Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Yoga of Knitting

Lately, i've been feeling the need to make a change.

Over a year ago, I opened a shop on Etsy out of a need to do something that was just for me, not as a mother or a provider but as a maker.  Since I loved knitting, it seemed like a natural choice, a good fit with my life at the moment.  But lately, my attitude toward knitting has changed.

In addition to allowing me to make something unique either for myself or someone special, knitting has been a way for me to relax and unwind at the end of a long day, sometimes even in the middle of a long day.  Knitting has been the woolly equivalent of a relaxing child's pose in yoga.  I'm there, I'm present in the moment and I'm happy.  Recently, however, knitting has lost its "yoga-ness" for me.     When I knit, it is for the shop.  When I think of knitting, I'm trying to think of what I can knit that people (buyers) might like.  I'm not enjoying the moment but rather thinking of how long it will take to complete the item in my hand.  I rarely knit for myself or others anymore and when I do, I feel guilty.  Guilty?!  I have actually told my boys that I cannot knit something they have asked for at the moment because I don't have time.  That's right.  Someone whom I would give up everything for has asked for a hand knit item and I said no.  Something had to change.

So I'm taking a step back from my shop.  I'm not saying good-bye to it.  I'm just taking a little break, going on a retreat of sorts.

The above yarn was a birthday gift from a good friend who insisted I knit something for myself.  So last night, I started a pair of socks . . . for myself.


  1. I think the awareness with which you came to this decision is really admirable. It is so easy to lose our focus on why we started a certain project in the first place. When you realize it is no longer rewarding, but "work", then often it's time to let go.

    This has always been my philosophy. This, in part, is why I stopeed teaching yoga. All I could think of was..."*Sigh* I have to go in today...blah, blah, blah." I think it served it's purpose for me and I needed to move on. Not that I won't go back, but for now, I'm happy with my decision.

    Your shop is beautiful. Your hand crafted goodness is just so lovely. When you are ready to continue with your shop the love that you have for knitting will have returned and all that love will go right into your beautiful wares. And in the meantime...think of all the sweet things you can make for your boys and yourself. xo

  2. such a thoughtful post and lovely photos. i know just what you mean -it seems a slippery slope when making things for sale, that your craft can become all about that instead of the simple joy of making. but you seem off to a good start right now making some socks for you - and such a cheerful colour too!

  3. There's something so profound about this post. You have me thinking about what I'm actually doing for the people I love most vs. the have to dos that I take on. Retreats are vital. It's nice to have the opportunity to return to producing from abundance rather than self-imposed drive. That's true in so many ways I suppose. Thanks for sharing this wisdom today. It has me thinking in good ways.

  4. cool! love the sock yarn and am glad to hear you're making them for yourself! people have told me many times i should open up shop and sell my knit items but i have never thought that it would be for me for exactly the reasons you say. i have way too much to knit right now for me and my family - but, maybe one day... although, i can't see how you would ever make money on it!

  5. this is all so true. enjoy your knitting/yoga retreat. hope you can reconnect to the joy of it all :)

  6. I completely relate to this, especially the part about considering what you can make that will sell. Very recently I've been taking time to focus on exploring and worrying less about what will sell. I'm also making more time to make for me and my family. This small change has made a big difference for me.

    Good for you for taking the time to think about it, and good for you times two that you're making some socks. I'm pretty sure you deserve it. :)

  7. I really feel you. I have had similar experiences when "art" crosses over into "business". I'm still trying to find that balance, that is why I like blogging, so far at least, because it is "art" and yet it still feels like it involves other people : ) Enjoy those socks, they look beautiful!

  8. love your photographs so much tonight tara
    funny thing , i must have knit hundreds of socks by now but have never knit them toe up.

  9. Yes to all of this! Enjoy those socks. I've just gone back to a sweater I started a year ago. Feels good to finish something for myself.

  10. spot on !
    Similar experience for me. It is actually true for many things in life. I bet Sartre and his existentialists buddies would be delighted to have a chat with us.
    You manage to listen to yourself and enjoy simply. It seems to be the key for happiness.
    Very wise post.


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