Why Do You Knit?

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

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?

Written by Lauren Chesis

Lauren Chesis

4 Comments on “Why Do You Knit?

  1. Lauren, enjoyed the blog! I have a mannequin of sorts and you’ve given me an idea of what to do with “it”! I knit to de-stress and to work with different types of yarn/try new patterns. Now I don’t feel so bad about my “project stash” after reading your blog! Love reading yours & Jennifer’s blogs!!

    • Thanks Conny!! I’m really grateful for your feedback, and I’m happy to inspire and reassure you! 🙂 Happy knitting! – Lauren

  2. Lauren, that’s a good question! Never thought about it before. I love the feel of the yarn in my hands, I love all the colors, I love the smell. I would love to have enough yarn to make a nest to have a nap in! I love to knit mittens, socks and hats they’re always a good idea to have on hand. I knit gifts for others, (although I knit myself a pair of fingerless mittens that I love and definitely need to knit again). I think I just love to knit. My yarn monster actually needs a bigger tote to live in. If it wasn’t for all the other things one has to do in a day I’d think I’d just knit 😁

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