Enjoying the Process of Knitting

With knitting, I sometimes seem to forget that if you don't enjoy the process, you won't want to knit. I don't know why - it seems obvious, but sometimes the desire for a the finished object clouds my feelings on the process. Knitting a garment takes so much longer than sewing it and if you're not enjoying knitting a pattern, it's time for an evaluation.


I began knitting this pod stitch vintage cardigan in November last year. However once I got into the pattern part, I found that I hated doing the 'Purl 7 Together' which was required at the top of each pod shape. It was so difficult and awkward, and I knew that if I kept going with the pattern I would dread knitting those rows. So as much as I liked the look of the cardigan, it wasn't worthwhile keeping going.

I ripped back the pattern and then continued on with the rib to create this vintage number:


But again, it involved a wide band of rib and although I like the look of this I DETEST knitting rib. As a result, progress slowed and has halted. I've actually nearly finished the rib section for the back but it really sapped my desire to knit. Over Christmas I didn't knit anything at all, but I missed it.


So last weekend I decided that I needed to cast on something new to combat my knit slump. Cue a cute hippo from Susan B Anderson's Itty Bitty Toys.


I've used this book once before to make a rabbit, which I was happy with, and as hippos are cute, I thought I'd give this guy a try. He is knitted with sock yarn held double, and I had some lovely Knitpicks sock yarn in my stash which would do the job nicely. Here's progress so far:

Body complete and head started

I thought that holding yarn double would be a pain or get messy but once you've knitted a few rows it's fine. You can apparently make a centre pull ball of yarn and then use yarn from the centre and the end at the same time but I have never succeeded in making one of these so I just wound another ball from the main yarn that I had and this works fine. I keep them in a bag beside me when I knit so they don't get tangled.

However the hippo has now been put on hold while I knit my Current Husband a hat to replace the 2 (2!) he has lost. His 2 lost hats have been London Beanies, a great (free) pattern for a basic beanie hat. However since he requested something warmer, I am making another free Ravelry pattern, the World's Warmest Hat. I've made this twice before for my Dad and Father-in-Law and it is super warm and knits up fairly quickly too.

How about you? How do you balance enjoying the process with getting the finished object you want?

K x

23 comments:

  1. I've been knitting rather a long time and if something is not enjoyable I rip it out. If I make a mistake I don't just live with it, I rip it out. I also don't like those bobbly patterns because they're no fun to knit and really hard on your hands. You can certainly modify the pattern to have bobbled panels in the front and the rest stockinette - that may be more wearable anyway.

    The other thing I suggest is trying different needles. You need sharp, slidey metal needles for those knit togethers. Those dull pointy bamboo needles would be torture.

    The other thing I eventually realized is that I don't wear fancy pants sweaters, I wear the plain ones. Stockinette in the round is my go to. Elizabeth Zimmermann is a great source for knitting your way. If you've not read her books find a copy or check one out of the library. Knitting Without Tears is a good read - not just knittingwise.

    Sorry to drone on. Happy hat making!

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    1. Thanks redsilvia - You might be right about metal needles being easier but I enjoy knitting with wooden needles so much more! My faves are my rosewood needles, such a joy to knit with. I agree that stocking stitch in the round is the way forward, though I do enjoy a bit of a challenge/change from time to time.

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  2. ohhh that hippo is ADORABLE! it really make me want to learn to knit! was it super difficult?

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    1. I don't think so - it's knit in the round so if you're confident with that then you shoudn't have a problem, though the arms and legs will probably be a little fiddly. Not suitable for a beginner but there are plenty of cute toy patterns that would be.

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  3. I love knitting and sewing and it has taken a while for me to realise that I should only work on the things that I really like. So, for my knitting I am a socks and shawls girl. Socks are my 'easy knitting', I love the patterned/striped yarn and I knit two at a time so that I don't need to remember row counts etc. If I am feeling that I have more time available to concentrate, then shawls it is. The good thing with both of these projects is that I can complete an item within two weeks (I am on Ravelry as twotoast). I used to knit jumpers and cardigans, but I really don't have the enthusiasm to carry them through. This is the same with sewing - I love quick effective patterns, and I am currently hooked on Sorbettos.

