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View Full Version : Is it time I should quit knitting?


BinkyKat
10-27-2007, 10:21 AM
I really wonder sometimes if this hobby is worth it. I find lately it frustrates more than satisfies me. I don't finish anything and the things I need to get done don't work because the least bit of a deadline, no matter how long out makes me hate what I'm doing and I make tons of mistakes.
This feeling I am sure is spawned by a very horrible beginning to my week that I shall just say I will not go into detail. However, I thought after work yesterday I would do some yarn shop therapy. I impulsively bought a 37.00 skein of Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere to make a pair of wristlets. They had one knitted up and it felt divine as was just the right size project to whip up this weekend while I shut myself off from the world. Well, because it's in a hank, and I have successfully wound my own center-pull balls before, I was sure to do it again. OK, one other time it didn't work...but it was cheap yarn. I got it so knotted up that all I could do was ball it up in frustration and throw it accross the room. I dreamt about it all night along with my mounting frustration about my bad week and I think this stupid yarn was the vehicle to bring out all my wrath. I tried to untangle it again...and mind you I actually found two spots were the hank was tied by the company...so that sucks in itself! Well, I basically just flushed 37 bucks, I cut up the pile of wreckage and threw it in the garbage. And I am most likely going to go back to the shop and get another, but have it wound there. Why I didn't ask to have it done? I don't know...it was close to closing time, I was the one in a hurry to get home, and frankly I thought I could handle it.
Please tell me I'm not the only one that just tosses it, admits it's a hopeless battle, and starts over.
The last time I posted about being this upset at wasting money and yarn, I was advised I should be in anger management. I know I invite all types of opinions by posting this, but be kind. I don't expect hugs either. I basically feel if I write it out, it's not in my head. I've been told by my mom and others whenever I feel bad or guilty about something, whether I am to blame or not, that I have to "let it go" "get over it" "you can't allow others to make you feel bad." That pisses me off more and more every time I hear it because that tells me I am not allowed to feel the way I want. Then I feel guilty/mad for mentioning it even once because I think the other person will be upset. It's a vicious circle and my hobby suffers for it.:pout:

stitchwitch
10-27-2007, 10:35 AM
I kinda know how you feel. I will never be a great knitter, although I've had big dreams of such, flipping through Vogue Knitting, picking out patterns. Any project that takes more than a day or two I tire of and let sit. I've tried more vigorous projects and just ended up frustrated because I get almost done and make a mistake that's always not repairable at least with my skills and frustration level.
Right now I've found my middle ground. I knit small things like dish cloths and a few purses but nothing too extravagant. I find the reward of finishing something much more greater than starting something really flamboyant and not completing it. For awhile I was getting really bummed out by looking at everyone else's completed projects that look like they came off the showroom. None of my stuff will ever be like that but after I finally realized some people have the talent and others (dare I say it), don't I'm ok with it and I'm ok with just being me, the one who knits easy, one day projects. Hey, afterall at least I know how to knit, that's better than some people. :hug:

The.Knitter
10-27-2007, 10:36 AM
Hey Jodie, we all have bad weeks at times in our lives. I don't even try to knit when I am feeling like that because I know I will get frustrated. The best time to knit is when you are not already frustrated. Either that, or work on a project that you KNOW you are familiar with and is not too hard (do some mindless knitting). I hope you have a better week next week!

iwouldratherbeknitting
10-27-2007, 10:40 AM
I'm so sorry that this happened. I'm a teacher and sometimes I have students who get 'a bit more upset' when things don't go the way that they intended.. was that you when you were younger?

IF so, you might have a perfectionist type of personality and small mistakes will stress you out more than they do for other people. I know it doesn't help- but, sometimes we do need to know why we react the way that we do to things.
I had a student once who (in 3rd grade) would be so stressed (he would be sobbing) while I was passing out papers.. because he didn't have his paper instantly.. even as I was going to each group to give them their papers. I would get him to 'notice' that he wasn't the only one who didn't have his paper and has he ever been totally forgotten?

