General, Uncategorized

I like knitting useless projects

Anyone else make projects that you know full well you have no use for? This is something I do from time to time. I’ve knit shawls because they were fun and pretty, but knew right from the off that shawls aren’t really something I wear or use. I have knit hats for myself when I already have a lot of hats. And now, I am knitting a blanket when I have no use and no space for a blanket. My husband has asked me more than once what I am going to do with the blanket once it is done, where it is going to go, etc. and my answer is usually something along the lines of “I dunno, you can’t have too many blankets…”. But I understand his issue. To him I am spending hundreds of hours on something that he feels won’t be used and therefore he is concerned I am wasting my time.

What the hell am I thinking?

[pullquote]
hob·by
ˈhäbē
noun
– an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.
synonyms: pastime, leisure activity, leisure pursuit;
[/pullquote]Actually, I know what I am thinking. I am thinking that knitting is a hobby. I am thinking that I knit for fun, for enjoyment, to learn new things, to develop new skills, and to just have fun. Hobbies don’t always need to have a point. I don’t have to justify or validate my hobby by producing things that somehow improve our life. Hobbies don’t have to serve a purpose aside from just being fun. You don’t have to have something useful to show for the time you spent doing the hobby. Sometimes a hobby can just be about the hobby. Knitting (and other crafty and creative hobbies) have the trait that the hobby centers around making something, and it is natural to assume or expect that you are making it for a reason. And sometimes we are! Sometimes we knit a hat that is intended as a gift. Sometimes we knit a sweater for a specific person. But sometimes we knit something just because it is fun to knit. Sure, having a useful finished item is great and I personally get a lot of satisfaction using something that I have knit, but for a lot of us that is just a bonus.

The problem is that not everyone understands that. For people who don’t enjoy knitting it makes sense that the decision to knit something would be based upon the usefulness of the finished object, and it would not make sense to knit something that you have no use for. If you don’t enjoy knitting then the concept of knitting for the joy of it (vs. for the finished item) would probably be pretty confusing, especially since knitting is so centered around knitting specific objects.

Compare knitting to rock climbing. For me the only reason why I would ever go rock climbing would be because there was some spectacular view once I got to the top, but for people who enjoy rock climbing the joy comes not from the view at the top, but rather the act of climbing up the cliff. I’m sure they appreciate the view at the top as well, but that isn’t why they do it. They do it because they enjoy rock climbing. And for a lot of us knitters we do it because we simply enjoy knitting!

So I will continue to knit my away at my sock yarn blanket knowing full well it isn’t needed. And I will knit pretty pretty shawls just because they are pretty, not because I’ll wear them. And if someday I see cute baby cardigan maybe I’ll knit that too (after reassuring my husband that I am NOT pregnant). I knit for fun, and that is enough of a reason.

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