I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m learning to spin on a wheel. Well, some time ago I came across a fabulous piece of advice in Maggie Casey’s Start Spinning: “It is always the wheel.” She was, of course, referring to those times when the fiber just isn’t flowing the way it should, and she gave me the confidence to keep toying with my wheel adjustments until things were just right. That statement has stuck with me, and I’ve found that it can be applied to many other areas of my life (if you take out the part about the wheel), including knitting.
Now, I know that when we’re knitting we’re not using a machine per se, but we’re definitely seeking “flow,” and sometimes we need to strike a delicate balance in order to achieve it. What do I mean by this? Well, have you ever had a project that just seemed to fight you every step of the way? Maybe the stitch pattern drove you crazy, or maybe the yarn kept splitting on you every seventh stitch. In any case, that project lacked flow. Something just wasn’t right, and the good news is that it may not have had anything to do with you.
Well, okay, it may have had a little bit to do with you, but maybe not in the way that you suppose. You see, I have a theory that there are certain combinations of people, yarns, patterns, and needles that should never mix. I, for example, absolutely hate plastic needles; therefore, any combination that includes them is not for me. Some folks have a passionate distaste for cotton, mohair, (gasp!) wool, etc. (Practically everyone likes cashmere, though. Go figure.) My point is that everyone is a little different, and we all need to figure out what each of us likes. If something doesn’t feel right in our knitting world, then we need to be open to other possibilities. The problem may be as simple as using the wrong needle or the wrong yarn. Personally, I see no point in suffering through a project, especially when the issue may be easily remedied.
So, the next time you have a project that’s giving you grief, try to figure out what the hang-up is, and then work to minimize or eliminate it as much as possible. Granted, sometimes that’s easier said than done, and you’ll end up either ripping or slogging through. But sometimes, just sometimes, you’ll be able to be able to achieve flow after a rocky start. Hooray!
How about you? What enhances (or detracts from) your knitting flow? Please share below!