He was very bright.. Type A personality and, such a perfectionist and wanted to control his surroundings. It took months- but, he finally got better. I made him a little chart that stayed on his desk.. and before he could 'raise his hand/ask me a question/etc.' He had to mark the appropriate category on the chart for how he was feeling. *I had made a very unhappy face, a face w/ a line drawn straight across, and a happy face.
It took about 3-4 months and he finally got to where.. he was marking almost all 'happy faces' and finally one day... he told me that he didn't need his chart anymore and he didn't. I had slowly taught him to respond appropriately to the situation.
AND, please.. please.. if the yarn hasn't been picked up by the trash company yet.. could you please get the yarn out of the trash and donate it (yes, as it is) to a school? Any art teacher or even an elementary classroom teacher would be happy to have the yarn- no matter what it's condition is right now. *IT will turn something good out of a bad yarn situation. :D

GOOD luck. I also had my student.. write down what he 'feared' would happen.. because something didn't happen. Did it happen? What happened instead? What were solutions/options?
I'm sorry that things don't seem to be working out for you right now. I know that when we are in the midst of problems-- what is happening to us seems far worse than anything that happens to others.. it's just human nature.

fargo_knitting
10-27-2007, 10:45 AM
Venting really helps me to deal with things. Once its out of my system and I have had a chance to cool off (I can have a wicked temper :evil: ), I put things into perspective and feel better about it.

I hate hitting a bad patch in knitting. It seems like nothing fits right or looks like it should, but it always comes around.

Take a break from it if you have to. You'll come back to it when you are in the right frame of mind.

rockawayknitter
10-27-2007, 10:47 AM
I started to knit a poncho size 5 toddler and I am not sure of the right amount of stitches that I should have cast on.

lauraknits
10-27-2007, 10:49 AM
Hey, I have totally been where you are. Sometimes, knitting relieves stress. Other times, it seems to crystallize the frustration we are already feeling and brings it to a head. I have finally decided that it is OK to chuck a hank of yarn across the room or throw away 37 bucks worth of yarn... IF it will make me feel better. If it does... totally worth it!

momwolf
10-27-2007, 10:52 AM
Don't feel bad I get like this most of the time when I'm knitting sweaters for other people.They never seem to fit right.I figure what the hell did I do wrong this time.So I have decided to just knit sweaters for me.I also had trouble with winding yarn so just and bought a ball winder.This is the perfect place to vent because ONLY knitters can understand the fraustation.VENT away and we will listen and try to help you.I also wonder why I even try to knit.I just put the project away and do something else for awhile.That's why we have sooooooo many UFO

iwouldratherbeknitting
10-27-2007, 11:02 AM
Also, it's a good idea to never start a new skill/etc.. when things aren't peaceful in your life. I find knitting a great stress reducer.. but, I know that if I'm sick, or really tired.. I can't do the same sort of knitting projects as I can when I'm feeling better.

SO, do like some have suggested.. a simple project.. something that you don't have to think about.. knit for others.. a hat for charity.. w/ yarn that isn't precious???

A dishcloth? SIMPLE.. SIMPLE.. things.. that you can do w/out thinking.
Hope things go better for you.

suecq
10-27-2007, 11:44 AM
Hey, $37 is not much to pay for a therapy session. If cutting up the tabgled mess helped you release pent up frustration and anger then it was $37 well spent.

knitpurlgurl
10-27-2007, 12:12 PM
When I get frustrated while knitting, I put it down and walk away. Or a meet with my group of ladies and we all have a big laugh over the hideous mistakes I made in my knitting and someone helps me unravel the mess. We sit and have tea, giggle about it, others show me their mistakes, and I move on.

You've got to do whatever makes you feel better. I can go for months without picking up my knitting (and I have a bazillion projects going at any one time) until I feel really ready to sit and just knit for a while. I am a ADD knitter. I LOVE that I am. I have several projects of various complexities and time commitments each in their own plastic bags. I pick up whatever I feel like that day. Sometimes I pick up simple dishcloths and sometimes I pick up my large afghan... If you like small, quick projects.. Make dishcloths! I was on a website that has patterns for US states dishcloths. The woman who wrote the patterns, sewed them all together along with some star dishcloths to make a US flag afghan out of dishcloths!

Don't give up knitting - just put it down for a while!:knitting:

feministmama
10-27-2007, 12:14 PM
:hug:

Debbie
10-27-2007, 12:18 PM
Go get another skien, have it wound, buy some M&M's to use as row counters and enjoy!

Lisa R.
10-27-2007, 12:25 PM
Seems to me you would do well to sort out what the problem really is--the source of the anger and frustration that is causing the manifestations that you see. In other words, it's not really the tangled yarn that is making you so angry...it's other stuff. And simply quitting knitting won't help.

So...are you working a job that isn't right for you? Do you need to change jobs? Is there something (whether job or personal) putting stress on you that you can eliminate? Quit a volunteer position, trade in your car for a more reliable one, put space in a draining friendship, eat better, take vitamins, get more rest, or whatever.

