Process or Product
This was our Question of the week on my knitting parent's group this week and it has got me seriously thinking. I'm afraid that I have to admit that I am a split personality knitter. Meaning, that it depends on the day on which I am. In general I am a product knitter. I pick out a pattern that I like and then knit until it is done. I will leave mistakes in it simply because I can't bring myself to frog it. True, sometimes I'll just make "something" so that I can practice a new technique, or stitch pattern, but I think this is still a progress thing, even if I rip it out later. I am knitting for the purpose of seeing the finished lace, or mastering a technique, not for the purpose of feeling the yarn run through my fingers (well, not JUST for that purpose).
There are times, however, when my inner process knitter comes out. The last 2 days have been like that. There is a scene in "The emperor's New Groove" (you know you're a mom when you relate life to cartoons...lol) where the peasant Pacha comes home to his kids and very pregnant wife. The scene goes something like this:
Wife: "What did the emperor want?"
Pacha: "Uhhhh... He couldn't see me"
Wife: "What?! Well, that's just rude! If I wasn't pregnant I'd march right down there and give him a piece of my mind!"
Pacha: "Think of the baby"
Wife: *Frustrated Snort as she turns to stomp back into the house* "I've got to clean something"
Some people clean when they get upset. If you've ever seen my house, you would know that this is not me. I clean because I have to. After a long day of just the kids and I, the repeatedly screaming in the car, and them continuing to do exactly the opposite of what I told them, I had had it. I turned to my husband after dinner and said "I need to knit something" with that same expression that Pacha's wife had. It didn't matter what I knit. It could be a completely useless chunk of knitting, but I needed to hold needles in my hands and feel the yarn going back and forth. I needed to let my hands focus on a simple mindless task and let my mind slip into meditation. I cast on a sock, which I tried on my son the following morning, saw it was too big and happily ripped it out. It didn't matter to me that I had knit all evening and now had nothing to show for it. My goal hadn't been knitting a sock, it had simply been to be knitting. I think that socks are my stress project. They are honestly the only item that I truly crave to knit. They are simple, predictable, progress quickly, and are mostly made up of very meditative round and round stockingette. Some days my brain craves the stimulation of lace, or cables, or something, but when you just need to "knit" nothing beats a good, boring, sock.
Now, please excuse me, I've got a toddler sock to rip out. The foot is 1 inch too short for my little girl...lol