Knitting Notes, Knitting Tips, Project Ideas

What to do when you hit a rut in your knitting

What to do when you hit a rut in your knitting

It happens to all of us, and a number of us at Wool & Grace are especially feeling it right now.  We’ve hit a rut.  The story I’m hearing is that we have a lot of projects with fingering-weight yarn going on right now, and they seem to never end.  Or we’re working with fibers like cotton, linen or silk, which aren’t as easy on the hands as wool.  I myself am working on Milan, a lightweight sweater made of Shibui’s luscious Lunar (which is lace-weight) and I found that I hit a wall with it.

Someone lost momentum…

I don’t think this is a problem with the project themselves, but that we just need to manage our time spent knitting a little differently as we get through these projects.

My number one suggestion when faced with this knitting-mentality is to go BIG.  Buy yourself a skein of super bulky yarn and knit a hat.  There are few things quite as satisfying as banging out an cool (or adorable) hat in record time.  Susan, one of our very savvy knitters, did just that when faced with a lot of linen knitting, making the Rio Wrap out of Queensland’s Savanna.  Rather than lose steam and tuck it away, she picked up a kiddo-hat kit from Loopy Mango and really-truly banged out that cute little hat for her granddaughter in about an hour.  I’ve also made a few Loopy Mango hats in the midst of some never-ending projects.  The bright colors and super-soft wool make me happy and I’m still reveling in the instant gratification of these projects. While it may be taking over a month to make that project, we’ve still made something adorable and wearable for someone we love!

Susan’s hat for her granddaughter, Mabel
Loopy Mango Kids Pompom Beanie Kit (aka a bit of knitting instant gratification)

The other thing to do is to set your knitting aside.  Maybe it’s time to go out in the garden, take your dog for a walk or pick up some needlepoint (have you noticed that I’ve been doing just that?).  It’s ok to take a break, and most of us are not on a deadline to get these projects done.  Knitting is supposed to be fun, and if you’re making yourself crazy, it’s ok to ignore the project for a day – or even a week!

Do something else! (needlepoint anyone?)

Some friends have recently mentioned how summer is a bit more hectic – we are knocked off our routines and going back and forth – a lot.  So why not take your project with you?  Those simple (and somewhat boring) knitting projects are perfect for being on the go, as it’s easy to put them down and pick them up.  Many of us are working on light-weight projects made with fingering weight yarn.  A huge benefit of these time consuming projects is that they pack light and travel easily.

Pack up your project…
…and take your project on the go!

My last suggestion to keep it going is to call a friend.  “Stitch and bitch” is celebrated for a reason.  Time catching up and talking with friends is the best, and it’s the perfect activity that you can do while you’re getting through your rut.

As you’re working through these projects that seem like they never end, keep your eyes on the prize.  You chose that project for a reason.  When it’s done, someone will treasure this one of a kind piece that you put so much time and love into.  And sometimes, especially when we’re working with fibers that are less luscious than wool, we feel bogged down by effort of knitting with a fiddly fiber – but I promise you, in the end, wearing it will be worth it!

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