endless.
And that’s why I love yarn so. Like a blank canvas for a watercolor artist, fresh skeins of yarn exude potential. Something beautiful awaits, calling to me in anticipation of my creative touch or stitchery.
And then my person who knits self stops me cold.
As a person who knits, I allow fear (of failure, of not constructing the perfect project, of disappointment in my work, of uneven stitches, of mistakes, of others’ rejections and criticisms) keep me from diving in. I fixate on outcomes more than the process, and that keeps me from taking a risk.
I should know better. Truth be told, the process of knitting gives me as much joy as (if not more than) the end result. (How easily I forget!) Knitting is therapeutic. Its rhythm of needles trading stitches back and forth can sooth a days’ burdens away. Counting stitches and reading charts demand that my mind focus on creating rather than on stewing or rehashing thoughts that drain my heart and soul.
Knitters know the beauty of the knitting process. Knitters knit and are healthier for it. Knitters don’t allow fear to keep them from utilizing their stashes when their next projects require new stitches and as-yet-untried patterns. Knitters take risks.
And knitters know this: all knitters (and people who knit) make mistakes. But mistakes are no big deal, and they’re certainly nothing to fear. Knitters learn to go back and correct their errors or they figure out a way to work their mistakes into their patterns as if the mistakes were intended to be there all along.
After rereading what I’ve written in today’s post so far, I’ve come to a conclusion:
I’d rather be a knitter than a person who knits.
I want to be a woman who lives a life of courageous creativity.
So, here’s the plan, Dear Reader. I’m committing to doing one knitting project per month for the rest of this year. Let’s call it my 10 in 10 plan, short for 10 knitting projects in 10 months. (I got that idea from my long-time blogging friend over at L-Squared who did 12 in 12 for 2018). At the start of each month, I’ll let you know what I’m going to work on and update you on my progress.
[Btw, if any of you dear readers happen to be knitters, I might need help if I get stuck or in trouble. Please comment below or e-mail me if you’re up for being that resource for me.]
I’m hoping you’ll hold me to account and help me to become the knitter I want to be. And if I stick with it, maybe by the end of 2019 I’ll have honed my skill, learned to become a risk-taker, found freedom in failing (and have learned to laugh about it), and lessened my stash — all while enjoying the process.
Will you join me?
I’ll post either later today or tomorrow about what my March knitting project will be. Thanks for encouraging me in this grand adventure. 🙂
Until next time,
4 thoughts on “The Stash Beckons: Am I a Knitter or a Person Who Knits?”
Well, this long-time crocheter has never quite gotten the hang of knitting, so I won’t be of any help to you there. But I’m excited to hear your project ideas and see the finished items!
Ravelry.com is a great resource for patterns, helpful info, and other yarn-crafting related things. (I’m L-SquaredCrochets over there, but I don’t participate much in the social media aspect of the site.)
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I still want to learn to crochet. 😀 I love Ravelry (I’m “fivelabmom” there, so you can see how long i’ve been over there — it’s been a while since we were a five-lab family; I think I joined 7 or 8 years ago, but never really did a lot with it). Ravelry is a super resource! I may track you down when I move into crocheting; I need to get the handle on knitting first though. Thanks bunches! Butt rubs to the gang.
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OMG, I loved this blog entry. I am a knit-aholic. I knit mostly for charities like hats and scarfs for the local homeless shelter. I knit baby blankets for a maternity house that takes in women who are either homeless or who had an addiction problem but are now clean and need help learning how to care for their newborns and helping them to get jobs and housing. Right now I’m knitting for the people who lost everything in the Paradise Fire in Northern CA. It’s my passion. You can count on me if you get stuck. You can always message me on FB. I look forward to seeing your projects
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Thanks so much, Charlene! You are indeed a knitter (in every fine sense of the word)! I’ve been so impressed by your work over the years. My knitting self wants to be like your knitting self when she grows up! I will definitely take you up on your offer to help when I hit the snags I know are coming. Thanks for being there. 🥰