Why I Quit Knitting

Why I Quit Knitting

Why I Quit Knitting

Ya. I quit knitting.

I said to myself, “I am never knitting again!”

My heart was breaking and I felt like a limp rag, thrown into a busy city street and trampled on.

I had just cleaned out about 10-12 garbage bags full of clothes, shoes, etc, and took them to Value Village.

Included in that pile of stuff was an entire garbage bag filled with my hand-knit and crocheted items.

I briefly thought about selling them (but I had already worn them many times and that just seemed weird), or giving to friends (but again, I’d already worn them and that seemed weird too).

I could have repurposed them, but honestly was tired of looking at the same old things all the time. And I REALLY needed the space and not the stuff.

So with a tired, sad heart, I dumped them off at Value Village and hoped they’d make their way to a loving home.

But then I had the strangest feeling settle in on me.

I reasoned, “Why should I keep knitting or crocheting when it will just end up at Value Village? I’m never knitting again!”

( Insert: I had just returned from vacation to Arkansas where I bought my wedding dress… it’s stunning and I love it, but it caused me a wee bit of stress… I was physically sick too, and the plane ride home was long and wearisome ( I had carried my 5-layer dress, huge slip and additional day-after dress, plus my purse and another huge bag all on the plane(s) with me, including running through the Dallas airport, almost missing one of my connecting flights. Some guy thought I was carrying a mattress. HA! It was all bigger than me. )

I pouted for a few days, and didn’t touch my needles or hooks.

About day 4 into this pout session I started to realize how absolutely silly I was being.

The point of knitting and crocheting isn’t so we end up with the most gorgeous piece of work the world has ever seen and it is held in a museum until the end of time for all of humanity to gasp over…

No.

We knit for the sheer joy of it.

  • The surge of pure delight that races through our veins when the idea for a new project strikes a claim in our mind…
  • The scrounging with glee through our stash to see if we have the color we need… and racing to the yarn store if not, for that perfect color and thickness of yarn.
  • The contentment and ease and escape of just being with the yarn… working stitch after stitch.
  • Sometimes letting our tears fall as our heart aches for a loved one. Sometimes smiling happily as our favorite movie plays in the background and we snag a few precious moments with our yarn.
  • The satisfaction of using time well when waiting in doctor’s offices or sitting in traffic or relaxing at a coffee shop.
  • The heart-warming conversations that start out in public when people say “What are you making? My mama used to knit!”
  • And when you finally DO have a finished item, it’s the thrill of casting off the final stitch, and scrambling over to the mirror to see if it looks good/fits/is what we thought it would be.
  • The joy on others’ faces when they open our hand-made gifts. ~

Yes, someday our items will be old and tossed out.

And that’s okay.

In fact, it makes room for a WHOLE LOTTA NEW projects that need to be made.

So it’s actually a good thing.

So I am in fact, knitting again and more rapidly than ever.

And I’m 100% convinced and reminded of why I REALLY do what I do.

It makes me happy.

And that is reason enough.

XOXOXO

Until next time…

Chandi

P.S. As always, your comments mean the world to me. Do let me know your thoughts by posting below…

By | 2015-05-04T03:52:25+00:00 October 29th, 2013|Crochet, Inspiration, Knitting, Life Musings|38 Comments

38 Comments

  1. Mindy October 29, 2013 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    I have been in the same place with regards to all creative outlets…only to remember why I enjoy them so much. I totally enjoy the feeling of fabric, yarn, etc and seeing the end product. Keep on creating!!!

  2. Cindy October 29, 2013 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    Hi Chandi,

    I think we have all gone through that feeling before. I know I have knit many sweaters; some I wore alot and others I may have worn only once. They, too, found their way to the Salvation Army. I felt bad because of the time and amount of money that I had spent on the yarn but I thought that someone would appreciate getting a hand knit sweater at a steal. I never saw any of my work on anyone in our small town but I am sure it made a home somewhere.

    We stop and we start but in the end the tranquility we find in the clicking of the needles is what draws us back. Now with internet and sites like Ravelry, how will we ever stop.

