Here at the International Institute for Picking your Next Knitting Project, we encounter many personality types in our clients..
The Disciplined Knitter: has an ordered project queue which they go through systematically, periodically rearranging it and adding to it as projects are finished. This knitter is monogamous, finishing one project before starting another. They closely watch favourite designers and keep to a tidy project path.
The Sticks-to-their-repertoire Knitter: has a set of tried and tested patterns for blankets, socks, sweaters etc.. thriftily uses left overs and doesn’t look left or right for new patterns. Items are knitted and finished so deliberately and efficiently, that queueing is more or less redundant.
The Would-be-disciplined-but-can-get-distracted Knitter: has a notional idea of a project queue, but is ready to blow out whichever pattern is top of the list should something more inviting jump out unexpectedly. This knitter is likely to have several projects on the go, explaining that each one is necessary for a multitude of different knitting circumstances.
The Impulsive Knitter: rejects the whole idea of a project queue in favour of knitting whatever floats their boat right now. This type of knitter has so many different projects that they can’t always remember what they started anymore. Just as they can be extemely enthusiastic about their latest knitting project, they can also suffer from periods of unexplained knitting-mojo loss.
New knitting, new projects, new yarns… these are all knitters who are moving forward, only differing in the type of path they follow: some are multi-lane motorways, others have detours and forks in the road, some are chicanes and others more single track and straight. For my part I recognise aspects of all of them in my knitting over the years, for there is probably a little of each of them in most of us.
Which is why I’m slightly surprised to find myself with a wholly new knitting urge – to turn 180° and repeat a pattern I finished several years ago. I first knitted the Étranger by Rievive in 2018. Inasmuch as we have a relationship with our knitting, this one was at-first-sight, deep and heart-stopping love. From the Ikat-like textured stitch work, to the slightly smock-like shape of the sweater, to the beautifully auberginey dyed Rauwerk wool I knit it in, I loved this sweater as I had never loved a sweater before. But in the tragic tradition of many great love stories, this one did not end well. The sweater turned out to be just what a horde of hungry moths fancied chomping through when it was put away for the summer.
The case against repeating this knit is very strong – I have a long-overdue unfinished sweater to complete, a list of several new patterns that it really behoves a good wool shop keeper to have on the sample rail, plus a host of new yarns to swatch. Why would you repeat knitting all those stitches all over again, when there’s so much new knitting to do?
Because knitting the thing you really want to knit is just the very best thing, and no amount of list-making, project organising, knitting planning is ever going to change that.