You know how some people knit just for the joy of knitting? Or do endless swatches just to learn that new technique? Yeah, I’m not one of those people.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy knitting. It’s my meditation. A knitting-free day is torture for me. I need it for my mental sanity and for the benefit of those around me. But apart from that, I want to maximize the result from my knitting. If I don’t enjoy or wear the items I knit, there’s no point to it. I’m almost obsessive that way. I have no UFO:s. I will relentlessly knit away on an item, even if knitting that item sucks, because I can’t bear the thought of having half-finished items just lying around. This desire to see what the finished item will look like, has kept me knitting fairly monogamously. It’s only just recently, (when I find myself having fairly little me-time, and want to maximize on all the short windows of time that can possibly translate to knitting-time), that I’ve had more than one project on the needles. This is usually driven by the state of a specific knitting. I don’t want to bring an entire cardigan while knitting on the train. I don’t want to be knitting advanced lace or color-work while watching my favorite TV-show and so on.
As for new techniques, I enjoy learning new things as much as the next gal. If I didn’t I would obviously still be knitting straight scarves in garter stitch. But what I decide or not decide to learn, is purely driven by the items I decide to knit, and that in turn is based on items I would like to wear. So if I find a pair of nice-looking socks, that are knitted toe-up; I’ll attempt to follow the pattern, and then I’ll have learned this new technique. I usually don’t look at a pattern unless I want to wear it, so I won’t know how the garment is knitted until I’m actually emotionally invested in it.
That’s another thing; I’m excellent at following patterns, but not so great at deviating from them. I’m impressed by people who can just improvise their own sweaters. I’ve never been able to do that. Now, after years of knitting various items, I’m much better at not trusting a pattern blindly. I adjust things to work better with my measurements. If I don’t like the look of a certain decrease, I’ll try something else, and so on. But I’m still far, far away, from creating an entire sweater by just winging it. I’m not even sure I’m good enough at garment construction to change a pattern from being bottom-up to top-down.
Either way, I find myself reluctant to buy any knits from the store nowadays. I look at items, and say to myself “Well, I can probably knit that!”, or “I’m sure I’ll find something similar on ravelry”. There’s really only one drawback with this approach. There’s not enough hours in the world to fit all the things I want to knit for myself and the people around me.
So there you have it. I knit the way I do almost every thing else (but cleaning. My husband will vouch for me being super-sloppy. Sorry) – somewhat obsessively to maximize the result but while maintaining the best quality I possibly can. What kind of knitter are you?