    • Colleen October 29, 2013 at 6:24 pm - Reply

      … how will we ever stop? …
      Oh no fellow knitter! Of all my earthly possessions, I WILL be taking my favorite Signature Needle Arts #2 stilletto dpns with me! I know the spinning wheels are already in use and my french angora bunnies are there. I will be knitting socks in heaven for sure! 😀

  3. Marianne Zinkewicz October 29, 2013 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Hi!
    Thanks for writing that beautiful story. At first I was a little dismayed and upset that someone would quit knitting, but after reading until the end, I was very moved and happy.
    I enjoy knitting so much that I sometimes re-arrange my days just to have enough time to knit. My favorite time of the day to knit is mid-morning. I sit by my window, the sun coming in, watch tv and knit, knit, knit.
    Whatever it is I’m knitting, I enjoy the creativity of it and love looking at what it becomes. I do get sad when I’ve bound off that last stitch and say to myself, “Okay, what project can I do now”?
    I particularly enjoy giving out things to friends and relatives that I have created. Usually they are astounded that it was “hand-made”.
    As long as my fingers and eyes work, you’ll find me knitting!
    All the best,
    Marianne

  4. Kathy Richards October 29, 2013 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    I have been knitting/ crocheting since I was 8 years old…..now 51 I don’t regret a day of learning. Believe it or not I do not own anything I have made. I take my wares(scarves,hats,mittens,but mostly baby sweaters/sets and baby afghans to farmers market. What pleases me the most is the smiles you get when a grandma buys her brand new grand baby a sweater/set….very heartwarming to the soul.It makes it even more worth it to me.I have even gotten into designing some of my own patterns(even to the extent of looking at a picture and coming up with something comparable).

  5. Cris October 29, 2013 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    I loved reading this post and it is exactly the same reason I knit and crochet.

  6. Karen October 29, 2013 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    What a great way to look at it. I have a teensy bit of trouble letting go of stuff, but I surely need to, and this is a good pep talk for me! (OK, more than a teensy bit 🙂 ). And I do know the emotion attached to the knitting as well, but you have put it into words so beautifully. Thank you!

  7. Colleen October 29, 2013 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    Somehow I knew you would come to your senses by the end of this brief bout of insanity! Ok, now the real question… wedding dress? Congratulations! Are you going to KNIT yourself a nice silk lace veil?

  8. Margaret Korshoj October 29, 2013 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    Knitting is my stress buster! I couldn’t knit for about 8 months due to a rotator cuff issue, but now getting back into it little by little. I look at yarn and think of patterns to match and then I look at my stash and tell myself..NO, no, no…use this first and then indulge. It is soooo hard to resist, but I love fiber, yarn, the animals that make it for us to use, the process and the finished product!!

  9. Susan Shone October 29, 2013 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    WHEN is the wedding? We need to look forward to it almost as much as you do!! Bought some yak/silk lace yarn, showed it to my friend who almost wouldn’t give it back, because it felt so good! Can hardly wait to knit with it, but have 2 big sweaters ahead of it in line.

  10. Diana Foree October 29, 2013 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    I totally agree with you and I understand your feelings. I’ve made so many items that I just didn’t finish, gave some away, stored in containers and thinking of getting rid of a lot of items that haven’t sold. But the bottom line is that I love to knit and crochet for many reasons. Not just to sell but to gift them also. So as I finish this comment, I’m picking up my crochet hooks to make a ski headband that I sold in my Etsy shop. I totally enjoy the whole process from beginning to end. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

  11. Debi October 29, 2013 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    We want to see photos of the dress. You must definitely knit a veil or snood.

    http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/snow-peacock.

    I would use a delicate lacey yarn.

  12. Lisa October 29, 2013 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    Hi Chandi,

    That was beautiful, you should write a book as you have a lovely way of telling your story.

    Lisa x

  13. Carol Ball October 29, 2013 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    In my 60 years of knitting, I have often had periods of wondering why I knit. My grandchildren don’t really like hand knit items that much and I can only wear so many sweaters, scarves, shawls, hats and socks, but, I too knit for other reasons. There is something about the motion of yarn and needles that soothes. Now I often knit for charity…making sure to use the best yarn I can afford. Sometimes I rip out things I have knit and reuse the yarn…knitting is something I cannot give up!

  14. Colleen Baxter October 29, 2013 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    I totally get it! Due to serious back problems, I am forced to spend a lot,of time in “My Chair” and I need my knitting to keep my mind occupied, my fingers busy, and my heart contented. I love the creative process, and find some measure of worth in producing something of value and use, and some beauty, during my unwanted semi -confinement.

  15. Yvonne October 29, 2013 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    Chandi, fortunately for all of us, you did not quit knitting!!!

