“Faster, I must knit faster!”
“I have only knitted nine sweaters this year!”
“There are 200 items in my queue.”
Are you fretting over your knitting? Do you feel you are falling behind? Chances are, you are suffering from “productionitis!”
What is this terrible illness, you ask? Perhaps you have been infected, so read on. Is your closet overflowing with knitwear even as you increase your production and speed? Have you mislaid that stack of sweaters that you made two years ago? If so, the diagnosis is positive, my friend.
Productionitis is brought on by overexposure to glamorous patterns, scrumptious yarns and the continuous uploads of ravishing knitting images from the two million plus members of Ravelry. Every day how many more stunning finished objects appear before our eyes? Exquisite Russian lace, British plaids, American hand-dyed stockinette, Scandinavian fair isle, Japanese drapery, the colors and textures and designs bombard us from all sides! It is surprising that we frown at our fingers, wondering how to make them move faster, as if we were manipulating a mechanical device? It seems that all of the excitement has created a brain inflammation and Productionitis has set in!
Yarnstylist: 100 Projects
I have just posted the 100th project on my Ravelry project page. It was my Beaded Glamour, completed at the end of 2013, that put me over the top.
It was at that moment that the number 100 appeared on my screen that I realized it was time to seek a cure. I suppose if I wanted, I could go on knitting a mile a minute, with the result of knitting ten to twenty sweaters a year to infinity! After all, knitwear is pretty compactable and some day I’ll just rent storage space to hold it all! Then again, perhaps I do not want to be buried by my knits, or to line a vault with them all. I have come to the conclusion that as my knitting skills increase, I should knit less, not more. How many sweaters and accessories does anyone really need? Instead of cranking out dozens of pieces, why shouldn't we experienced knitters devote more time to each one ? The end result could be valuable heirloom pieces that we will treasure for years to come in our knitwear armoires.
In the past, I have been reluctant to pursue the project of knitting a couture-style jacket because of the enormous time investment involved. But now that I have reached the 100th project mark, where is the rush? When I think about it, if someone offered to give me four cardigans or one Chanel jacket, what would I choose? A Chanel jacket, naturally! I still have not decided on what the jacket will be, but there is plenty of time to decide.
The minute I decided to take a step back from the knitting race, all sorts of creative possibilities opened up. Will it be time-consuming to experiment with plaid-making techniques? Yes, but why not? Shall I fiddle around with fine lace knitting on tiny needles? Absolutely! Of course I will still pursue easy, fun projects that I can relax into while I am enjoying knitting for knitting’s sake. Those can be knitted from stash. But this year my focus will be primarily on creating a few exquisite pieces I can treasure for years to come. As I begin to plot out my heirloom projects for the future, what is a better way to start than with some delicate lacework?
This lovely design, Silla, is by Jennie Atkinson. Here is the designer’s website:
What I love about Jennie Atkinson is her focus on intricate lacework and beading that yields little jewel-like knits. Take this fine lace blouse, from her 19th-century inspired book, A Handknit Romance:
Jennie’s body-conscious designs flatter a woman’s natural figure, which is a must for anyone with an hourglass figure!
I love the flattering proportions of her Silla as well. Silla is an eminently wearable sweater that has modern appeal but also harks back to Victorian times.
With the princess seaming of the pullover, she evokes a corset, and the delicate lace neckline is pure loveliness.
I have finished the back piece of Silla, and I would be lying if I said that the lace were not a time-consuming endeavor.
Each row of the lace pattern is different, so it is not the kind of project to undertake unless you have full attention to give. But there is no rush. I will knit this sweater whenever I feel like enjoying the challenge of lace knitting and I will put it away when that palls. I refuse to join the knitting race this year! Somehow I suspect this means I will enjoy my knitting more.
Here are some more heirloom knits from Jennie Atkinson:
Lace rib Stockings