Adjusting Yarn Tension

I really appreciated the kind thoughts yesterday.
The headache itself wouldn’t budge, despite a combination of advil, Fioricet, and Hydrocodone. Tough l’il dude, that headache.

However, in the middle of the night, I did some thinking about knitting and realized that I’ve let it become somewhat stressful, which is absolutely absurd. I have a tendency towards worry and anxiety, and in the realm of knitting I’ve become a bit tense about silly things. I would really really like to know if I’m the only one who, without even being aware of it, has become tense about things like this:

1. Too Much Yarn. “Oh no! I have too much yarn! I’ve spent too much money on yarn, and not only that I have yarn for which I have no plan! I have single skeins that I only bought because I liked them! I have yarn I bought online because the person selling it seemed like she could use a boost! I have more yarn than I can ever use up! SABLE!!

2. Too Much Yarn, II. “Oh, no, my-too-much yarn is a symptom of larger character flaws! It’s just exactly why the economy is in trouble, because we all buy material things instead of enjoying what we have! It’s analogous to overeating, or drinking, or any other compulsive, impulsive behavior! My too-much-yarn is the reason we will never be able to retire! It’s an example of my general imperfection as a human being!

3. Too Many Projects. Shame on me for starting so many projects and not finishing them all! I knit most of a sweater last summer and decided I don’t like it and I’ve never put it together! I made both pieces of a bag that lacks only a strap and never finished it! I have a bookmark, a sweater, and two scarves partly done!! I have yarn and a pattern for the moonlight stole in the Christmas Vogue Knitting, I have yarn picked out specifically for the Must Have Cardigan! I have started a Louise Harding sweater, last summer!! The entrelac scarf from last fall that got to be two feet long before it burrowed into the bottom of the basket! I have not one, not two, but THREE gradience collection scarf kits from Unique Sheep, just because I like them. How awful!!

4. Too Many Projects, II. What should I do about the too-many-projects??? Am I allowed to pass them along to someone else? Is it a Grave Character Flaw not to Stick With It until they’re all finished? What if I just get bored with a certain scarf? Oh no, I just remembered the lace scarf I started in Gali’s class – another project! What if I got rid of some and had a fresh start? Would that be shameful, like declaring bankruptcy when it’s all because of your own credit card debt, or would it be sensible? Or both? Am I Morally Obligated to finish every last thing before starting anything new??

5. Not Enough Finished Objects. Despite all these projects, the thing I really want to knit is a couple of sweaters, etc. for myself. And I’ve never made myself one sweater!

6. Not Enough Time. I’ll never ever have enough time to post all my yarn and books on Ravelry! I don’t have time to check my friends blogs! I forget to check my email! I drive an hour each way to work, I work, and I’m tired out when I get home. When the hell am I supposed to be knitting???

7. Stupid Competition. Why come all these other ladies are able to master lace, to finish complicated sweaters, to post gorgeous photos of tricky things involving entrelac, lace, and cables all in one original design? Meanwhile I barely manage to finish a ribbed scarf in bulky yarn! I’m losing the (nonexistent) contest! I’ll never amount to anything in the knitting universe!! (so what?)

8. Night-time knitting. Every night I try to get in some knitting. But, oh no! a lot of the time I’ve had a glass of wine and end up having to rip out half of it! Other nights my husband goes to sleep and my knitting is literally messing up my love life! And the light in the front room is too dim! And I don’t have another one to replace it with! And sometimes I’m watching a show and can’t knit anything complicated – but, wait, I want to knit something complicated! I’m so conflicted and ambivalent, help, help!!

9. Random Knitting Anxiety. I should be knitting for the Common Good of Mankind! Does knitting with lace yarn hurt my eyes?? Will it cause arthritis, or cure it? Could I succeed at running a yarn store? I have over fifty knitting books! How did I end up with so many?? Why do I spend too much time and money on sending/giving things in a yarn swap? Is it a deep seated need for approval? Or is it just that I’ve always had a “gift for gifts”? I need to straighten the knitting & sewing room, it’s a mess! Am I in too many Ravelry groups? Not enough?

10. One last Knitting Issue. I’m dying to start a Ravelry group where it would be okay to discuss anything related to knitting. Or not related to knitting. Because, sometimes I have a question or thought or curiosity that doesn’t fit into my groups. I really want a Ravelry group where the common theme is just “here we are, some women with a sense of humor who discuss life and yarn” as opposed to being from a certain community, having a particular favorite show, being a mother of twins, etc. What should I call it? All Strings Considered?
String Theory? The Whole Ball of Yarn? Ruby’s Random Roundtable?

Okay, I feel much better having aired these lurking concerns because, having exposed them to the light of day immediately reveals them to be monumentally silly. However, one feels a bit exposed admitting to such dumb thoughts. Does anyone else ever have these foolish anxieties?

5 responses to “Adjusting Yarn Tension

  1. I definitely suffer from #6 too. I dream of the day when I can spend more time knitting. I’m preparing for retirement. However, I never feel guilty about all the yarn in my stash. I just figure it’s preparation for retirement. And I tell myself I’ve never had a smoking or drug habit so I deserve the yarn. I do love your post though! It made me laugh! Oh and I also relate to the drinking wine and ripping back. Once a month I go to a knit night and although I really enjoy it I usually end up having to rip back when I’m done because I’ve made a mistake because I’m too busy talking and not paying attention.

  2. I can’t empathize with you on the yarn issue. I am grateful for all the yarn I do have.
    But, I can relate on the FO issue. I have thrown out a few projects (knit out of acrylic yarn) and ripped back countless others (knit out of nicer stuff) because I couldn’t bring myself to finish them. I do it less now that I am the designer and can make exactly what I want rather than be at the mercy of a pattern, but I still do it. I don’t think it makes me a bad person – just someone who knows what she wants.
    I think it’s wonderful that you have so many projects. It’s nice to be able to switch between them when you are bored with one.
    Enjoy what you do. Life is too short. That’s my motto.

  3. KnittedGemMarie,
    You’re right of course – “life is too short” and even if life lasted 10,000 years, knitting should never be in the category of stressful. I know that, but sometimes irrational thoughts sneak in behind the front lines of common sense. Once I realize what’s going on, the irrational anxieties are like bubbles that, having floated to the surface, simply burst and evaporate. Writing them all down is a way of getting rid of them. At any rate, there’s no mystery why all that would give me a headache! Thanks for your sweet thoughts,
    Tamsie

  4. OH my! You seem to have climbed into my brain (or perhaps I’ve climbed in to yours?) These are the things that keep me up at night! ESPECIALLY the UFO guilt.

  5. I have many of those thoughts too. So you’re not alone. I do however try not to have more than 3 projects on the needles at a time, so that I don’t lose focus, too much. And one of those is a portable project that I can grab when I go out. I haven’t abandoned any projects yet, although there is a story on my blog about a project that took 20 years to complete! I guess I’m stubborn!
    Anyway, I did enjoy your post. 🙂

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