  16. Phyllis October 29, 2013 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    I’ve quit knitting too. When my Mother died, I just didn’t have it in me and couldn’t knit. But a couple at Church were having a baby and I decided to make a blanket for him. I started knitting it and realized that I really enjoyed it and I could do something for someone. It took some time to finish it, but it was worth it. Now I’m back to knitting. On the comical note. What in the world would I do with my stash if I quit knitting?????

  17. maak October 29, 2013 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    Isn’t taking stuff to Value Village a way to repurpose them? Somebody shopping at Value Village will have a very lucky find indeed!

  18. Wendy Radding October 29, 2013 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    I agree completely!

    Obviously we don’t save money on garments by knitting them, it’s mostly the sheer joy of knitting that keeps me at at it. I also love wearing my knitted items.

    Wendy

  19. Wanda Palinkas October 29, 2013 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    Hi there!

    I understand exactly where you coming from. I love knitting and crocheting and work at it daily. My other passion has now been put aside. I teach embroidery, 3D, stumpwork, goldwork, you name it. Here in the US I haven’t found anyone interested in learning so I have let it slide. I really should pick it up again, I really brings such satisfaction to see the work progressing. Thanks for your little story!

  20. Dee Lemon October 29, 2013 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful story, thank you for sharing. I have kept very few things that I have knitted or crocheted. Almost everything I make is a gift, an “order” or for charity. Nothing makes me happier than hearing that someone loved a gift. I especially like making stuffed toys, and recently made one for a young girl who just lost her father. Apparently, she sleeps with it every night, and it makes me so happy to know it brings her a small measure of comfort. I love every part of the process – from looking through patterns, finding just the right yarn and color, the actual knitting or crocheting, and the satisfaction when it’s finished. I love reading your blog!!

  21. Susn October 29, 2013 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    Just cleaned out three huge bags of yarn I was saving for some day as I will be downsizing and need to clean stuff out.Only kept the beautiful yarn I love and have been making gifts for Christmas. good feeling!

  22. kel October 29, 2013 at 11:09 pm - Reply

    Whhyyyyy am I having SUCH a beast of a time learning to knit??!!! I can crochet the HELL out of a ball of yarn. But the knitting??!! Holy crap. I must’ve watched your Youtube video twenty times. (Fantastic, by the way). But Holy Mother of God, I frustrate myself endlessly hunched over those two needles like some kind of crackpot. Ideas, anyone?!

    • Susan December 12, 2013 at 3:22 am - Reply

      I had the same problem. I found the continental knitting method closer to crocheting. Now, the method I use is unique, sort of. I have had other knitters roll their eyes. I’ve read condescending articles regarding knitters who don’t use the “correct” technique. I’ve also had the joy of meeting others who simply shared the creation and were supportive and pointed out that my technique could be considered artistically unique such as a painter’s brushstroke. Get a set of circular needles, short ones, out of Bambi. The short length will be closer to length of hook. The bamboo won’t be so slippery as metal/plastic. Find a book with photos of how the yarn moves, then figure out how you can make it move with those little sticks.

  23. Patty October 29, 2013 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    When we were evacuated due to the wildfires near us, one of the first things to be loaded into the car was the bag containing the wonderful baby items that my mother crocheted and knitted for my children (now teenagers). These are a part of her life, my life and their lives. Leaving them behind was unthinkable!

    Yes, knitting and crochet is about the process (for a LOT of us, me included), but it is also a part of our history, our family and our culture. Items that have been handmade and donated to thrift shops, even after some/lots of wear, are still beautiful and special.

    I have found a few items at the thrift stores that were handmade, beautiful and perfect for me! I imagine someone, probably like you, that finally decided to part with their treasures. I will sometimes adopt these orphans, and wear them, feeling the love in every stitch, though I do not know the maker at all. Sometimes, if they are gorgeous, but not quite “me”, I just fondly stroke them, with the thought that someone will love them as much as their original maker did — he/she loved this enough to put the time into it to create it, and now, to pass it on to someone who needs it more than they themselves need it.

    Thank you for a wonderful, thought provoking post! People knit for lots of reasons and you have made me stop to consider all of them that are part of me.

  24. Barb October 29, 2013 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    oh, so right there with you – have been ready several times to just give away all my crafty stuff……then reason sets in and I realize that without it, my life would be so, well, BORING!! I go from knitting to claying to beading to mailling and back again – so many good things to play with, never enough time!
    I went through several tubs of yarn just yesterday, looking for a specific color to knit with – got all hot and dusty and sweaty AND was successful, found the yarn, cast on and finished the hat I had pictured in my head – if it wasn’t for the crafty stuff in my life, I would go stark raving mad!!!