    So, my advice is - sew and knit what you love . . . . . and buy everything else!!!

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    1. Good advice - it's a hobby so what's the point if you don't enjoy it.

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  4. I have got so carried away with knitting I can't get over it! I love it. I'm just enjoying being able to do something I always thought I was pants at! I still love my sewing but that entails sitting at my table away from the nice fire...knitting it is then!
    xx


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  5. Ohh cute hippo ... I'm a slow knitter... I'm not sure I'm patient enought for it

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  6. That is a wonderful hippo!! Interesting what you say as I imagine such accomplished knitters as you steam ahead and devour yarn! I find it hard to get ' into' a project inmthe same way as sewing, and for that reason I find the prospect of finishing hard as ill have to make another decision about what to knit next and I am an under confident yarn purchaser....so I have taken a long time to knit gary most of a hat...but even though it seemed as if I bought enough wool, I've run out. Stalemate !

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    1. I'm much worse for having unfinished knitting projects than unfinished sewing ones, sometimes I lose all enthuasism for a project then it goes into a bag and is hidden away - naughty!

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  7. Gorgeous hippo! I made the monkey from that book for my nephew, and he loved it. I tend to give up if I'm not enjoying the process, but if I really want something I'll do a small amount every day to get it done. Your cardigan pattern is beautiful.

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  8. Ooh, cute hippo! Shame about the cardy it's such a nice pattern but I know what you mean when you can't keep knitting something you're not enjoying. It never occurred to me to try toys for an interesting project.

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  9. What a cute cuddly hippo. I'm sure it's all in my head but I find knitting in the round seems much quicker than knitting a body and sleeves separately. Stefanie Japel has a couple of books out that have in the round projects.

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    1. Thanks Michelle, I haven't heard of Stefanie Japel before.

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  10. I love the hippo too! I only knit small things because I really don't have the patience for cardies and such. I sometimes like knitting brainless things with lots of garter or stockinette and sometimes that bores me so much and i wamnt lots of pattern. Just depends!

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  11. I'm pretty intolerant with my knitting. If I'm not enjoying a project or I'm getting the feeling that it's not going to work out as I hoped, I rip it back. This means I'm not a very productive knitter because I change my mind a lot! I see it as one of the advantages of knitting - once fabric is cut, there's no going back, but knitting is more forgiving. Sometimes it's fun to do a smaller project just for the sake of it and your hippo looks like just the thing :-)

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  12. Hippo cuteness alert! That looks like a super fun make. I understand the if the process sucks then it is no longer fun idea. I hope that you find something tres awesome to sink your teeth into after the beanies!

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  13. I always know about halfway up the back of a jumper/cardigan whether or not I am going to enjoy knitting it and if not I rip it back. I knit because I enjoy the process because to be frank if I wanted a cardigan I would just go out and buy one! This is also why I have 5 things that need sewing up to complete. Your hippo is so sweet by the way.

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  14. Adorable hippos! I'm just learning to crochet and feel miles away from ever completing anything! Lol

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  15. I can only just manage a square, how I wish I could master something as cute as those hippoes! x

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  16. oh that hippo is adorable! It will look fab in the green! The most fun I've had knitting is the elephant I knit recently. I'm currently working on an easy raglan, but I'm so bored of doing stocking stitch in the round. I only have the sleeves left, and I know I should see it through. I do ultimately love the sweater (it's a good basic), but I'm not in love with the process. I do try to do a few rows a day, but I've started on a bramble stitch hat instead, so hopefully I'll come back to the sweater feeling less bored of the stocking stitch!

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  17. Nous vous remercions de votre grand poste! L'information Gilet Femme Crochet de cette collection a obtenu un usage intensif à moi!


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Thanks for reading and commenting - I love to hear what you have to say