Nothing on the Needles

Filed in Point of View by on October 29, 2015 0 Comments

For some of you this will be a relief to read, for others you will absolutely not comprehend it – but for several weeks now, I have had no knitting in progress. Yes, there is nothing that I am actively knitting.

Nothing on the Needles

The title isn’t quite true, because there is always some ancient UFO sitting around the house somewhere. Something is waiting on needles, hoping that someday I will pick it up once again and move forward on the project. But there is nothing that I am actively knitting.

For those of you for whom this sounds like heresy, I am grateful that you have never experienced such a time in your life. But for others of us, we can lose our “knitting mojo” from time to time.

Knitting is comforting to most of us who are passionate about yarn. And for many, knitting is a way to work through stress, productively fill time that would otherwise be wasted, or just engage in activity that brings us happiness and joy. Even so, occasionally our relationship with the craft we love can change.

This can happen for all sorts of reasons and are probably too individual to list with any accuracy. In my case, I am pretty sure it has to do with a combination of knitting also being my work, feeling a bit drained of creativity, and struggling to process a whole series of changes happening in my world right now.

The good news is I know it is not permanent!

The bad news is it makes doing my job a bit of a struggle.

But as with most things, I have a plan which I am going to share in case it someday helps another knitter who has lost her knitting mojo.

1. Do other creative things.

Most of us involved in any creative hobby like knitting usually have at least one or two other creative endeavors we explore as well. Use the break in the knitting activity to re-engage in one of them. Often the real goal of our hobby is just allow ourselves a space to do something different from our day-to-day activities. So just choose a different activity as opposed to your go-to activity of knitting. As for me, I pulled out the sewing machine.

2. Get inspired from other sources.

For me, I have been going through all my stacks of magazines noticing which projects I find intriguing and being open for the spark of inspiration to hit. A similar exercise would be to jump onto Ravelry and begin looking at patterns. As of this writing there are well over 225,000 to browse through – there is bound to be something that is inspiring in there. I also look to other forms of creativity, like visiting a quilt shop or an art museum. Inspiration is everywhere, you just have to make a point to see it.

3. Make space for something new.

This might not work for everybody, but when I find my creativity blocked, I often realize that it is because my “space” has become too crowded. For me that means, sorting through, throwing out, organizing, and generally cleaning up. Sometimes a small clean-up will work, like cleaning off my desk so I can see most of the surface. Other times it takes something more drastic, like cleaning out drawers, closets or other “hidden” storage areas. Out of sight is not always out of mind!

4. Engage with your stash.

Most of us have some level of stash, even if it is a small one. Looking at it, touching it, and browsing through it often helps us remember what drew us to it in the first place. If you find it is overwhelming, apply Step 3 to your stash. I would replace throw out with donate, but otherwise the process is the same. We talk about stash quite a bit here on the blog, so if you are looking for some hints and ideas, these posts should get you started.

5. Knit anyway.

Even when you have lost your mojo, there is probably at least one or two projects that you can work on without really having to engage with them as you might normally. For me that is a dishcloth. I wrote about why it is the perfect project over a year ago. For others of you it might be socks, a basic scarf, or simple baby blanket you traditionally give as a gift. It doesn’t have to be amazing or challenging (it probably should be neither), but something you can just do. Sometimes just the act of knitting will remind us why love knitting.

I am hoping my mojo returns soon (I really do miss it), but in the meantime, I am working the plan. I have made it through the first three steps. Time to go play with some yarn!

What do you do when you have lost your mojo and there is nothing on your needles?

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