Ten Knitterly Things you didn’t know about me

Wow this is a hard meme! I’ve had it brewing in my mind all week.

  1. I taught myself how to knit (this part you probably knew already) and until I started writing my blog I was convinced I didn’t knit properly. No one ever told me this, I just made the assumption all on my own. Now I know if this finished product looks good, then you knit properly.
  2. I knit in this quasi-Continental way. I hold my yarn in my left hand, but I wrap it around the needle (holding the yarn between my thumb and index fingers). Many many times I’ve tried to wrap the yarn around my fingers and flick my finger and pick at the yarn but it’s not happening. My hands cramp and my tension is awful.
  3. If I’m knitting at home on the weekend (which happens very often) I almost always have a glass of red wine by my side. This started being habitual about 6 months ago and now I can’t imagine knitting without it. I barely drink it because both of my hands are already occupied, but if I’m out of wine and I sit down to knit I don’t knit nearly as much.
  4. I keep all the labels from the yarn I’ve used. I have no idea what I’ll do with them, but I can’t seem to bring myself to throw them out. Christy, there’s even one in there that you left behind 2 years ago!
  5. I have lots of UFOs and I may know why. A former manager noticed that I lost interest in projects once the hard parts were done. I wanted to go on to the next thing, because the challenge and excitement was over. I think that’s true of my knitting as well. I’ve been making an effort to choose projects less on a whim, so that the finished item is as exciting to complete as the challenging parts. I haven’t finished a lot this year though, so I need to work on this more. It will definitely be in next year’s goals list.
  6. For a long time, my goal was to turn knitting into my career as well (yarn store, online store, yarn line), but lately I’ve changed my mind. My mom turned her hobby into a store many years back. She worked like a dog, made an OK income, and lost interest in the hobby. So lately I’ve been thinking about doing something different (maybe a restaurant) and keeping the knitting for off-hours.
  7. I barely knit at all during the week because I don’t have much free time after work. But I knit a lot on the weekends. I’ll sometimes take progress pics during the weekend to make up a few blog entries. This is really helpful during the winter months when taking pics at night is really hard. At first I felt like I was cheating, but I only do it when it makes sense for the project, and it helps me better document what I’ve done. So I only feel a teeny bit guilty for do it.
  8. If a stitch pattern is only given in words I will always chart it first. I need to see the picture of what I’m knitting. Occasionally it’s not very helpful (e.g., when the number of stitches per row changes so often that you lose the look of what you’re making), but I still do it. If there was one thing I could make people more comfortable with it would be knitting from a chart. I’m convinced that’s why people have so many problems when they start knitting lace.
  9. I put almost all of my cotton blend and wool blend yarns in the dryer. At first I started by experimenting with a swatch, but now I just drop the whole FO in once I’m done. In particular I love the way Silky Wool feelts after it comes out of the dryer (low/medium setting for about 30 minutes). It fluffs up and it’s only slightly damp at that point. I’m convinced that yarn manufacturers label things hand wash only just to be overly safe. Give the dryer a try — it’s great.
  10. I love knitting and it’s by far the most fulfilling hobby I’ve tried. But I also think it has made me less social, and it’s something I struggle with from time to time. After my divorce I didn’t know how to cope with being alone, and it took a lot of effort on my part to be OK with an empty house and no plans on a Saturday night. Now, I think the opposite has happened! I’d just as quickly choose to stay in all weekend and watch DVDs and knit than go out. I have to make a conscious effort to plan to do something other than knit. I always have a good excuse (if I have a few more hours I’ll…finish this sleeve, bind off this sock, finish the next ball, get past the hard part, etc.) but really, I know I’m just making excuses to stay home. I’ve yet to resolve this because I get so much pleasure and peace when I knit that I don’t feel like I’m missing out, and yet I think I probably am. Have any of you felt this way?

27 thoughts on “Ten Knitterly Things you didn’t know about me

  1. It is so interesting to read your list. Knitting has made me more social as we have a wonderful group of knitting grrls here in Salt Lake. But I do love sitting home and knitting and find it difficult to go out with people other than ‘my grrls’.

  2. When young and single and in my twenties, every Friday night I stayed in to watch Homicide: Life on the Streets. I did not regret for one minute being home with a beer than being in a bar, and I still don’t. Being your own company should be pleasurable. Some people can’t be alone with themselves.
    And now I know what to do with all my yarn labels that I too have saved. Put them in something pretty!

  3. I understand what you’re saying with #10. I’m married and I sometimes thing my knitting allows me to sit in front of the TV and ignore my husband while he works on his stuff. It makes me sad. Mind you, when he suggests we do something else, I feel slightly put out that I have to abandon my knitting. Mind you, it’s not like we’re going to actually go out, since we have a toddler who needs to be guarded.

  4. I’m with you on #10. Between knitting and reading, I can easily enjoy my own company — and I too worry if it’s perhaps too much. Doing it with a friend or two could be great, but I haven’t found the right combination (admittedly, I haven’t looked too hard); most of my friends are married and have children who are pretty grown up. But better your own company and FOs and books than a “social” life that is annoying and unsatisfying. How much of our anxiety comes from societal “norms” of how we should fill free time?

