It was 8 months ago now that I read a forum thread about Knitting Guilt in the Never Not Knitting Forum.
Ravelry members lamented about disapproving glances from spouses, family and friends, about "the sigh" often heard when a knitter just wants to knit.
Around the same time, I heard an interesting quote from the Yarn Harlot on an old knitpicks podcast (#58 to be exact):
"I’m not sure at what point doing something creative and productive that generates a useful object became a maligned activity. Up until recently sitting and making something beautiful and useful was considered work. Knitting was considered work… and now it’s considered a strange little leisure activity - and not even a particularly valid one. Like if I told someone - what did you do last night? - “I knit”, they would have a little giggle, and they don’t really understand it… They don’t really understand how someone could spend an evening knitting. They really don’t get it. But if I told them that I watched 4 hours of tv and at a bag of chips, they would totally understand. Doing nothing makes more sense than doing something. This is a really interesting shift for humanity isn’t it?”
I wondered then, and I still wonder now, why do we feel guilty, why are we made to feel guilty, for something that is productive, relaxing and fulfilling all at once?
For a while I was interested in getting my knitting out there. Mostly this stemmed from postitive reactions to the people I was sharing my knitting with. They would look at the knit item and say how amazing it was, how cute it was, how cool it was. They didn't realize you could do that with knitting. I found that sad and wanted to be able to share my amazing hobby with others.
Lately though, I find myself wanting to be selfish. I want to knit for me and not others. While I enjoy knitting gifts for people, I find that it consumes the vast majority of my time these days. It is rare that I get to sit and knit something that I will keep.
I'm not sure when that shift occurred, I'm not even really sure why, yet, there it is.
It's starting to get exhausting and to mess with my knitting mojo, just a little. There always seems to be an endless list of "must knit..." items, very few of which can be crossed off.
Is this a problem for other out there? Do you have a hard time saying no when someone asks for something?
Will the madness ever stop?