Feb 7, 2016

Obvious Obsessions

As knitters, we tend to define ourselves by our craft.

We talk about whether we're product knitters focused on outcomes and finished objects, or process knitters consumed by the need to feel fiber in our hands every day, even though it might never become a completed object.

We identify ourselves by stitchwork. We're lace knitters, cable knitters or texture knitters. We're simple knitters, complex knitters or classic knitters. If we concentrate on colorwork, we highlight what kind: We do strandwork or slipped stitches or color blocks. We're stuck on stripes, ardent for argyle, or manic about mosaics.

We classify ourselves by techniques. We throw, we pick, we knit English or Continental style. We're fast, we're slow, we're somewhere in between. We're chart knitters, pattern readers or picture knitters. We're skilled, we're beginners, we're masters of all things fiber-related with credentials and certifications to prove it.

We promote our project passions. We're addicted to afghans or socks or sweaters or shawls or hats or mitts or cloths. Within these classifications, there are further subcategories: We make hats for the homeless, caps for chemo patients, or prayer shawls for those in need of warmth and comfort.

We focus on the fibers that find their way into our stashes or onto our needles. We're crazy for cotton, mad for merino, seduced by silk, wild about wool, avid for acrylic or batty for blends. We're happiest with handspun or invest only in indies.

We organize our yarn by weight, fiber or color, and quantify stash size in terms of time, distance or space. Our yarn choices become a symbol of national pride, social awareness and economic stimulus: We want yarn dyed and spun using fiber harvested from animals and plants raised in our own region, country or continent wherever that might be.

Like any group of devotees, we've created our own language and chat cheerfully in a code only insider's understand: We natter about WIPs, FOs and UFOs. We frog, swatch, tink, cake and grumble about gauge. We weave, soak, spritz, steam and block. We buy SQs (sweater quantities), suffer from startitis, moan about mojo lost and found, and make up acronyms with happy abandon (COAT Weather, PIPs).

We document projects on Ravelry, blog about successes and failures, share tips and tricks, sell handcrafted items, teach workshops, or produce patterns featuring our own designs. We struggle to perfect our photography skills. Why? So we can take better pictures of our handiwork, of course.

We secretly label family and friends as knitworthy (or not). We become entranced with TV programs that feature knitted items, follow them with a zeal beyond comprehension, write about onscreen sightings, and make Dr. Who scarves, Sherlock samplers and Downton everything.

From casual and occasional to obviously obsessed, we're knittersWhich pretty much says it all.

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  1. Your use of language is superb. Lovely article.

    1. How lovely to see you here! Thank you for your kind words, I'm so delighted you enjoyed it.

  2. Absolutely - and what a wonderful world it is to be immersed in!

  3. It is the land of creativity and connection. Love my blog and ravelry and knit shop pals

  4. I love this, it's so true! :)

  5. I love this! Awesome description and very much true :-)


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