What Does Yarn Mean to the Occasional Knitter?

Chances are, if you are reading this blog, you are more than the occasional crafter.  I spend as much time with my fiber as I do with my job at the library.  We have members in our community at all different skill levels, time commitment levels and engagement levels.  Sometimes it is good to get outside of the echo chamber and see how others view what we do.

I interviewed Rachel, a colleague who is an occasional knitter, to find out her views and motivations about fiber arts.

Q: How long have you been knitting?

A: I learned in college, twelve years ago.  I had expressed an interest in learning and my friend Derek taught me.  His grandmother had taught him.  You move away from home and see people doing different things.  I was living in the dorms.  I had seen some of the people in my dorm knitting and I just wanted to try something different and new.

Q: How often do you knit now?

A: I probably only knit every two years or so, maybe.  It is very occasional.  Other things got in the way.  Knitting took the back burner.  I also got too ambitious.  I had a daily calendar with a new knit pattern every day and I said I’m going to do all of them! I was not there skill-wise and it was overwhelming.

Family is very important to me and has taken center stage.  I also watch primarily Korean dramas with subtitles and it is very difficult to knit and watch while reading.  These are obstacles to me knitting every day, but they are obstacles that are important to me.

Q: When you do knit, why do you knit?

A: Usually, because there is something I’ve seen that I think I can do and I’m inspired to try it.  Or it is cold and I want a scarf.  I saw the temperature blankets and got really excited but kept putting it off.  Now it is the middle of the year and I’m hesitant to start.

Photo of great Aunt Hazel’s blanket by Rachel

Q: How does yarn impact your life?

A: I have a cloth cube full of yarn and I like colorful things, so just seeing it makes me happy.  The potential makes me happy.  I have a blanket my great Aunt made.  How long it has lasted always amazed me, but this is my family history.   I am proud of the things that I have done, even though I don’t do it often.

Q: How do you view other people’s knit-work with your experience?

A: With awe.  Especially if there’s more advanced techniques.  Even if you’re buying something, there’s more of a meaning to something someone has made.  I want people to show me what they’ve made.  I get excited over seeing other people’s successes.

Q: How do you view your difference in mindset from others who knit every day?

A: Just because I don’t knit very often doesn’t mean I don’t want to or I don’t care what people do.  It would be cool to knit more, but this point in my life isn’t conducive to it.  I admire people who put time and effort in to do it regularly, but I get satisfaction out of the amount that I do.

As an occasional knitter, I’m not always familiar with all the resources available to me.  I’m aware of Ravelry, but there’s a lot I don’t know.  Sometimes hearing about new resources inspires me to jump back in.

If you have any questions for Rachel about her fiber arts, post in the comments below!


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