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If knitting makes you happy, doesn't keep you form other life goals, and doesn't hurt anyone (example of this - a husband who feels neglected..), then I don't see a reason why you should stop. I think the Sabbath was meant to take time to pause and reflect. Some of my best reflecting/thinking is done when I knit. So keep knitting, girl!


I'm a huge movie fan. Knitting is the perfect hobby for me because it allows me to not feel guilty about the time I spend watching movies, since I watch and knit at the same time. Perhaps, if you could feel that your knitting time is paired with another activity that you enjoy (or could find value in, like exercising), then that could be good.

In any case, I think knitting is a fabulous hobby compared to others (see movie-watching hobby). I spend time on it but I get a product at the end of it. It makes me happy and it has no bad effects on me (if someone claims that knitting could make me anti-social, being a knitter has made me more social than I have been in years!). I say, knit on and take pride in your knitting!


Well, I'll dissent and say sometimes a day off *is* a good thing.

For me, it's much like riding my bike. I usually ride every day, but every couple of weeks, I take a different mode of transport (this would be your day off). When I come back to it, I'm stronger (perhaps you'll solve a pesky shaping issue or come up with the perfect color scheme for your next design).

It's worth considering, if only because it will stop you from making yourself anxious over the number if projects on your list...


Being a compulsive knitter myself, I can say that it was only after I was forced (by injury; lost thumbnail; gross, no?) to take time away from the craft to gain perspective on many things in life.

It's SO true that the act of knitting is itself meditational, relaxing, productive, etc.

However, knitting also consists of planning projects, always doing *something* (multi-tasking?), repetitive motion [injuries], and being sedentary for long periods of time (unless you can knit and walk at the same time).

I've found (just in the last year or so) that moderation is a very good thing indeed.

I love to knit, and will never stop. But now, I do take time to smell the roses (as the saying goes). :)


Yikes! I know I feel WORSE on the days I don't knit...even if it is just a few rows, a swatch, or a mindless shop sample scarf. How about having a day of mindless knitting instead??


After reading the Knitting Sutra, I decided that taking a day off here and there is a good thing, as painful as it sounds. The last thing any of us avid knitters want is a repetitive motion injury. So grab a book on the Sabbath instead! :)


That's how I felt about trying the week of reading deprivation! That's why I only lasted 4 hours. I do recognize the feeling of anxiety about how much I want to accomplish, and how it feels like there will never be enough time. Sometimes that self-inflicted pressure makes it hard to enjoy what I am working on. That's when I have to listen to the stop sign and regain perspective. Still, my compulsions and passions are what make me ME, and as long as I'm not hurting anyone, I'm quite happy to be me. Likewise Alison, you're the only one who gets to decide what makes you YOU.


I completely hear where you're coming from, I feel the same exact way! I adore knitting, never leave my bag at home, and if I need a break from a project, I'm more likely to cast on the next project, instead of just taking a break. Once in a while I'll sit on my couch, and I just won't pick up the needles. Within 5 minutes, I'll start thinking about, well, if I'm sitting here, I really ought to be knitting, even if I don't feel like it. It should be noted that I never feel that way (that I should be knitting) when I go running or do something else that I know is equally worthwhile.

Usually, I tell myself that life is long, and there will be plenty of time to knit, and if what I feel like doing at the moment is nothing, then I should just do nothing! It is inevitable, eventually the project will be finished anyway, and I'll move on to the next. But you can't underestimate the value of just doing nothing when you need to.


I think that if you reach for your knitting because it stimulates you in otherwise wasted time (like commuting) or fulfills/soothes/relaxes you in the evenings/weekends, there is no reason to enforce a knitting ban on yourself for no other reason than to say you don't knit once a week. If you find yourself knitting because you feel compelled to (because of projects in the queue or otherwise), then perhaps you should try on occassion not to give into that feeling -- otherwise you are knitting from obligation not joy. Sometimes this line will be hard to define -- you especially have knitting that is your job, and we all have knitting deadlines like gifts, where we do have some justification for "forcing" ourselves to knit on a deadline. If there is something else, like reading etc, that you think is being "shorted" because knitting takes all of your downtime, then maybe carving out some special time for that activity might make sense. But as you seem clear that you knit because you want to, because it makes you happy, why alter what works for you?

amy boogie

You just described me. I must be a compulsive knitter too. I just never admitted it before. But, who gives a poo. If it makes you happy and its what you want to do, do it.

julia fc

I think that a conscious day spent without knitting would feel forced, like a punishment. Maybe you should do something positive, rather that the negative of "not knitting", like sort your stash and improvise a project from what you discover, move things around, look through books, prioritize your project list, play with your colour wheel, write Alice a fan letter, day dream about your Interweave Knits cover design.
Easy for me to say, I know. If I ran the world. . .


Yes you describe my knitting behavior. If it ain’t broke….
But, it is something to consider if you are becoming too compulsive and trying to finish something up so you can just get on to the next item. Is your knitting a comfort, a chance to distress, a chance to relax or just the opposite? You might want to find a way to relax a bit if so. Knitting for me is all about the knitting, the process, and the finished project is a bonus. Would you knit if it could never become something?


Interesting topic...I love to knit also. It is so relaxing for me. I was reading somewhere that those who knit or do anything compulsively may also be the same people who suffer from depression. By knitting (etc.) it always the person not to slip into depression. Interesting?!? I have suffered from depression from time to time. Something to consider.



You know, I read this post a few days ago, but just didn't know how to respond to it. After some thought, my two cents: do what makes you feel good and/or what keeps your life, in all of its aspects, healthy. If knitting keeps you sane, then do it every day, even if it is just a little bit. If it keeps you from doing other things, important things, then, consider why that is and cut back. Nothing should be all consuming and certainly a hobby should not inspire guilt. If it is inspiring guilt, then you need to take a long hard look at things and ask yourself why.

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