  5. How funny. I keep all my skein bands too. Even if I have 4 of the same one. Isn’t that crazy?
    I can identify with #10 in that sometimes I knit to not think about things that I should take control over, like, hmmm, changing the course of my life. And while knitting brings me great satisfaction and happiness, I have to recognize that sometimes I knit to escape my reality.
    On the other hand, now that I’ve started trying to make some changes, knitting helps me deal with all the change-related anxiety. I might not knit as much, but am trying to find that prefect balance…

  6. I could have written a few of these too, especially #6! many years ago my cross stitch procurer was selling her store and I was VERY interested…until I spent a week in the store…a craft I loved became absolutely onerous to me because the work aspect sucked the joy right out of it! Now if I win the lottery I’m buying that knitting shop but I’ll have others run it form, I’ll just hang out and knit :)
    I save my labels too!

  7. 2. I know many people who hold the yarn in their left hand and wrap it around the needle. It obviously works well for many! 4. I also keep yarn labels for no good reason. They aren’t organized in any way or anything like that, just in a big envelope. I had to convince myself to at least toss duplicates (i.e., if I used 10 balls, to only keep 1 label of that yarn). 5. I’m the exact same way. That’s why I’ve abandoned Mountainash – no longer a challenge! 8. I don’t understand why complex knitting patterns aren’t charted, and I always chart the words before I start knitting. I just got this pattern, and it was not charted (WTF?). 9. I put all my swatches in the dryer… if nothing happens, same goes for the knitted item itself!
    Thanks for answering! Very insightful!

  8. I definitely feel like an antisocial knitter much of the time. I’ve made it a goal, also: to put down the knitting, give someone a call, or go out somewhere where I know I won’t be able to get a stitch done. It drives me crazy sometimes, because I think: “I could have made so much progress while I was out doing such-and-such”, but at the very least, it’s important to have friends to show off your knits to! I have to reconcile that feeling of “missing out” with my love of knitting, too. I think about it a lot when i think about travelling. My boyfriend and I really want to go to South America for 6 months, and I have to admit one of the things that jumps into my mind is the thought that I won’t get to knit very much!! I’m trying to make knitting fit into a more active life.

  9. heh – re: #10, not only has knitting made me less social, it’s made me more fat!! i’ve gained weight since i’ve taken up knitting, because the time i used to spend working out has been replaced with knitting :) and quite frankly, i’m much happier.

  10. So funny about my leaving a label behind. I have labels all over in my knitting bags and baskets. I try to throw away the duplicates but sometimes I don’t. The labels are a mess but I save them anyway.

  11. knitting has made me more social actually because of the great group that i meet up with every week. and we have someone in our group that knits like you too! it’s not so uncommon :)

  12. I have four kids, and a crazy, noisy hectic household, and I find that I would rather stay home and knit in the evenings when it’s finally quiet, than go out. It’s the only way I get some peace in my life. I love my family, and would miss the noise if it were gone permanently, but I do love my alone time spent knitting.

  13. I kind of go back and forth between knitting making me more social (i.e. I have something in common with people so I feel more comfortable at least trying to be social) or keeping me home. I find I’m a happier person if I have a day at home per week with some serious alone time to knit and recharge. Maybe that’s weird but it makes me feel more able to face the world and the crazy commute the rest of the week.

  14. I’m a continental wrap knitter too, and I’ve been convinced since I started that I was knitting wrong. But it works. I also save my yarn labels, but in an unphotogenic box. I figure at some point in the future, I may need that information, ya know? Knitting definitely cuts down on the wine consumption (food too), but I like to *pretend* that I’m having a glass while working on a project! Good list!

  15. I know what you mean about staying in knitting after a divorce, but the good thing is–you do eventually go out and meet people. Don’t rush yourself and just let the knitting help heal you! It sure worked for me.

  16. I find that knitting has made me more social, because I go to at least a couple of knitting-with-friends things per month, and most of my friends are people I’ve met through knitting. Then again, I also knit in unorthodox places, like rock shows…so I don’t feel as though wanting to knit keeps me at home. (Wanting to spin on my wheel, though, is another story.)

  17. I would much rather knit and watch DVDs any night over going out. So yes, I do struggle with the the anti-social pitfalls of a knitting obsession. But why would I want to go on a bad date over watching tv on DVD and finishing a sweater? I really do need to be more social though. We should start a club–for each night you go “out” you get to buy yarn or something. It could work. :)

  18. Granny hardly knits a stitch and it is like pulling teeth to get her to pick up the needles and to finish something. But she loves the shop.

  19. #4 – me too. I have a binder full of them, dating back to nearly five years ago when I first learned to knit. I can’t bring myself to throw them away (even if I no longer have the yarn or anything knit with it).
    As to #10, I sometimes feel like that – that I’d rather stay in and knit than force myself to go out for no reason – but at the same time, knitting has brought me friends and relationships I really value. My favorite thing, though, is still to stay in, but hopefully have a friend come over and hang out. For months, my friend L would always come over to my house on Wednesday nights and we would sit and watch tv and knit and talk, and they were wonderful nights. I miss them, but we’re in different cities now.

  20. I too have that issue with keeping ball bands… at least yours are are collected and neat! Mine are spread out in bags with end clippings, receipts and needle packaging.
    It was nice meeting you last night! I hope the sock frogging causer minimal distress 😉

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