Friday, 28 May 2010

"Precious knitting time"

Recently, on Rav, someone posted a question about why one would spend "precious knitting time" on knitting wash cloths. Many views were posted for (quick gratifying project, portable, practise new stitch patterns, nice gift, handy little product) and against (a bit yucky, socks are just as portable, you can practice patterns on other items). But apart from the cloth discussion, this concept of "precious knitting time" sort of rankled with me, and I wasn't quite sure why.

My knitting time isn't so precious. Sure I love it, but I'm not racing to get something done, I don't have limits on my knitting time (well apart from tiredness limiting my evening knitting time, and mortality limiting my lifetime knitting time). I'm not in a rush to get anywhere. Any moment stolen to do a bit of knitting is pleasureable. And I have a lifetime of knitting time stretching out ahead of me - albeit finite, I know.
I rarely knit to a deadline and if I do impose a challenge upon myself, I rarely meet it (happily there are occasional exceptions - can I say it again: monogamous knitting!). I have many projects on the needles at any one time, and I'll happily knit away at the same project over many weeks or months. My friends will ask "is that the second sock?" when I'm still in the first, or comment "you've been knitting that blankie for ages". Yes, my friends, you know who you are ;)
So I wondered if this concept of "precious knitting time" comes back to that age-old question: are you a process or a product knitter?
I know what I am. What are you?


Michelle said...

Hmm. Interesting! I'm think I'm a product crocheter, but I also don't tend to put pressure on myself with what I'm making. For example, I'm not going to weep if I have to frog my latest cardi ... because i know I'll enjoy what I make next with that yarn even more, and I'll understand which pattern I SHOULD be making, having had a disaster on this one! But then, maybe that in itself makes me a process crocheter?

Maybe I'm thinking too much about it. What I know is that I LOVE to crochet, and I love to create generally. I don't think anything I do with my hands in my spare time is a waste of 'precious anything'!

(Nice socks, by the way...)

Bells said...

i'm a happy combination of both but I think at heart, I'm very product based. I do love to finish things and have them done. The process needs to meet my particular needs (ie sometimes challenging, sometimes not) but if I don't have things achieved in terms of finishing, I feel like I'm losing productivity.

I also think I focus too much on that sometimes and am always racing the clock. I am trying to do less deadline knitting and more 'just because' but it's hard to go against the grain!

Anonymous said...

I started out most definitely a process knitter. It was my escape, a way of relaxing and doing something so single-mindedly that I was able to block everything else out for a little while at a time. Didn't matter what I was knitting at first, just so long as I was knitting SOMETHING.

Since I first started though I believe I've become a little of each. I'm more selective of what yarn I use and what I knit now. I like knitting for others (and for myself) and having people really like/appreciate what I've made for them, but I still get the same relaxation and escape whilst I'm doing it. :D

Hashi said...

Not being a knitter, I thought about this in terms of 'precious sewing time' or 'precious reading time'. Like you, I don't feel rushed or that my time is finite, so I'm not pressured to read only a book I'm adoring, or sew only fabulous projects. It's all good to me.

And yeah, nice sock :-)

~Whirlsie~ said...

hmmmm I think I am a product knitter! lol!! I hate frogging things, I love to get lots done and projects finished quickly. I love the process of knitting in the sense that it keeps me sane, but not moving onto the next project or feeling like I am not moving fast enough through a project really bugs me.

But, I think I like it that way. I am a goals oriented person, I love a challenge and I love being able to cast on that new project :D

Jejune said...

Hmmm. A bit of both, probably, but tending to process I think. I don't mind frogging things (TOO much) and generally enjoy the act of knitting, doing something, making something, more than the finished object.

Bec said...

As with most of the other comments I think I'm a bit of both. I love the feeling when I am casting off a project and sometimes I do love a quickie (which is when dishcloths are perfect!!). As much as that makes me a product knitter I also love the time, energy and emotion that I often knit into my pieces. I love the memories of things that I seem to knit into my stuff. I remember watching a particular movie while knitting my clappy, knowing who was with me when I chose the yarn for a particular piece etc. Which for me goes into the process category.