Certainly if knitting is making you crazy, take a break. I am fairly new to knitting and am sort of in the addicted stage, so I'm not at that point...but if I were throwing yarn across the room, etc., I'd probably put it all away and go for a walk or eat some chocolate or something.

Generally, if you're stressed and angry, it's time to eliminate or rearrange things in your life...even if it's just your outlook.

Nobones
10-27-2007, 12:40 PM
Don't rush into any desion about stopping when your upset. Not the right time to be making big desions like that.

I'm sorry you having a tough time at the moment, and I know things can get on top you and it seems everything comes at once. If you did enjoy knitting, hang on to that, you could enjoy it again. I went through a phase of hating my sewing, but I knew it was only because of the deadlines and wanting it perfect for other people. I'm MUCH better now, take one project at a time with a 'It'll be finished when it's finished' attitude. That has helped me alot.

At the end of the day, we all get down at some point, there is no reason to be mad at yourself for that. Hope your feeling better soon.

jess_hawk
10-27-2007, 02:33 PM
I agree with those who have said to knit something mindless, and those who have said take a break. Quitting altogether would be a shame.
I sometimes think that situations like this are why I do so many crafts. When I get to the point where whatever I have been doing doesn't please me anymore, I switch to something new and may not go back to activity A for a year or more, or it may only be a couple of days. I sometimes think I must have a very short attention span compared to people who only do one craft (certainly some people want me to think this way), but it works for me so why should I stress over it? Trying something new is my favorite way to occupy my mind and get out of stress from other parts of my life.

boo1
10-27-2007, 03:07 PM
But make sure that it IS therapeutic. I just started knitting and I get so aggravated when I make a mistake because I don't know how to fix them yet. Both today AND yesterday, I had to go to the knitting store and have my errors repaired.

I think when you're stressed, you should knit or crochet (the latter is soooooo much easier!) something mindless. When I crochet, my blood pressure drops signficantly. When I knit, I have to focus so much and sometimes even that isn't enough. I will say that if I didn't have a shop to go to and have the owner help me, I would have quit because the errors in knitting are just so different, and usually befuddle me. I've crocheted a lot and errors there are a CAKEWALK to fix. But something about knitting just appeals to me more.

As for knitting a dishcloth, do that, but only if it appeals to you. If I can't knit because I've screwed up my latest project and have to wait to go to the shop, I'll pull out something I'm crocheting. I don't find making a dishcloth very satisfying, but that's just me. (Unless I'm trying a new stitch.)

You do sound like a Type A. I'm that way sometimes, and I don't like it. But we are who we are. And, as another poster mentioned, $37 isn't bad for therapy.

Just don't quit. Take a nice long afternoon nap, pull out some pretty yarn this evening, and start a pretty scarf or shawl.

Who knows, maybe the yarn you threw away was retrieved by the knitting goddesses who have already put it back together and woven something beautiful out of it?

Hang in there. :hug:

Laura

cristina61
10-27-2007, 03:38 PM
I really wonder sometimes if this hobby is worth it. I find lately it frustrates more than satisfies me. I don't finish anything and the things I need to get done don't work because the least bit of a deadline, no matter how long out makes me hate what I'm doing and I make tons of mistakes.



I'm sort of going through this right now, too. I'm fairly new to knitting socks, but I really want to knit socks for my mom, my sister, and my MIL as Christmas gifts. Unfortunately the worry of making a mistake I can't fix and of making the deadline is taking all the joy out of this idea. I've already frogged two different socks -- but not before wasting hours trying to fix my mistakes. It's SO frustrating!!!

And I agree that sometimes when you're having a bad day it's not the best time to knit something that you really have to think about. You know, those days when it seems like everything you do goes sour and you're just :wall: . For me, I've found that sometimes it's best to just walk away, don't try to fight it. Trust that tomorrow will be better and you can make a fresh start.

I basically feel if I write it out, it's not in my head. I've been told by my mom and others whenever I feel bad or guilty about something, whether I am to blame or not, that I have to "let it go" "get over it" "you can't allow others to make you feel bad." That pisses me off more and more every time I hear it because that tells me I am not allowed to feel the way I want.


If you need to vent, this is a great place! I know that there are times you don't need or want advice, just someone to listen and empathize with you. Sometimes it's hard for my family to understand this; when I'm unhappy my DH wants to FIX things for me, or tell me what I'm doing wrong (not with knitting, but just generally!). You are absolutely allowed to feel your emotions, and if you try to hold everything in you're just going to make yourself more unhappy and eventually maybe even ill.

