Sometimes I get so very tired of knitting.
No, I do not tire of knitting – that simple enjoyable activity that involves a ball of string and two pointy sticks – but I do tire of certain aspects involved in knitting.
I tire of the one-upmanship I see in the knitting community. That you need to be knitting the latest viral pattern craze in precious hand-spun unicorn yarn from a small island off the coast of Chile to be a cool knitter. Or that coolness equates you knitting crazy Estonian lace at knitting group whilst shrugging off its difficulty with a modest “oh, it’s straightforward, really” and frantically counting in your head. I’m currently that last knitter (although my stitch pattern is straightforward, honestly) and I’m even knitting my crazy Estonian lace in an expensive designer yarn. Where is this one-upmanship coming from?
I tire of the idea of “a knitting community” too.
I was recently contacted by another knitter who asked me to share a copyrighted pattern “to support our knitting community”. Really? Just because I knit, I am not automatically your new best friend. We share a common interest but I am not just a knitter. My identity has so many other markers that I do not feel automatic kinship with anyone who knits.
Besides, the very idea of a “community” is ridiculous when I see these self-confessed ‘yarn snobs’ and ‘knitteristas’ roll their eyes at seeing someone knitting a baby jacket on straight needles using cheap mass-market yarn. Isn’t “the knitting community” just another way of saying “exclusive club”?
So, honestly, I needed something to cleanse my palate. I wanted to be reminded why I love knitting so much.
I took my inspiration from the recent Rowan magazine – it is actually turning into one of my favourite resources together with Knit1 Fall/Winter 2008 – and specifically Kaffe Fassett’s Unwind Wrap. I looked in my stash, uncovered some yarns that went well together and I sat down to knit. I had no plan, no pattern, and I just used up some spare balls from the stash. No fuss, all freedom.
It felt great. I felt great.
I’m going to weave in my gazillion ends now and then get my partner to shoot a few photos of me wearing my newest project – but I’m not going to make out that it is the most exclusive, most amazing, or super-difficult project ever. Knitting it made me feel good and wearing it (despite the many loose ends) makes me feel good.
But at the end it is just knitting, you know?