It's OK to knit selfish
With the holiday season solidly behind us now, it seemed like the perfect time for a little reflection.
I was pretty ambitious with Christmas gifts this year. I made my mother-in-law slippers, I knit a cabled slipcover for my mother's office chair, I made my sister-in-law a giant 2.5kg grey blanket for her student house. All big projects, and it meant that most of my free time in December was taken up by making things for other people.
Don't get me wrong - that's a good thing. Making things makes me happy. Making the people I care about happy makes me happy. This Christmas, I was able to create really special gift that I know brought a smile to the special people in my life. Nothing beats that feeling. SiL for example was so inspired by her blanket, that a few days later she went out and bought herself some wool and needles, and has been working on a gorgeous scarf. #Proud.
But now January's here, and it's time for me to be a little selfish. And the thing about that is, that's totally fine.
Knitting is my passion, and as such, I usually get a few fantastic knitting-related gifts at Christmas. This year was no exception. My mom and sister went to the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival this year, and bought this absolutely gorgeous jewel-toned yarn from Yarn Hygge that I absolutely sound not wait to use.
But I resisted. Because last year, they bought me a stunning moss-coloured alpaca yarn from Northern Vermont Llama Company - which happens to be the farm where we buy our family Christmas tree farm from every year. And I hadn't used it yet. I think I have a tendency to get project paralysis; I obsess over finding the perfect project for the exact amount of yarn I have, and never make my mind up. But I decided enough was enough. Gifts are meant to be enjoyed, and it was doing no good being shoved in the back of my stash. If I wanted to use my beautiful new yarn, I had better use my beautiful old yarn first.
So I made a cowl! Funnily enough, tucked into the yarn gift this year as a pattern from Yarn Hygge for a double twist moss stitch cowl. I thought it was a bit too simple for the new yarn, but was struck by the thought that it would perfectly suit the alpaca from last Christmas. Having just the right amount of yarn, I cast on, and voila! My first selfish project was complete!
But then, is it really selfish? Just like the Christmas gifts I made, this cowl was actually the fruit of someone else working to bring a little joy to my life, and since it totally did just that, I don't think that's rude at all.
The next projects on my list are equally as "selfish". I'm working on a sweater for myself in a stunning Juniper Moon yarn that was bought for my 20th birthday (what did I tell you about project paralysis?). Despite having the materials for more than 5 years, and the pattern I'm using is one I've been crushing on since the Vogue Knitting Fall 2009 issue, I hadn't put two and two together until now. More on that later though.
I'm also reworking a wrap for the office, made from the Shawl in a Ball yarn from Lion Brand I was gifted over the summer. The original shawl I made wasn't ticking the right boxes for me, and rather than let a gift languish in the closet, unworn, I've unpicked it and am transforming it into something I know I'll need. I mean, why can't people leave the office aircon alone!
And finally, I am getting off the ground with some samples for my Etsy shop. I know, I know. I've been saying it for months. Which is why this selfish endeavour doesn't seem that selfish at all. It's the New Year, and I'm working towards one of my long-standing goals.
So, overall, I'm finding that both unselfish gift knitting, and selfish creation both are important to my maker life. So here's to a bit more balance in 2018!