Tuesday, June 15, 2010

seeing another way

OK, I admit it. Lately I've been feeling sort of burnt out on knitting...and even blogging. I'm just not very interested. I mean, theoretically I am, but I'm so busy this summer that I seem to lack the time to sit down and knit for more than a few minutes at a time. So many other things need my attention right now. Also...honestly, when Sally the dog situates herself right on the couch next to me and nudges my hand? Well, that hand ends up giving her a good scratch behind the ears instead of forming another knit or purl stitch. Then the moment is over and it's time to get up and do something else that "needs doing."

I have a pair of plain old socks going on double point needles and a nearly finished sweater waiting for me to do something about it.

When I finally admitted this to myself, I talked about it with the Professor, of course. He pointed out that, for me, I was going back to the things that inspired me from the beginning whenever I could... Raw wool, sheep, the motions of spinning or throwing a shuttle through the shed of the loom still captivate me at times. It's just that for the last several months, (or maybe longer) I've been pulling myself completely away from designing, selling, or producing knitting for anything other than personal needs.

There are a lot of reasons for this, but I think the most pressing is this--it's not fun right now for me. While of course, there are many reasons to stick with something--certainly if it's meaningful for world peace or lucrative in a way that supports one's needs financially, spiritually, socially, etc. then it may be worth "sticking it out." Sometimes, though, if it's not that crucial, it's a good idea to step back.

As I stepped back from the knitting, my office became crowded with many half-started projects,other freelance work, and ideas. Piles of things to be darned, half-knit swatches, notes from long ago phone calls abound. I need to tidy up, because my office is near the guest room and may turn into an impromptu bedroom for a small elementary school aged friend who is visiting soon with her parents.

Yesterday, when I began to think about cleaning, I came upon my very favorite length of straight needles. (Short-- like me!) To give you an idea of scale, the set with the row counter on it are about 7 inches long.

It was warm, so I put up my hair with another pair of needles while thinking about things.

I knit another swatch. Top photo...with handspun, that is a size #2(2.75mm) needle with three ply handspun. Skinny yarn!

I took some time to remember why I liked these needles in my hands.

Today, I took a walk in the sunshine to the hardware store and the grocery store. All of a sudden, as I hefted my (reusable) bag of groceries over my shoulder, a sweater design came to mind. That doesn't mean I have to rush off and sketch it, or knit it, or even swatch it...

but it's nice to know those ideas are still there. It just seems like those little musings are more like cats than dogs. Like cats, they don't usually come when called.

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Blogger Willow said...

I think we all experience this. At least I do. This afternoon I pulled out all my yarn and stared at it wondering what I should do with it. Unlike people who live in cold climates (like you now), I live in a mediterranean climate now. Why do I have so much wool? Nothing inspires. What to do? Is it just 'summer'?

June 15, 2010 at 4:53 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Hi Willow,
I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with summer. I've felt this way for quite a while...and here at least, we still have plenty of opportunities for wool socks or a cardigan. Summer isn't all that hot here so far, at least for my more southern blood. Thanks for the suggestion though--I am sure some people choose not to knit in summer, but I've never been one of those. If I could knit in 100 degree F weather in Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina, I doubt that 70F here is holding me up... :)

June 16, 2010 at 7:29 AM  
Blogger PghCathy said...

I hear you, Joanne. And when this happens to me, I just have to ride it out. Sometimes something else sparks my interest, sometimes I have to just veg for awhile. And that's OK.

I found 5" dpns...love them for socks!

June 16, 2010 at 7:06 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

The best antidote is being around other knitters/spinners/whichever you're trying to reconnect to at the moment.

I find I have to intersperse personal knitting with the stuff that has ambition behind it, or the ambition stuff just sags.

June 17, 2010 at 2:10 PM  

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