Anyway, hang in there, and I hope things start looking better for you very soon! :hug:
Christine

AngMac
10-28-2007, 09:03 AM
Just wanted to give you a http://www.freesmileys.org/emo/happy065.gif

tropicallie
10-28-2007, 09:03 AM
I can totally understand throwing out that yarn. I've done it myself under similar circumstances. A couple years ago I was so angry at DH, I just left the house in a huff and went yarn shopping. I was never able to make ANYTHING with that yarn because I always associated it with bad feelings. Ended up giving it to Good Will. Everytime I looked at that yarn, it reminded me of of the reason I bought it. I think you did the right thing by throwing out that yarn. In a way, you "threw out" your anger.

March_girl16
10-28-2007, 09:31 AM
No, you shouldnt quit because if you worked on this for more than 1 year dont give up, i like to knit and i know i wont be a great knitter so I just continue because I like it a lot and its fun to do so you feel the same way why would you give up on knitting the first time i started to knit i automatically loved it so why give up now

rachejm
10-28-2007, 09:57 AM
I don't think I've ever got to that stage with knitting but I did with cross stitch last year. I was making christmas cards and the closer it got to christmas the less I wanted to do it, I didn't make enough cards and had to improvise a bit then refused to even look at a pattern for the next few months. It got better but I have to say I'm much more into my knitting at the moment, maybe you could switch hobbies for a bit, find something else you enjoy that you haven't done for a while and give that a shot, you'll probably find after a little while that you want to get started on the knitting again. I learned that deadlines don't work for me, I'm a put it off til the last minute person so in order to convince myself to work on something I either have to be really motivated or not set a deadline and wait until the mood strikes.

I've had a really bad week too, between one thing and another I spent a lot of my time this week crying or really angry and I never really worked out why until I was talking it through with my mom yesterday. I figured out the biggest issue that was making me feel upset and angry and then the rest sort of piled on top of it and I was finding it hard to deal with. My poor boyfriend took the brunt of the anger unfortunately but he has been really good and really patient and I think he gets it now. Talking certainly helps if only to get it straight in your head and there are loads of friendly people on this forum willing to listen/read and offer support.

MrsDavis3
10-28-2007, 10:23 AM
I would just like to add that I can stand almost any kind of mistake I make in knitting, but when I come up against what seems like an impossibly tangled mass of yarn, I go absolutely mental! There is something about tangled yarn that makes me want to scream. I feel compelled to untangle it, but untangling yarn is the one knitting-related task I hate.

I can tink and frog nearly a whole garment without much angst. But if the yarn gets tangled in the process, I will be challenged to keep my composure.

annomalley
10-28-2007, 12:47 PM
I know how you feel. I wouldn't quit knitting, but I'd put it down for awhile and then see if it's something you still want to do after the dust settles and things have calmed down for you. :hug:

cds11
10-28-2007, 09:53 PM
I haven't quite been as bad as this... but I know I would get a little frustrated with my knitting, so I would have to put it down and just vent a little (this was to my mom, who is not a knitter, and she made a comment once about how I enjoy something that just causes problems or something), which can feel very good. I've complained before about "ugh!! I just had to frog this stupid thing AGAIN!" and my mom would laugh at me.... and I would turn around later when my mood had changed and would try again.

I read earlier in the this thread (I'm sorry, I never actually read all the responses..) about not learning a new skill when other things in your life aren't going as smoothly as you'd like.. Well, I think that depends on the person. I know for me, sometimes I get frustrated and I'll just sit there and knit (and knitting is a fairly new skill, just taught myself in late January). Sometimes learning a new thing, even it if frustrates you, can be good. I'd rather be frustrated by my knitting than accidentally take out a frustration on someone that has nothing to do with my frustration (knitting can be put away and forgotten for awhile, which can be nice if it's causing problems, once it's out of sight, you can relax)...

Maybe you just need a brief knitting time out? Just put the needles away, don't feel like you have to do any of it, because really, forcing yourself to get something done by a certain time can be stressful. I know sometimes there are deadlines (birthdays, weddings, etc) but have a backup plan or something, or maybe make up a little card or certificate type thing if you don't finish a project on time for someone. Something that says "I am currently in the middle of making ___ for you, but unfortunately, I am wanting to make it the best I can as you are very special to me, and it is not quite completed yet" and let them know that as soon as you are finished, even an estimated how much longer, that you will give it to them. Better late than never! I'm sure your friends and family would like to see you happy and would hate that because you are making them something you are getting frustrated.

