The Big Step – Try Something New

comments (2) April 3rd, 2008     

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Tina_Hilton Tina Hilton, contributor
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Beautiful Aran knitting swatch by Alice Starmore

Beautiful Aran knitting swatch by Alice Starmore


O.K, show of hands. How may of you are in a rut? I know there are some of you that are still knitting strictly scarves. But what about those of you who have knitted the same sweater, wrap, hat or socks pattern over and over again? I know how you feel. I’ve knitted the same shawl 3 times and have the 4th one on the needles.

Remember when you first fell in love with that special knitted article? You may have seen it in a publication, a friend made one or you lusted after the shop model. There were the sweaty palms of a first date when you chose the yarn and the heart palpitations of a first kiss when you began the instructions. You experienced the ups and downs of a new relationship as you struggled and conquered the challenges of each new step. And then came the climax–you completed the project. It may have been a pleasure or a battle but you finished it and that, my friend, is a good feeling.

Perhaps it's not multiples you are guilty of. Maybe you are addicted to one type or brand of yarn. Color too can be your drug of choice. Humans are wired to seek out pleasurable sensations so it is only natural to replicate those sensations by repeating the action to release those knitting endorphins, thus SKS–Serial Knitting Syndrome–sets in. If you are a SKS sufferer, take heed and try something new before it’s too late! Here are a few tips to get you on the road to recovery:

• Knitting is an evolutionary process. If you are stuck on socks or hats or whatever, move up and over to the next challenge. Go wild and leave that tried and true project unfinished and try “dating” something new. You will experience fulfillment with the newness and excitement and either you will find your next true love or go back to what you are comfortable with.

• If you scarf knitters feel safe with the rectangle, guess what? You can make an entire sweater with rectangles alone! Take the next step and check out the simple Five-Rectangle Sweater featured on HGTV with step-by-step instructions to get you started on the road to making garments.

• Swatching is a great way to practice new techniques Try something you are intimidated by. Cables are fun; it’s the Aran sweater that is a challenge. Get over your cable phobia and you will be ready to tackle a chunky fisherman’s sweater in no time. Check out the awesome Aran knitting swatches by Alice Starmore to get you going. The Fair Isle can be overwhelming but once you make a 4-inch swatch, you will be hooked. If you need any Fair Isle inspiration to convince you that it's worth your while take a second and check out some of this beautiful knitting. Socks are an addictive take-along project. There are easy sock patterns available that will make you a believer.

• Field trip time! Visit a new knitting shop in your area. If there isn’t one, hop online to shop. See what’s new and exciting in the latest season’s colors and new yarn fibers. Check out some of the newer yarn companies that have sprung up like Universal Yarn. They have a unique variety of high-quality yarn including bamboo, linens and organic selections at an appealing price point. Knitting is an adventure–try something new and see where it takes you!

Knit well and often,


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posted in: socks, aran knit, fair isle, hgtv

Comments (2)

Tina_Hilton writes: Hi Cindy,

Sounds like you are quite an ambitious knitter! I find that to break free of "Knitters Block", I need to have an easy project that I reach for to clear my head with the simple, rhymthic flow of knitting. Get back to your stalled projects by dedicating some quiet time to move through the steps to completion. Grab some tea or coffee (caffine helps drive focus), turn on the Mozart and tune in to the project at hand. When the alloted time is up, set it aside and move on. You will feel a sense of acomplishment and look forward to your next session.

Good luck and have fun!

Posted: 9:43 am on June 22nd
GrandmaCindy writes: Great comments about not getting into a rut. My problem is that I have a hard time finishing anything. I usually lose interest and put it aside to finish later. It does eventually get done just not in a timely manner. If anyone has a solution for this I would appreciate your advice. I love aran knitting. I have done 2 sweaters and am currently working on another one and just got the "Tree of Life" pattern for an afghan that I have been wanting for years. I can't wait to start. I have not mastered socks yet. I think all of you knitters out there will know where I am stuck, the heel. Oh well, one of these days I will figure it out and then probably slap my forehead and say duh! How easy! Such is life.

Posted: 2:39 pm on May 18th
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