I often have a weird anti-knitting period after finishing a large and all-consuming project. It happened after the Peppermint Twist and again after Salina. It probably would have happened after My Very First Project had I not had to wait six weeks for the yarn for my next project to be delivered (not that I am still bitter, much).
It’s not immediately after the project is completed, mind. In the two or three weeks straight after finishing the latest Project of Doom I run around frantically trying to fill the sudden gaping knitting void, finding patterns for all the things I’d dreamed of knitting while endlessly working that stocking stitch, or finding new and innovative projects to work with my existing knitting stash. It’s like being blinded by bright lights after sitting in the dark for two months — so much possibility! So many shiny and exciting new projects and techniques I could try after denying myself for so long! When I’m particularly keen, I’ll have lined up the yarn and pattern for a whole new big project, ready to go from the moment I’ve blocked and finished the last one. If that’s not the case I’ll trip from one stash-busting idea to the next and happily congratulate myself about how economical I’m being. It’s a strange heady thrill, finishing something big; a mixture of achievement, panic and anticipatory excitement.
But then a week later, or two, or sometimes three, the excitement dulls. I stare at the needles in my hands and they look like strange slender surgical instruments. I shut one eye and tilt my head sideways but no, they still look alien. And they don’t work easily with my hands. And it’s sunny outside! There’s people to see, places to go, fun to be had that is not knitting related. Instead of the resentment I feel when I’m entirely in love with a knitting project and I’ve been pulled away from it, I start to resent the knitting instead. I stop looking at it, put it away in a bag and don’t think about it for a while. Life goes on.
And so it’s been, these last six weeks. I finished the blanket and skipped around gleefully picking up and starting new things. A small bag, a pair of socks. New things which are satisfying and small and teaching me new techniques, even. And then, a few weeks ago — stop. All unfinished items put away and left untouched and unthought of. Sunshine, beer, and the World Cup beckoned, and frankly it has been delightful.
Fast foward to late Sunday afternoon, after a lazy weekend of barbeques and friendly conversations. We were watching Brazil versus Australia and my mind started wandering. I felt vaguely unsatisfied. Something wasn’t quite enough. Was it, perhaps, time? Tentatively, trying to avoid thinking about it directly in case it went out of focus, I picked up my quarter-finished second sock and quietly knitted a few rounds. And blissfully, it was fun and relaxing again, and my knitting world has gone full circle. Magic.