I’ve observed that people make knitted things for different reasons. Some people only knit socks, and some people knit the things lacking in their wardrobe. Some people only knit gifts to give away to their loved ones, because hand-made gifts are imbued with significance that store-bought gifts can never possess. It doesn’t have to be the same reason every time, of course. But then there are the people who just knit because they feel compelled to knit – maybe they like the challenge or maybe they find it soothes the mind and passes the time. They may find excuses to make the things they make, or they may knit without any pretense. When asked how their current project will ultimately be used, they may shrug their shoulders. I’ve met knitters who know with certainty that the fruits of their labors will never be used, but still they knit. Those are the process knitters.
The yarn monster in my closet is a plastic tote stuffed with hand-made items.
I respect all the myriad reasons that knitters choose to knit, but I am a process knitter. You might say that I knit to feed the yarn monster in my closet (see photo above), and to dress up (and up and up) my patient and reliable craft room companion, Amanda (see photo below). Knitting is most pleasurable for me when I’m trying out a new technique, combining colors and textures, or constructing an object that requires visualization and takes advantage of the peculiar properties of knitted fabric. Knitting is experimental for me, and the experience of touching and observing the yarn is more important than the thing itself. The objects I make are often incidental and frequently never completed. When someone asks me what my favorite thing to knit is, I must confess that I don’t have a favorite, but I usually say hats or shawls. It’s not because they’re the easiest to knit, though they are – it’s because I find that hats and shawls are forgiving and straightforward canvases for experiments in color and texture.
Amanda the Mannequin
I suppose some day, when the yarn monster in my closet simply cannot eat any more knitted things, I will begin to give things away or attempt to sell them off, but that’s never been the goal for me. Why do you knit?