Process knitting vs product knitting

Here I am modelling my Vertices Unite Shawl

I’m finished my Vertices Unite Shawl!  So I guess I can get back to writing about knitting instead of actually knitting. I can’t express how much fun it was to knit this project and how much it satisfied something deep within me to let my heart choose the colours one after the other and see where they led. From “cast-on” to “bind-off”, I grew as a knitter. Does it sound overly dramatic to say that perhaps I learned something about myself? The biggest lesson I learned is to trust myself, at least when it comes to choosing colours. I loved the first section of the shawl but it was so bright I got scared and chose to stripe green and grey (two different shades of grey) for the second section. If I had it to do again, I wouldn’t choose those colours, but neither do I regret choosing them. They are a part of my shawl and they will always remind me to go with my gut, especially for a project like this; a fun, zany, devil-may-care romp. Why be practical? Why “tone it down” with grey? That’s what my head said to do, but I should have let my heart overrule my head. Anyway, as the project went on I got more and more excited about choosing the colours. I got a bit of advice on one colour from Naomi at my LYS, Espace Tricot ( but the rest just spoke to me and I answered. Super fun! I highly recommend this shawl to anyone who wants a bit of fun in their knitting life. I’m leery of shawls in general because I hate really long rows of 300 stitches or more—just the idea gives me tendinitis. This pattern is constructed in such a way that there are never more than 223 stitches on your needles and that’s really only for a short period.  Also, who doesn’t love short rows??  And there are lots of them in this pattern.

The knitting enjoyment factor (KEF, from now on!) of this shawl was a 10/10, which brings me to an interesting concept I heard about on Instagram the other day.  Someone posted, “Are you a product knitter or a process knitter?”, in reference to a photo she posted about a project she was in the middle of.  I was intrigued by this notion that knitters might be one or the other.  In the four years since I restarted knitting, I’ve come to understand that time being a commodity in dwindling supply, I HAVE to enjoy the process as much as I expect to enjoy the product.  I’m ecstatic when I simply fall in love with a project and have no doubts about whether I’ll love making it and love wearing it. Sometimes, it’s not so clear, but I’m really going to avoid knitting things that don’t promise some fun.

This idea of loving the process makes gift knitting  a complicated notion.  When knitting for others do you pick a project you love with the colours you love and let the chips fall where they may? Then the item might just sit in a drawer for the rest of its life.  Complicated!  The fact is, I don’t love ALL knitting.  Sometimes, it’s been a chore and I don’t ever want it to be that.  After all, I do it for fun! It’s a very time consuming activity which can be tranquil, relaxing, stimulating and enjoyable…or just a slog.  It all depends on what I choose to knit.

Happy International Women’s Day to all you wonderfully creative women out there! Thank you for doing what you do.

Click the link below to listen to one of my musical idols, Abbie Conant, an extraordinary  trombonist and activist on behalf of women’s rights.  She also happens to have what I consider the ideal trombone sound.  Enjoy!

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