If you’re a knitter then this statement is absolutely click bate for you. For one, to knit socks is the epitome of being a knitter, and to say such a blunt statement can in some cases cause backlash for saying so. For those who don’t know how strong a statement this is, I want you to think of a situation where you are a “follower of someone” and you are so enthralled with this person or community that you find yourself in the situation where you “just got to have it” because sadly it makes you feel as though you are one with them! You’ve become “one on the Joneses” in that community.
So, to be a “Jones” can actually cause anxiety over a craft you love. You’ve on one hand have a hobby that relaxes you as meditation does with others. And on the other hand, you find yourself panicking as if you’re not good enough by not having what these “others” have.
I myself have been in this situation and for me, my “Jones” was the Knitting community. I became so obsessed with wanting to fit in, that I spent hours watching these influencers, hanging on to every word they said. If they mentioned yarns, patterns, project bags, knitting needles, tools, etc, etc, I had to have it and within minutes I was on amazon ordering what I thought I needed to feel as though I was one of the elite.
Where did this leave me? To be honest, it left me with a pile of yarn I will never use, projects that will never be finished, bags I don’t like, excess needles I don’t need and so much stuff that it gave me panic attacks just looking at it. This wasn’t the hobby that made me feel so relaxed and meditative, it was doing the opposite and creating excess clutter of “Things” and regret.
At what point did I know when to stop? And at what point did I know it was time to break away and take note of what was important to me and to be frank, what did I actually like?
I knew for a fact that I hate fingering knitted socks! I hated knitting with small needles and yarn, I hated the feel of them on my feet, I especially hated the way they felt in my boots, but tell me why did I have so many knitted socks? Why did I waste weeks if not months knitting these only to wear them reluctantly, and why was I continuing buying these yarns that I didn’t like and was causing me stress?
And that’s when the proverbial pin dropped. And I had to step back and be honest with myself and say “What the hell, Sue Ann”. Smarten up, this is not who you are. You are trying to be someone you’re not! You are not, and is not someone who is in love with pink specked socks with lace! That ain’t you!
Yeah, so that hurt a bit. I had come to the realization, that I was hooked on that ‘shining object in the window’ it got me hook, line and sinker. I was buying everything they were selling, and more.
My hobby was no longer fun. I lost the joy of knitting, and along with it, my anxiety was getting out of control. When I looked and my yarns I didn’t see what I could knit but the dollars I lost.
The one thing that gave me peace held no value.
So I walked away. I put everything in a bag and forgot about it, or so I thought. I knew I didn’t want to get rid of my yarns, but I needed a break away from comparing myself with others and that also meant taking a break from everything. No watching videos, unfollowing social media accounts, cleaning up my knitting wish list to what I liked. I went into a so-called rehab away from all things that didn’t matter.
Looking back now I know for me, this was needed for my mental health. I didn’t need any other pressures in my life. I had enough to worry about and to be honest I’m too old for this shit. We tell our kids to stop comparing ourselves to others and yet we are just as guilty.
As time went by, things changed. I found myself watching these videos out of enjoyment and developing a mentality of thinking “that’s nice” without itching to become them. I could knit for joy and relaxation.
So I decided to create a list of a few things I have learned that really could be applied to pretty much anything. And just maybe it could resonate with you.
1. Don’t fall into the honey traps. Creators are there for enjoyment, and to show you what other things are out there for you to discover. They are not the ones to blame. This is all on you
2. You do not need 52 pairs of socks
3. Knit what you want, not what’s popular
4. Choose yarns, needles, and patterns that reflect who you are and your budget
5. Frogging items you don’t like is a good way to save your yarn. Wool is very forgiving
6. Donate or give to family and friends your knitted items that no longer add value to you. Make your peace with these items and let them go.
7. A yarn stash can be the envy of all knitters but can also create the opposite effect when it comes to your creativity as it can become overwhelming and overstimulating
8. Take time and enjoy your knits, A sweater does not need to be knitted in a day, neither does a sock!
9. Limit the projects you have “on the needles”. Don’t get into the “needing to cast on” mentality so many knitters fall victim
10. If you don’t like speckled pink yarns then dye it black.
These are just a few tips I’ve come to acknowledge over the last few years that have helped me break through these thoughts and addiction. You may find that this helps or in some cases may hinder you, then create your own list. This is a perfect time to reflect on you and your habits. I can only guide you through my own experiences.