Coming clean…

It’s been a few months now that I’ve been in the grip of a knitting funk. Too many projects on the needles and too many new ones dancing around in my head. Many of you reading this are sure to relate to my current dilemma which, in the grand scheme of things seems trivial but, given that I am literally in the business of knitting, is somewhat alarming…

I came to knitting only in my late thirties and, since then, I have knit for a few hours each night and have dutifully finished all of my projects. Until now, that is! Knitting has always been for me, a time to come back to myself, to indulge my creative self, and to settle and be quiet. My days are quite social and active and knitting has always given me an opportunity to simply be, yet be productive at the same time. Since we opened the store almost 6 years ago, every evening, and yes I can honestly say every evening, once my son was in bed I would make a café latte, find a good documentary to watch and settle into bed with my knitting. With my e-mail and the phone close at hand, Melissa and I would take the opportunity to catch up with rambling conversations, mulling over ideas and plans for knitting and our shop. I couldn’t wait for this time of day, to not be needed, and to be in my little bubble for just a few hours.

Now, back to my little funk … which, has become a source of endless discussion and contemplation with my faithful partner Melissa. Maybe it is because we have been working up store sample after store sample and have not been knitting projects for ourselves? Maybe it’s because we are teaching our sons, their friends and their teachers and our friends to knit in our free time? Maybe it is because we are still in the process building our business and putting energy into creating procedures and protocols for efficient store management and constantly researching and sourcing new products? Maybe it’s because we only want to knit with neutrals, but then get bored before we start, so then we knit with colour, but then can’t handle it?! Maybe my busy schedule and the long drawn out winter here in Montreal has sucked my energy and made me too tired to knit in the evening? Or, and this is a more recent one, maybe it’s because it’s Spring and I am feeling the need to be out there and on the move?!  Maybe my mind is preoccupied with interior decorating now that I’ve moved into a new home? Maybe it’s because my desire for a finished product is greater than the patience I have to enjoy the process at the moment?

I am hoping that this period of reflection, combined with my willingness to come clean and put all of my finished projects out on the table so-to-speak will help me find my knitting mojo again! Maybe I need to give myself permission to have my UFO’s sit in my knitting baskets for the summer and choose a fun, easy and colourful project to knit this spring!

So, what projects do I currently have on my needles you ask?  Let me list them for you…

A Rowan Pure Wool Worsted Cable Blanket that I am designing as a store pattern:

cable blanket

My Koigu Knitted Patchwork Mittered Square Blanket, that some of you may have already started and completed since one of my previous blog posts:


My Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky Garter Blanket which I blogged about a few weeks ago and am just past the spot I was at before I ripped it back:


A large rectangular shawl in Habu Cashmere, which just might take to the end of my knitting career to finish:


An XL version of the Kigali Nights shawl that I designed as a store pattern in Handmaiden Lino and started last summer:


A Stephen West Color Craving in Headgehog Fibres Skinny Singles, which I was inspired to begin at Vogue Knitting Live:


Another Stephen West Color Craving in Anzula Milky Way, which I started when we went to The Needle Arts Trade Show last year:


Itaca from Stephen West in Jade Sapphire Sylph – started last year as an “easy summer knit”:


–  Lisa  


20 thoughts on “Coming clean…

  1. Julie Katz says:

    This makes me feel so much better about my stash of UFO’s. I always find that getting a small project on needles and finishing it gets me back in the groove:)!

  2. Jil Browne says:

    And there you have it….as a sample knitter for Black Sheep Yarn and Fiber in Noblesville, IN, I find that sometimes I just have to stop, pick up one of them and just finish it, be it a sample, a commission piece or a project of my own…I just have to finish one and the mojo returns. Also as crazy as it sounds, I find that putting all of them in some sort of priority laid out on a shelf helps me not feel overwhelmed by just how many there are…some CAN go into the closet for a time down the road and it will be okay. I think you are pretty amazing to find any time to knit with the list of things on your daily agenda. Maybe you need to send some samples my way to help get them finished. 😊

    Always enjoy your posts…Jil

  3. Ruth says:

    You could certainly display some of your WIP at your store. Even demonstrate a bit when inquiries are made about a particular project. I think it’s great that you photographed and catalogued your UFOs. The anticipation and the starting something new is exciting, an adventure-and then you see how it looks and will turn out, the drudgery of mid completion (Especially a blanket!). And if there’s a baby due date you would be spurred on to completion. You don’t really NEED any of them completed so what’s the impetus? I like to kerp some “mindless knitting” available to suck out anxiety. Just knit. You have a fabulous post about an issue that is a problem for many of us. I love your documenting them midstream. Your joy had become work and that’s harder . Thanks for sharing.

