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September 20, 2021 3 min read

Did you get a puppy during the pandemic?  A lot of people did.  At least that’s what my friend, Norma said.  She’s a vet, and she said that she has spent almost all of every day for the last year seeing new puppies.  Of course. We’re home more, and we have time for a puppy.  What could be nicer? 

Other people started knitting.  Some started knitting again.  They learned a while ago and were regulars in the shop and then they weren’t.  And now they are again.  Or now they aren’t.  I had one sweet gal apologize for not having been in, telling me she just hadn’t been knitting much lately.  But she was worried about this project shehad to get done.  I asked her, “Is it a gift for someone?” It wasn’t.  “Did she need it for an event?” She did not.  “So,” I asked, “what is the big rush?  Why have you set yourself an arbitrary deadline?”  

“Well,” she explained, “I just feel like I should finish it.”  

And she probably should, but it's okay that she take a break from it. And it is. It’s more than okay.  It’s essential.  We’re all a little type A, and when we love something, there’s a tendency to obsess and we have to save ourselves from our own extremism.  What is at first a relaxing hobby and a creative release can turn into a personal obligation and yet another source of stress -- if we let it..

How do we know when we’re getting to that point?  Here are some things to watch out for and what to do

  • Don’t turn your project into a PROJECTUnless you’re a professional sample knitter, looming deadlines do not belong in a knitting project.  If you find yourself saying things like, “I have to get this done by [pick a date]” or “I wish I could knit faster so I could get this done,” you might have lost that loving feeling about your knitting.  Instead of thinking about having to get it done, remind yourself of why you selected this yarn and this project.  What drew you to it?  How did you imagine yourself or the recipient wearing it?  These kinds of thoughts bring us back to the romance stage and help rekindle those first feeling of excitement about of the project
  • Stop focusing on externally evaluated success. Only you can decide if your project is good.  It’s not up to me or the judges at the fair or anyone else to say whether your scarf/hat/sweater/blanket isgood. If you love it, it’s good.  No, wait.  If you love it, it’s fabulous.  
  •  Don’t force yourself to knit when you don’t feel like it.  Pushing through is for marathon runners, not knitters.  When you’re tired or stressed, it is not the time to work on a project that takes a lot of your attention.  You’re better off working something simple and soothing to relax and give it another go when you feel ready.  

And if knitting is just not doing it for you at all right now, take a break. We need breaks to refill our cup and realign our perspective-.  We need time to see things anew and take fresh pleasure in what we once loved.   When we come back to those pleasures, they are all the sweeter because we have given ourselves time to miss them.