When Knitting Isn’t a Labor of Love

I have cast-on-itis. I want so badly to cast on another sweater project, my teeth ache! This is because, at any given time, I like having a “menu” of projects on the needles. This generally consists of:

  • A pair of socks
  • A hat or scarf (or both)
  • A sweater
  • A throw or blanket; and (maybe)
  • Minor household items (rug, dishcloths, etc.)

There was a time when I had one (and only one) project going at a time, with other projects queued behind. The monogamy ended when I started knitting blankets because they are harder to do “in transit”. This led me to realize, I really enjoy having a selection of projects to choose from depending on my mood, where I am, and what I’m doing.

At present, I do not have a sweater, hat, or household item on the needles. And my closet is full of project bags filled with all the necessaries to get started. This is to keep me focused on completing at least one of my two WIP blankets. If I had my way, one of these I’d toss out—yarn and all.

It’s been years since I started the throw, which only gets worked on as a chore. I want to finish it and send it on, but it keeps getting stalled.

How I ended up here was I wanted to prevent my mother buying a pretty throw made of cheap, plastic yarn she saw in an art shop. It was obvious to me it was for looking at, not using. So, I asked her if she planned to use or display it. “Use it, of course!” *sigh*

I regrettedly I told her I’d make her something she could actually use. Unfortunately, mom went out and bought the same velour yarn and picked out a close pattern. And here we are, years later, her without a throw for her couch and me with a project I pick up rarely and reluctantly. Deep in my heart, I’m cetain it will have the same problems as the art shop blanket.

Velour WIP Blanket

Knitting for family and friends should be a labor of love. “Knit to order” is for people that do it for a living. In short, if the urge hits you to stop a person from making a bad knitted item purchasing decision you shouldn’t. Firstly, support to support the fiber artist and secondly for your own sanity.

Has this happened to you? Is so, what was the item and what did you do?

4 thoughts on “When Knitting Isn’t a Labor of Love

  1. I can sort of relate to this by comparing my experience of knitting a cardigan for a friend, who bought the wool. Fortunately it turned out to fit her, and even more happily I was able to put it together without leaving gaps around the armholes, only the gods know how. She wears it a lot. But there is only one thought in my mind after finishing it: NEVER again.


  2. Oh the guilt associated with throwing out a WIP – yarn and all! I have a few projects I want to do that with, but I’m afraid someone will see it in the garbage can and point their finger at me in disgust – even though it won’t happen.
    I was going back through my Ravelry projects and realize there was a time when I was making a new pair of socks every few weeks. Now I have a pair that’s been on the needles for a year! Mostly because I don’t have places to take knitting these days. Back then there were meetings for my now adult children’s school, waiting while they were in music lessons, practicing with a sports team, or knitting during a game.


    1. I know how that goes! That’s why I like having different project types on the needles. If my circumstances change, I have a different project types going that might better for what’s going on in my life at the time.

      I can only remember tossing a project once and I felt the same way–like I’d be shamed for tossing it out. As you say, no one would see it. Sometimes you have to go with your gut.


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