  25. Pamela Emerson October 29, 2013 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    What a great tale to share. I also love hooks and needles for the pure joy and satisfaction. Because I can, I might not be the best or fastest, but I love to do all of it.

  26. Shirley October 30, 2013 at 12:46 am - Reply

    I’ve been knitting since I was 6 – always seem to have something on the go – and now there is always a prayer shawl in the works! People see me knitting at the coffee shop and some come back to knit with me – even to learn how to knit
    But nothing beats the occasional note that comes from someone to say what a shawl meant to their loved one – and that just feels good! So I keep knitting.

  27. Linda October 30, 2013 at 1:08 am - Reply

    You found your dress and carried it half way across the country to boot! Yeah.

  28. Lorraine October 30, 2013 at 1:43 am - Reply

    Chandi…I was nervous when I first started reading this, but all is right with the world now. Like you, I knit for the joy of it. I often buy yarn then wait for it to tell me what it wants to become. Once that happens, I can’t wait to get started on teh project. I usually have 2 WIPs and several lined up (vying for their place at the head of the line.) Knit on!

  29. Patricia October 30, 2013 at 2:22 am - Reply

    great story. I was learning to knit and I quit because I never got the “PURL” thing but I crochet (redicovered) a few months ago and enjoying a lot!!!!!

  30. Emily October 30, 2013 at 3:06 am - Reply

    I really appreciate your honesty! You know how sometimes, you just need to know that someone else shares the same problems?!? Three years ago, I had a devastating injury that permanently changed my life and without crochet/knit I would have been more miserable than I already was. After being a successful Hairstylist for 20yrs, I still needed to be able to create something beautiful and lately even that wasn’t enough! I would love to turn this into a career much like yours but since I do not have the means to do so, I have been contemplating just giving up! So, in essence, reading your blog today was validating! Now I just need to figure out how to make my ‘next’ act in life work! Thank you Chandi;)

  31. Marsha October 30, 2013 at 7:25 am - Reply

    As always, the timing of your post is perfect. For months I hadn’t been happy about knitting. There were a lot of reasons: I was tired, I was ill, I had too much on my mind to just relax with my yarn, but also, I didn’t need another sweater or a scarf or, well, anything. This past weekend, though, I spend a day on the couch, watching tv with my husband and knitting all the while. And I realized just like you: it’s about the stitches. If I don’t need/want it someone else will and then I can make them happy, even if they’re a stranger I’ll never know. So now? I’m happy again and bought a bunch of new yarn yesterday!

    Keep creating <3
    Marsha

  32. Petra October 30, 2013 at 10:22 am - Reply

    Oh lordy, I feel you there 🙂 Every now and then I go through this myself and ‘stop’ crafting in a specific area. However, it always comes back to me and I end up crafting just the same. Because I love crafting. I get joy out of creating things. Usually they end up with friends, in my own closet or I end up selling them. It did take me some time to realize that I create and craft for the sheer creating force it holds, not for the finished products. It’s the joy of making something out of nothing. And the joy it gives others.

  33. Julie October 30, 2013 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    I am going to copy and paste this in an e-mail to my husband…and any other naysayer…. who doesn’t understand why I “waste” time knitting!!! Thank you for putting it so eloquently and practically!!!!

  34. Jacqueline October 31, 2013 at 2:25 am - Reply

    I’m so glad you are feeling better! Thanks so much for sharing your story. Great news about finding a wedding dress. I’ve made the long jog through Dallas airport a few times myself – glad you made your connection, I miss mine more often than not. I’ve had to scale back on my knitting/crochet as I’m back working as a Reflexologist and it is driving me nuts not to be creating. (Especially as I have some of your luscious yard just waiting to be worked up). Your reasoning reminded of a passage I recently read in Ecclesiastes (2:20-21a) but you beautiful lady, are more like the personification of Wisdom in Proverbs 31:20. Your hard work and lovely creations can now be enjoyed by some else. Thanks again for sharing – keep creating. Wishing you joy & blessings

  35. Christy November 1, 2013 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    Your blog and knitting soo inspiring. I’m going on

    • Christy November 1, 2013 at 10:52 pm - Reply

      I am going threw a lot and knitting saving me

Leave A Comment