It’s your knitting
Updated: Jan 19
Decluttering expert Marie Kondo is reputed to suggest that you should decide what to keep in your home by deciding if an object brings you joy – obviously we’re all keeping our yarn stashes. It is an interesting idea and while I am not suggesting you put down your needles to start clearing out a cupboard, it is something that could be applied to our knitting projects.
We’re all different and what beings you pleasure from your knitting won’t necessarily be the same as your best knitting friend.
That’s one of the great things about knitting. Once you have the basic skills down, there are so many directions you can take your craft. When you think about the options for colours, styles, fibres and patterns, knitting turns out to offer a great deal of individuality. And no one choice is more valid than another.
For example, I would regard mohair yarn as my knitting arch enemy BUT I will defend to my last breath, your right to only knit in Barbie pink mohair to the end of time.
Ask yourself, what do you really enjoy about knitting and what sort of projects bring you the most pleasure?
The yarns you are most likely to buy
The patterns you have bought or noted for future makes
What techniques appeal
The colours your love
The projects that have ended up in the naughty corner – why did you put them aside? This might tell you a lot about what you really enjoy.
It may be that what you want to do is knit one or two particular sock patterns in a wide range of yarns or it could be that constantly challenging yourself with new techniques is what make you smile. Another person may prefer to only work in super-chunky or get great satisfaction from completing their first sweater over time.
Depending where you are in your knitting journey, you may have a good idea of what brings you knitting joy or you may still be taking your first steps into different techniques. But don’t be afraid to try something new and if you don’t like the project that’s fine, don’t be afraid to stop and think why you aren’t having a good time.
Is it the yarn? Some yarns just don’t suit some people (don’t get me started on that mohair!). It can be the feel of the yarn in your hands or how it looks knitted up. It could be that you simply can’t get the tension right or that a particular thickness of yarn or needles isn’t comfortable for you to hold. There is so much yarn out there that if you don’t get on with one type, you won’t lose out.
The technique? If you always sigh through cable patterns, maybe consider ditching the cable needle and focusing on the techniques you do enjoy. And if you really want a cable sweater, why not arrange a project swap with a cable fiend who really wants something in your favourite style.
Rather than soldiering on with a project that feels like a slog, why not rip it out and use the yarn for something you will enjoy making. There is no shame in ripping out. Your knitting isn’t meant to make you miserable.
The finished item just isn’t going to be right for you? If it just isn’t right for you because of the shape, the drape, how the colours are combining, stop! The mythical knitting police aren’t going to turn up and tell you off for not finishing. The yarn won’t be wasted. Either you will use it for something else or it will find a home with another knitter.
Because there are so many ways to combine knitting stitches, there are always new things to learn. This means that even if you have figured out what brings you knitting joy so far, it is always worth trying new things to see if they work for you. If these add to your knitting joy, that’s fantastic – and if they don’t, you have still added to your knowledge about how and what you want to knit. That’s why we’ll be adding more and more content to Knit School – to help you find the right styles and techniques for you.
And please remember, “comparison is the thief of joy”. Don’t think your knitting is less valuable because you don’t knit complex fair isle patterns like someone on your regular zoom call – they might well be admiring something you do that they can’t.
Your knitting is just that, yours – so find what you love and knit happy.
This is a subject very dear to Michelle's heart so she has spoken about it on the very first episode of the Get Knit Done podcast! You can listen to the episode right here!