I was planning to show off a few more inexpensive knitting cases in this post, but several knitters this past week told me how much they absolutely hate finishing work. A woman sitting across from me in a knitting workshop described the mounds of unfinished projects sadly languishing in her home.
I think so many people despise finishing work because of its name: finishing work. I mean, what could be more intimidating and depressing? You’re finishing your knitting project, which means the joy of knitting, the thing you love to do, is, well, finished. And work speaks for itself.
I prefer to think of finishing work as coaxing a beautiful flower to bloom or blossom. Because what I’m essentially doing is bringing my knitted sweater, hat, gloves, plushy, whatever I’ve been lovingly knitting during the past days, weeks, months, into the world.
Up until now, it’s only been in the growth stage, developing slowly on my needles, shaping into its true self. And it isn’t quite complete, isn’t quite ready to open up and greet the world, to show off its beauty, until I’ve given it the final touches. Only then are they – the beautiful sweater, the funky hat, the fabulous gloves – what they are meant to be.
“That’s all well and good” you say, “but I simply don’t like to sew things together or tuck yarn ends…for me it isn’t an enjoyable process.” Well, only you can make it enjoyable. Until then, it’ll be a thorn in your knitter’s side. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy the blossoming of your knitting project:
- Find a peaceful place. Choose a quiet place, with a flat surface, good lighting, maybe a lovely view out a window or next to the fireplace. Your special spot might not be in your home, full of squabbling children and/or a well-meaning, but sometimes distracting, husband or partner. Perhaps you’ll find it at your local yarn shop (an excellent choice!), a table in your local library, or a corner at your favorite coffee shop. My place?
A small glass-topped café table in my living room, situated next to a sunny southern window that looks out at my favorite maple tree. The gas fireplace is nearby, so I can pop that on when it’s a bit chilly. It’s my lovely little spot where I bring my knitting projects to life.
- Treat yourself. This is a special moment in your project. You’re breathing life into it. You’ve spent many hours lovingly knitting this woven fabric and you deserve something special. I always make my favorite cup of tea and get out the Bahlsen chocolate wafers (being careful not to get chocolate smudges on my knitting). Perhaps plan a lunch date afterwards with a dear friend, wearing, of course, your newborn knitwear.
- Put on music that makes you happy. Play soothing meditative music, or get down and get your funk on. Whatever works for you! But set the mood with music. I often pop in a David Wax Museum CD or the latest from The Decemberists.
- Choose the time of day when your senses are sharpest. My best time is first thing in the morning. For others it may be in the evening, while winding down. But, if you like to enjoy a glass of wine before bedtime like I do, it’s best not to mix the two. I’ve found that drinking and stitching aren’t a great combination. : )
Whatever your choices in location, music, time of day, or reward, make it a celebration! Remember, your project isn’t really finished…it’s beginning its new life. And it’s only work if you see it that way. So, now that Spring is almost here, dig out those unfinished projects and allow them to blossom!