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the many moods of knitting

It’s been a while since there’s been a post about knitting, probably because there hasn’t been much knitting done around here lately (largely because of the CAL).  When I get the urge to pick up the needles, however, the actual process of knitting and the feelings I get from it usually matter more than the finished product.  Here’s what I reach for and why.

straight needles

straights

 

These are grabbed when I want to work with something that looks pretty, but is knitting at it’s most classic. (It’s hard to pass up a pretty pair in the store, even if I’ve already got 5 of the same size.)   They are pretty portable and easy to work with, and there’s just something about that back and forth, back and forth repetition of motion that is so soothing.

circulars or DPNs

dpns

 

These really do make you look fancy when you knit in public — people can’t believe that you can work magic with so many tiny sticks or those large twisty loops!  They’re a step up in complication from straight needles because they take some finagling, but still easy enough to manage without too much trouble.  Just make sure your project is securely on your needles before putting it back in your bag.

something garter or stockinette

garter

 

Simple garter or stockinette projects are a great stress reliever because I can just let my hands do their thing and release all that anxiety.  The repetitive, almost mindless quality of projects like this make them perfect for working on while doing other things at the same time, such as watching TV, having a conversation, or listening to lectures.  It’s so easy to put these down and pick them up because you don’t have to follow a complicated pattern, making these projects ideal for a quick 5 minute knitting session on the go.  They work great with textured or novelty yarns, too!

something with lace, cables, or colorwork

lace and cables

 

These projects require concentration but I always get a sense of great accomplishment when it turns out right!  It’s a proud feeling you get when you can say “why yes, I made it myself!”  They can also be incredibly frustrating, at least for me, because I don’t know how to go back multiple rows when working with lace or cables; this means that if I make a huge mistake, I have to start over.  Small mistakes tend to get left there in hopes that nobody will notice.

a small project

small project

 

Small projects are ideal for trying out a new technique because if I mess up, I haven’t wasted a zillion hours on something I just have to unravel.  I also reach for a small project when I want to see “fast” results (“fast” is in quotation marks because it is only fast compared to larger knitted projects; a crocheted project of the same size would be much faster).  Also of course they’re quite portable!

a big project

large project

 

I haven’t been brave enough to take on a knitting project bigger than a cardigan, because that’s big for me!  I know there will be a great feeling of accomplishment when I finish my first cardigan, but it does get a bit monotonous when using a thin yarn and small needles (making it take a long time to see progress).  Also, picking such a big project in stockinette can be a bit dull.  To be honest, I’d choose crochet for the biggest projects like blankets or rugs because they would take less time and you can see fast results, and therefore I’d be less likely to get bored.  When working on large projects, there tends to be a bunch of smaller projects littering my coffee table at the same time that I can grab when taking a “break” from the big item.

So, does any of this ring true for you as well, or do you feel differently?  Do any specific projects, techniques, or tools evoke strong feelings (good or bad) for you?  I’d love to hear about your knitting moods, too!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

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Comments

  1. I love those straight needles…they are so cute! I haven’t felt awfully inspired to knit recently but it’s possibly because I’m still very much a beginner and at times, while being fun, learning is hard work too! I really want to knit some of my Christmas presents though so I must pick up the needles and have a go again!

  2. I rarely knit because any form of knitting takes a lot of concentration for me (if I don’t concentrate I WILL lose stitches -_-) so I tend to crochet most of the time instead. I would like to improve at knitting, but I have too many crochet projects on the go to start a knitting one now!

  3. I have a lace shawl pattern I know off by heart if I am desperate to knit and have nothing to do. That said, I would definitely recommend the Martina Behm Hitchhiker series to anyone who wants to knit in garter stitch but make something super cool and also addictive to knit.

  4. I am direct opposite of you guys. My knitting is always handy and have several projects on the go. I jealously look at your crocheted blankets and lace and tell myself that I am going to slow down and give it another try but then my knitting needles whisper to me “‘just cast on for another pair of socks in this cashmere blend. I promise it won’t take long then you can pick up that hooky thingie.” And I abandon my crochet and start another project in knit.
    I swear …one of these days……….

  5. Once I got the hang of circulars I stopped using straight needles all together as my work is always easily stored on one line and normally will not run the risk of falling off. I do enjoy smaller knit projects for speed but lately have been inspired to tackle my first full sweater. I just chose one that used worsted and a size 8 needle to try and speed things up.

    • That is probably a much wiser choice for a first sweater! I have some troubles with circulars that I don’t have with DPNs — maybe you will know why? The stitches are always really tight at the beginning of each half of the project and it’s hard to get them back on the needle from the wire. If I try to make loose stitches the project moves on the needles easier but you can see that line of looser stitches going up the side of the work. Any ideas on how to fix that?

  6. I really like the straight needles! Any suggestions where to get those? thanks!

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