  4. Katrinka says:

    I have three WIPs: A laptop bag that only needs buttons & snaps, a hat I “designed” to match the first scarf I ever knit that I don’t know how to decrease @ the top & an afghan of a map of the US that is 2/3 done. It has been on my needles for years, as it contains 21 colors, so working on it requires dragging out a large box with all the yarn & a half-poster size chart. I have made a commitment to finish all three before the holidays, as the blanket is a gift.
    I am currently working on the Dragonfly (Outlander) MKAL, which has over 400 stitches & will grow to 555 by the time I bind off. When I finish it, I’m going to my LYS to get help with the hat.
    I only work on one thing @ a time, because it’s hard for me to go back to an older project once I start a new one. Furthermore, I am not a fast knitter, but sure enjoy the peace & solace the process brings.
    Next up: A cashmere stole for my daughter, then hopefully, a couple of summer tops before I make a few gifts for family members & begin the Uplands Aran sweater for myself.
    Good luck getting out of your funk! I’ve been there a few times myself 🙂

  5. Heather Platt says:

    When I look at these projects I see too much “plain Knitting ” ( mitered square excepted). I now choose projects with more pattern as that keeps me motivated. Miles of garter or stocking stitch quickly become tedious no matter how beautiful the finished project might be. I have one easy project for knittong group and more complex project’s for home. I also try to finish one project before starting a new one.
    Hope you figured it out!

  6. Kim Q says:

    I’ve got several WIP’s going, that’s pretty much the norm for me. But I look at your projects, and it’s not the “plain” knitting, it’s the number of large projects! I have one blanket going, that’s my go-to for mindless knitting, when I don’t feel up to concentrating on a pattern. But the rest are smaller projects, several shawlettes and one baby sweater…which I’d better get done before the baby goes to kindergarten! LOL

  7. Jeannine L. says:

    And you also orchestrated a move… a major stressor, for sure.
    It sounds like you are ready for a “sabbatical”…..a time to rejuvenate and replenish.
    Good luck!!!!

  8. Patricia Kido says:

    I know exactly how you feel! I have a large basket brimming with wip’s. I get so excited to start a new project and then get bored with it. I just finished a very large blanket so that has kept me away from finishing anything. I usually get into a knitting slump in the spring and am ” in the zone” in the fall

  9. patricia says:

    We all get into a funk from time to time. You seem to do alot of lace weight projects. Why don’t you make something bulky. Its quick and easy. Might help you get over this slump. Or stop beening so hard on yourself, take a little break, enjoy the beautiful weather. Before you know it you will be back on track. Good luck.

  10. says:

    The wip’s are too large and say winter. In my opinion you need to start something fresh, bright, small and summer—end of funk. Like good wine, the wip’s need to age a bit.

    Happy Knitting,

    Janice Feld Williamsburg, Virginia

  11. Marie-Lucie says:

    Dear Lisa
    May I joining your club??!
    Few (well, several) projects I want to finish, before starting new ones,
    I deeply want and mostly need to see all my little “knit in progress” bags empty
    And enjoy the feeling of my mind clear for new end-of-summer beginning-fall place for new inspirations and new yarns and new colors and new change-of-mind, new classes…

  12. Alix Goulet says:

    I have two words to cure your malaise: baby knits! Small, easy, quick to complete, super quick from start to completion satisfaction – knit up some baby wear, that’ll give you back your knitting mojo!

  13. sarahbdonovan says:

    Lisa I know how you feel! Looking at these projects I noticed a common thread though — they all are huge and take forever to finish! Maybe a hat? An easy worsted weight garter stitch shawlette?

    Hope you rediscover your knitting mojo! Can’t wait to visit your store again this summer



  14. Vicki Williams says:

    Whew, I know that I’m not the only one with a lot of projects on my needles but it still makes me feel better to see that I’m in good company! I haven’t been knitting as much as I should be lately because I am making myself finish up a cardigan before I can move on to something else. At least I’m on the sleeves. I can’t wait to see more of your cable blanket. It looks lovely! Hang in there and we’ll all get through our slumps together!

  15. Jill says:

    If you have another hobby that you enjoy, you may want to just indulge in that for a few days or weeks without any knitting. (Mine is reading, and it feels quite self-indulgent to just pick up a book after dinner and read until bedtime!) That’s what I do, and it doesn’t take long before my fingers are itching to get back to the yarn!

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