Are you a product knitter or a process knitter? Are you in it for the final, finished piece, or do you enjoy every bit of it–from choosing the yarn to the swatching to the casting on to the slogging away to the satisfactory bind off and meticulous pinning/stretching/smoothing/blocking?

I’ve been working on a new design for the 12 Knits of Christmas for the better part of a week and after hours and hours of ripping knitting and the beginning twinges of tennis elbow (ouch!), I think it’s finally coming together.

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I think.

I don’t know why, but I’m embarrassed to admit that 90% of the time, I’m a product knitter. Well, I do know why I’m a little sheepish. There’s so much pressure out there recently [Insta/blogoverse/self-inflicted?!?] to be a process knitter–to celebrate the slow, lovely bits in this fast-paced world. Knitting for knitting’s sake. Most of the time, I’m knitting as fast as I can (literally attempting speed knitting), focusing only on the end result. This is, of course, because 90% of the time (or more), the finished piece is a shop sample, a vehicle in which to sell yarn. That’s not a bad thing–it’s my life, my livelihood. Rarely do I find myself knitting pleasure projects or truly taking the time to sit and just knit. Knitted gifts are exceedingly rare. So are sweaters for me, my husband or my sweet little Sasha. And we should be the ones in head-to-toe hand knits all day, every day. The Ambassadors of Knit!

And yet. Even though I should have rigid knitting schedule that I adhere to that forces me to crank out piece after piece and really, I do, it’s just that sometimes I do what I want and 9 times out of 10 end up ignoring the rules CAUSE I’M THE BOSS, I have tote bags scattered all over my house, in the shop, above the desk in our office, plastic bins up in our barn that are filled with half-knit projects that once upon a time were a really, really good idea. A new yarn or a new pattern comes in and I just HAVE to cast on. It’s almost like I have no control over my own hands. So I toss aside whatever I’m knitting and jump headfirst into the newest, shiniest project. Sometimes I go back. I’d like to say I always do. But obviously, I don’t. That’s what all those tote bags are filled with. And that’s just sad.

I have a HUGE list of sample knits–and designs–that I have to speed through between now and Christmas. There just ain’t no way around it. But. After the first of the year, I’m digging deep into those Rubbermaid bins and making some real progress on some really beautiful knits. Or kicking those half-started projects to the curb. Whichever comes first.

We’ve got a hilarious thread going on our Facebook page about the number of unfinished projects that are on our needles, what’s “acceptable” and some mini-, mid- and long-range goals for ourselves. My last WIP count was 42. Don’t hesitate to weigh in over there–it makes the rest of us feel better.

That’s my process. What’s yours?


So it’s come to this, has it? Days become weeks become months become YEARS and you realize that you have no business (none whatsoever) calling yourself a blogging knitter. Or a writer. They say you can’t do it all, and I’m here to say, thank goodness. (And asking myself why I fought it for so long.) Doing it all is impossible. Trying to do it all is just so terribly disappointing. Quitting sugar, knitting 52 pairs of socks in one calendar year, attempting to run a successful bricks-and-mortar AND a webshop 100% by myself….I like to think of these flat-out failures more as crucial steps on the path to enlightenment.

Pass the M & Ms, will you?

The older I get (mid-30s are the best, amiright?!?) the more I realize that being honest with myself is just the smartest thing to be. Do I change? Yeah, I guess, but not markedly and even then, not as fast as I’d like.

I’m going to try to write more. And better. As it turns out, the more you write, the better it gets. That you’ll never get good if you don’t get after it. And the easiest way for me to start writing is with a list.

So.

Top 5 Things I’m Loving Right Now:

1. Fall. I’ve been talking about it non-stop on Instagram. There are 146 pictures of leaves on my phone right now. I’ve got two days off in a row this weekend, which means that I’m planning on making pumpkin curry soup, crockpot applesauce and at least three different types of pumpkin sweet breads.

2. Reading. Just for me, just for fun. Currently reading The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann (which I received as a monthly selection of this amazing book club, waaaaay back in 2012) and it is the best book I’ve read in a long time. I spent a goodly amount of time reading this summer, too, (for me) and plowed through The Road by Cormac McCarthy, another book I can’t remember right now (so good, obvs) and sped through A Million Little Pieces by James Frey in just three days, something I haven’t done in years. Reading before bed–whether it’s for 10 minutes or an hour–is now one of the best parts of my day. I can’t believe how out of practice I am.

3. Instagram. Because it’s totally normal to suspend any kind of real work for several hours a day while scrolling through thousands of pictures of people who you’ve never met, clucking admiration for their well-curated lives under your breath and then holding yourself to the standards of strangers. It’s so beautiful, I just can’t stop.

4. Hanging out with a toddler. This is a half-truth. Some days I am so filled with love for this tiny human, I watch her hop-waltz in the kitchen to Lana Del Ray’s cover of Once Upon a Dream and sob over the beauty of it all while washing dishes. (This actually happened on Wednesday.)

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Some days I throw temper tantrums that would rival any two-year-old’s because MAMA JUST NEEDS FIVE MINUTES TO HERSELF. (I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how much chocolate I’m consuming. In private. Because I just don’t feel like sharing everything all. The. TIME.)

5. Lavender essential oil. For reasons I’m sure you can surmise, my blood pressure has been a little, ahem, high lately. (See number 4.) I’ve added essential oils to daily health and well-being (another story for another time) and lavender is a heavy hitter–an oil I incorporate into basically every hour of my life. Today, I had to explain myself to Ken the cashier when I brought a miniature bottle of vodka up to the counter at the grocery store at 12:30 p.m. for (I promise!) a DIY linen spray.

And of course, there’s knitting. Glorious, wonderful, life-giving knitting. I’ve got so many projects cast on, I’ve purposefully lost count. (Hint: it’s at least 35. No exaggeration whatsoever.)

I plan to transition the old blog over here throughout the next several months (or in one big conversion to WP, as a particular service tells me can be done with one tiny payment of $49, hahahaha), but if you’re interested in reading the major fails of someone who has yet to quit sugar, casts on more projects than she ever plans on finishing and loves swimming like hipsters love their kombucha, my entire blog archives (dating back to 2007, wheeeeee!) can be found at:

http://www.woolandhoney.typepad.com/