Five Stages of a Knitting Project Graphic

Five Stages Of A Knitting Project

Ever notice that your knitting projects are cyclical. I’m wondering if my five stages of a knitting project are the same as yours.

My Five Stages Of A Knitting Project

Stage One – Itchy Fingers

No matter how much I want to stay faithful to my current projects, my fingers are yearning to try out some new technique. Or swatch some new yarn. Maybe it’s something I saw on Pinterest that piques my creative urges. But I long to explore.

Symptoms: Migraines from searching the new Ravelry site for hours at time. Feelings of envy when looking at everyone else’s projects. Sleepless time imagining various stitch pattern and yarn combinations.

Stage Two – Titillation

Someone has sent you a Ravelry link. Or perhaps the Zoom knitting meetup is all abuzz about a new shawl. But you’ve secretly wound off two hanks of yarn on your ball-winder.  You are VERY excited about how these two colors will blend. This is going to be glorious people! Your fingers tremble a bit as you cast on. Or perhaps it’s the same hand tremors you’ve had since you turned 40. Whatever.  The world of creativity begins to open its massive portal. Your are the Queen Of The Universe!

Symptoms: Fondling stash yarns. Unable to stay away from your local yarn store or new web site selling your new favorite yarn. Making Ravelry pattern downloads one at a time so they don’t trigger a credit card e-mail. A sense of limitless joy is just around the corner

Stage Three – Lost Hours

This stage is kind of a blur for me. I just know that at one point, I look down and three feet of fabric has magically grown on my needles. It’s not certain whether alien knitters have abducted me and matched my gauge perfectly, or if I have been in a knitting blackout for the last 7 hours. But I have made great progress on this new project. I am encouraged.

Symptoms: Spouse tries to convince you that he’s told you something multiple times that you haven’t responded to. You dream of rhythmically counting stitches…or is it a dream? Stiff joints and bed sores from sitting in the same position for hours without noticing you haven’t even shifted a little bit. Fruitless hope that the rest of the project will fly off your needles as quickly as the first section did.

Stage Four – Questioning

What have I done?!?! Why did I ever think these colors would work together. This stitch pattern is curling like my little sister’s hair in on a humid day. FUCK! I should just abandon this piece of shit. Why does everyone else in my Zoom group still seem to be enjoying this monstrosity? If I have to look at this color green for one more second, I will not be able to go on with life.

Symptoms: Feelings of despair, envy, low self-worth. Excessive drinking or any other activity that you hope will help medicate bad times (even though they never do). Thoughts about starting to garden, or read or go to the gym to create a healthy balance in your life.

Stage Five – Acceptance and Perseverance

As you’ve always done, you push through the Questioning phase and finish that second sock or sleeve. You muscle through the last 17 inches of mesh stitch. Even when your hand has no love left for this project. You know you can’t abandon this project and admit defeat, but you intermix other projects in with it to alleviate the grueling boredom.  You might have stalled a project in “time-out” for a while, but eventually you go back and finish it.  There is comfort that once you sew up this garment, weaving in all the other ends and block it, it will only require a few months hidden in your armoire before your joy in wearing it will be revived.

Symptoms: Resting determination face. Yes, you partner will recognize this, but he will think it’s just that you’re made at him again for something he’s done. Multiple projects around the house or around your favorite knitting chair. Inability to find a 3.75mm needle, even though you KNOW you have a million of them.

I’m starting to think that perhaps I should have project bags made for each of the stages.  That way I can recognize at-a-glance where a specific project is in my psyche before deciding to work on it. But no time for that. I’m already feeling a bit itchy-fingered about a new shawl pattern someone showed me on Zoom yesterday.

Waterline Shawl by Laura Aylor

Current Knitting

With three WsIP (plus a few more in time-out), I am trying to stall returning to the Itch Finger stage.  But I am in Stage Five with the Little Hearts Wrap.

Little Hearts Wrap 07-24-20 01

I’m almost two thirds finished and just about to start the third and last ball of yarn.  Interestingly enough, I never got tired of this yarn. The color and drape are still titillating for me. Wanna see why?

I’ll move the Fight On Project Bag and the Interlocking Crochet Scarf back into rotation soon.

5 comments on “Five Stages Of A Knitting Project

  1. I love that Waterline shawl, but miles of garter stitch and short rows would drive to stage 3 very quickly.
    Instead of new project bags, you just need some badges (or buttons you probably call them) with the stage written on. Quicker than changing the project bag!

    1. Excellent points! But, I never tire of garter stitch…my hands could do that on auto-pilot for decades (I think).

      Love, love, love the idea of badges/buttons for each stage. I have a pin-back button maker that would do the trick!Button and pin and badge maker

  2. Thanks Joe – you have legitimized my knitting sluttiness by giving it a stage. I will now tell people I suffer from itchy fingers, a medical condition even.

    1. If COVIDiots can legitimize exposing themselves to a potentially deadly virus based on a cuckoo bird alleged doctor, than QueerJoe can certainly legitimize knit sluttiness as a medical condition.

  3. This is the truest thing I’ve ever seen!! I’m currently in stage four of a sweater for my 5-yo granddaughter. I powered through 80% of it in a matter of days. Then stage four hit. What was I thinking? This is the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen! I thought the colors were so beautiful, but now all I see is something my mother would have forced me to wear back in the 70’s. Can I even bring myself to give it to her if finish it? She LOVES my hand knits, but a 5-yo can be a brutally honest and harsh critic.

    I will finish that last half a sleeve and re-do the button bands soon, but it’s been in timeout for a week or two. For me though, this stage often ruins my knitting mojo completely. I haven’t knit anything at all during that time.

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