Wait until you feel ready to knit, if you're actually wanting to do it, then hopefully you won't feel as frustrated... The yarn doesn't have an expiry (sp?) date that I know of, so it's not like after a month or something it goes bad and you have to throw it out. It can wait for you....

Mommy22alyns
10-29-2007, 01:31 PM
Tangled yarn, especially tangled expensive yarn, will send me over the edge too.
I, um, have to confess to getting so mad at one piece I was working on and trying to repair that I took scissors to it. The yarn wasn't that expensive though.
That said, if you're not enjoying your hobby right now, just stop. Not forever, but for a while. What good is a hobby if it doesn't give you pleasure and enjoyment? As a PP said, if you're knitting gifts the recipients can wait. Your sanity is worth more! ;)

kaybee
10-29-2007, 01:47 PM
Hey, $37 is not much to pay for a therapy session. If cutting up the tabgled mess helped you release pent up frustration and anger then it was $37 well spent.
That's EXACTLY what I was thinking! Seriously, if it makes you feel better, I had the same conversation with *myself* last week! Although I enjoy knitting, it's definitely not my talent and I'll never be as good at it as I would like to be, but it does provide me with entertainment and maybe it will keep my middle-aged mind active and healthy. Maybe don't take it so seriously? Hope you feel better! :hug:
KB

Mulderknitter
10-29-2007, 02:29 PM
:hair: That would drive me batty. I have been known to waste an entire afternoon trying to untangle a ball of yarn.
If this was a hank of yarn from a place I regularly buy from I would have brought it back. My LYS lady is so nice I'm sure she would have offered a replacement.
this weekend I was helping a new knitter wind her first ball of yarn. It was a great hank of malabrigo, and I made a point to show her that a few knots or tangles are ok and expected, but a mess of yarn is NOT your fault if you unwound the hank niceley, it is the person that wound the hank, and I have no hesitation in returning the yarn. The worst they can say is "no":shrug:
That said, I have also taken scissors to yarn and chopped away my frustrations!:yay:

Shandeh
10-29-2007, 02:53 PM
Poor Jodie! :pout:
I'm sorry the yarn company did you wrong. I think you should write a letter to the company, complaining about your experience. But don't mail it yet. Wait a day, then read it. If it sounds too argumentative, burn it. Then, write another letter that is more objective, and mail it right away.
I've done that when I had a disagreement with a friend or family member. I would write them a letter, saying EXACTLY what I felt. Then, I would wait and read it later. It was always fun to let it all out, and then burn it. I guess the burning was the most fun. Ha!

wingem
10-29-2007, 03:03 PM
Awa, forget about anger management! Just get on the phone to your best friend and you'll feel better, I always do. As far as being frustrated about knitting projects, you should try crochetting, I always have a crochet project going, then when I get frustrated with my knitting project I set it aside and pick up the crochet for a bit and when I get back to the knitting project I forget about how frustrated I was.

Sharly
10-29-2007, 05:20 PM
What she said: (exactly the place I am in, now)
I kinda know how you feel. I will never be a great knitter, although I've had big dreams of such, flipping through Vogue Knitting, picking out patterns. Any project that takes more than a day or two I tire of and let sit. I've tried more vigorous projects and just ended up frustrated because I get almost done and make a mistake that's always not repairable at least with my skills and frustration level.
Right now I've found my middle ground. I knit small things like dish cloths and a few purses but nothing too extravagant. I find the reward of finishing something much more greater than starting something really flamboyant and not completing it. For awhile I was getting really bummed out by looking at everyone else's completed projects that look like they came off the showroom. None of my stuff will ever be like that but after I finally realized some people have the talent and others (dare I say it), don't I'm ok with it and I'm ok with just being me, the one who knits easy, one day projects. Hey, afterall at least I know how to knit, that's better than some people. :hug:

I agree 100% - and hope you are feeling better now!!:
Hey, $37 is not much to pay for a therapy session. If cutting up the tabgled mess helped you release pent up frustration and anger then it was $37 well spent.

M&Ms!!!! I LOVE this idea:
Go get another skien, have it wound, buy some M&M's to use as row counters and enjoy!

Take care, and as a tip, I usually find it much more gratifying to break the yarn with my bare hands rather than use siccors!! :teehee:

Really, though, take a few steps back, a little break, but don't give it up...