Knitting Anxiety: Why Do I Create It?

Hello Sisters and Brethren!

*Warning – I curse sometimes*

This weekend I have finally gotten some knitting done! For those who know me well, it would come as a surprise to find that I have gotten very little knitting in during the last two weeks. My normal modus operandi is to knit for a couple of hours every day, but truthfully for the last few months I have been struggling to get time in for my beloved hobby.

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Four at a time socks that I had to separate to get off the needles. 

I do have a part time job that I started in May, which has significantly cut in to my creative life. This frustrates me, but sadly income is necessary for all of us, and I have not yet made my knitting and yarny joy into a day job (still trying, tho!). Honestly, the job shouldn’t deter my knitting terribly, but because my time is now limited differently, I find I am creating my own knitting anxiety.

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Cauldron Bubble – new colorway that took me full a week to add to the shop after dyeing. 

 

True confession, I have some general anxiety and depression issues (self-diagnosed as I am too embarrassed to bring it up to a doctor as of yet). So it’s not entirely unusual for me to over think and over stress even the simplest of things. Where my knitting, yarn dyeing, designing and even blogging is concerned, I have a bad habit of giving myself arbitrary and unreasonable deadlines for completing projects. When I do not meet those deadlines or complete ‘enough’ projects, posts or new products in a given time period, I begin to feel very lazy, useless and bitterly bummed out.

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I finished a pair socks, finally! Yay!

I can’t quite say why I do this. I did grow up in small town (population 1,100 small) South Dakota in a stereo-typical hard work ethic valuing environment. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe hard work can be a good thing and having goals and ambition can be beneficial. However, where I come from, creative endeavors are often meant for retirees or people considered to be hapless and burdensome. Practicality was always king and the idea of even having an artistic dream, let alone following one, was an aberration.

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Double Double Mini Kits – why do I think I need to be ready for Halloween already?

While how I grew up may be a factor in why I create stress in a hobby that should be a stress reliever, I’m not sure its the whole story. I am 31, and I feel somewhat that I need to take accountability for…well, for my own bullshit. My rational mind is aware that I am my own enemy when it comes to my anxiety. I choose what my self worth is measured by, so I do not need to measure myself by how much of my hobby I complete. Yet, continuously, I get angry with myself for not getting more done.

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House on the Hill – new colorway, and my dream house. 

I don’t have a happy ending answer for why I stress myself out. I am still working through why I become so anxious about things that should only be happy, and how to stop myself from doing it. But I wrote this blog post as I believe I cannot be the only knitter or crafter out there who struggles with this. Maybe we’re just struggling with anxiety in general, maybe life is a bit overwhelming sometimes and it just permeates every part of us and all that we do.

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Phantasm – a creation of the mind, much like my anxiety. 

Whatever the case, I think we all need to remember to forgive ourselves for what we perceive to be our short comings or failings. Knitting is meant to be my joy, my me time, my creative outlet and in some ways my self love. I am still working on just getting out of my own way and letting go of the need to measure my accomplishments or success as though it makes up who I am. It does not. So if you’re anxious about the things that are supposed to make you happy, you are not alone. And at least that’s something.

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Krypt Kicker – let’s all put our stress in a crypt and kick it!

Thanks for getting real with me for a while. Next time, I may have a happier post, or I may not. But I’m going to try and just be proud of myself that I did post, and not tell myself that I have a deadline for the next one.

May your knitting and hobbies feel magical and cure you of your ills! And when they don’t, forgive yourself. It’s ok.

Until next time Sisters and Brethren in yarn!

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Knitting Anxiety: Why Do I Create It?

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      1. I’m trying. Thankfully my mom sometimes steps in and tells me to be more realistic, like when I decide to try and finish my rug in the next week. 🤣

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  1. I love your colour ways! If shipping wasn’t so expensive to the UK I’d definitely be buying 🙂

    I can relate to the self diagnosed anxiety/depression. Because it’s self diagnosed it’s harder to talk to people about it in general, no?

    I wish you all the best 🙂

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  2. You are definitely not alone! I’ve been getting a little bummed out lately that I haven’t had as much crochet time – or if I have the time, I am generally doing something else with it. Side note: I have several hobbies and I want time to work on all of them, but I also have a day job that’s really cramping my style. lol While I’ve been in NC all my life, I too grew up around the stigma that being an artist or professional creator was looked down on as a lazy or unrealistic career choice. My own parents, when it came time for me to start college, refused to support me in an art major and instead insisted that I major in business, because a business degree would get me any job I wanted, and I didn’t want to be a “starving artist,” did I? :-p

    I used to have a blog about my journey of learning to crochet (later evolving into my journey of learning all the fiber arts). I have heard from many successful content creators that consistency is key when doing things like blogging. So I set out to give myself consistency deadlines. I’ve never been one to respond well to “production-based” environments, so those consistency deadlines and I did not mesh well. And I used to beat myself up about it. One day I simply decided that it was *my* blog, and I could do what I wanted to with it. I’m not using it now, but I have a personal blog where I simply write whatever I want – about life or what I’m experiencing or what I’m thinking. I don’t really have a lot of readers (or possibly *any*), but that’s not the point. I’m doing it for me. That concept has relieved a lot of my blogging anxiety.

    I struggle with a lot of anxiety and over-analyzing. I’ve frequently told myself that I would benefit from counseling. I’ve occasionally asked people for counselor suggestions. I’m never brave enough to actually contact a counselor and start sessions. Even though I feel certain it would be helpful. There’s just something about that first step. My life has been dominated by fear, and it’s something I’ve been trying to work through for a long time. So I can relate to a lot of what you’re saying here.

    But I’m also a pray-er, so I’ll say a prayer for you next time I’m praying over my own struggles like these. ❤

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    1. Hello Mandy! I didn’t know you had a blog, you have to share the link here! And thank you for sharing – I’m clearly not good at “keeping up” my blog as much as I could – it’s taken me 8 days to respond to people (day jobs do suck time away from creative activity) but I’m glad to hear you made your blog for you! And that’s what our hobbies should be, just for us. Thank you so much for sharing and maybe one day we will both be brave enough to find a professional to talk to (and have the budget for it). But for now, we have this wonderful crafting community to talk to, and I am grateful for that. Sending love and hugs!

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  3. I love your yarns! I find that sometimes the hardest thing is actually picking up the needles. – I can waste days avoiding them 🙂 Then I pick them up and it’s all good again

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