Since the start of this year my enthusiasm for knitting has gone from passionate to placid. One minute I was working on my first original scarf pattern and the next I was leaving the house without taking one of my many WIPs with me.
That’s how I knew I was in a serious knitting slump.
After the completion of my niece’s poncho for Christmas 2016, I felt the amount of time I spent knitting decrease. Don’t get me wrong; I still knit. Yet for some reason, the spark went out of one of my favorite hobbies.
Recovering from the Knitting Blues
In the past month or so I’ve started working my way out of my knitting slump. Aside from climbing into my hope chest with all my yarn and rolling around in it Indecent Proposal style, there’s no quick fix to a knitting slump. Rather you need to try different things until something clicks. Here are some suggestions:
Find Inspiration – Inspiration comes from many things. Go to Pinterest and do a search for a type of project or even a knitting keyword. I managed to find a few boards to follow that I hadn’t been following before and pinned some new “inspiration” projects.
Ravelry is another great place for finding inspiration. There’s always something going on in the groups. That’s where I came up with the idea for my scarf. Be careful though, you may find yourself on inspiration overload.
Take Your Knitting Everywhere – Again, this was something that I had almost stopped doing altogether but when I went to the hospital in January, I took my scarf project with me and it prompted a fun conversation with one of my nurses. If you can carry it with you, you can knit it. Coffee shops, the dentist, school pick-up line, bus drop off, movie theaters… you get the idea.
A basket, or three of unfinished projects, or projects that have been put in “time out” need to be dug through on occasion. When I feel a knitting slump hit, I start digging through my project bags.
Start a New Project – Okay so maybe the UFOs have been hidden away because you’re bored with them or they were really naughty and time out may last for a year or two. I completely understand.
In that case, you should start something new but with a few guidelines: it should be a small project. Something that won’t take you more than a couple of hours, or at the most, a day to complete. Think bookmarks, hats, coasters, a dishcloth, you get the idea. The project should solve that need for instant gratification and keep you from getting bored.
Get Organized – Every knitter has a method to their madness. We sort our yarn by weight, type, color, softness (okay maybe that one is just me). If you feel overwhelmed or lost while going through your knitting supplies, it might be time for some re-organization.
My yarn is typically stashed in clear plastic bins with snap-on lids. My needles go in pouches, and notions are in various notion bags. The notions could be organized a little bit better, but I like to keep my notions portable so I can simply grab and go.
Find a Knitting Partner – This is something I have yet to do. There was a group that met every week at one of the local bars in town. I was thrilled to find a group that had such an eclectic bunch of people; young, old, male, female, novice, expert. It was my knitting dream come true but over last winter the group has disbanded.
If you’re blessed to know other knitters in your area, set a place and time to meet-up to talk and knit. And for the love of superwash baby alpaca, meet consistently so you can form that common bond and make new friends.
Give yourself a Time-out – You’ve put cranky yarn in time-out but why not yourself? I believe the worst thing you can do is to knit when you’re not feeling it. Maybe it was a pattern that peeved you or someone didn’t appreciate something you made for them, (or worse, someone nagging you about if you’re ever going to finish a project).
Dig through those UFOs – I don’t trust a knitter who doesn’t have a lot of projects on their needles. (There, I said it.)
Knitting is more than just making pretty things out of yarn. Knitting is therapy. It stops being therapeutic the moment you feel like you “have to” do it (And that, I think, is how we end up in a knitting slump.)
What do you do when you end up with the knitting blues?