What to Do When Your Knitting Mojo Takes a Vacation

I’ve been knitting on and off for 55 years (give or take 12 days). Most of that time, I’m merrily chugging away on three or four projects made on size 2 or smaller needles (my go-to needles for socks on sockweight yarn is 00). It was no surprise, therefore, that when I was in the hospital this past June I got approximately half of a pair of socks done (2 at a time, magic loop).

However, once I got home, I had no desire to knit. I read a lot, I played computer games for large portions of the day, I even worked a bit on a knitting book. But knitting itself…not so much.

The August 31 issue of the Knitting Nuggets newsletter (not posted in the archives yet, or I’d give the URL), however, had an article that caught my eye. Make a big, cuddly afghan out of all the yarn you can’t/won’t use for anything else. I clicked on the link for the pattern, the . It uses five strands of worsted weight yarn, and can be adapted, really to any weight of yarn by adding or subtracting strands. To quote the authors:

We got it all in here: recycled cotton and wool sweaters, craptastic eyelash yarn, satin ribbons, cotton in overly-bright colors, some Caron Simply Soft that simply would not go away, a wool sweater I sliced in a spiral to spin with but never used, etc. etc.

The best thing is that you already own the yarn for this project.

It wasn’t my beloved socks or a shawl, and I had no idea whether or not I could even work on really large needles any more, but I decided to give it a try. After all, if I really hated it, I could rip it.

While they used size 13 needles, I am using size 15s because the resulting fabric feels better to me. I started the project by hunting up a bunch of acrylics and a cone of some particularly ugly mohair that I inherited when a friend’s mother passed away.

The colors I started with are the ugly mohair (charcoal and red); white with lavender; white with pink, blue, and green; cobalt blue; and white. The white was replaced by ivory, then purple. The color changes are subtle, since only one yarn at a time is being changed, and I have been stopping to hide the ends every so often, so that I don’t have a ton of ends to hide when I’m done.

The fabric is, indeed, cuddly, and very thick. It took me about two minutes to readjust to working with large needles, and the project currently sits next to my computer, so that I can pick it up whenever I need a break. Measured along a non-working side, I have done 19″ of the first 48″ since Saturday.

While I’m not sure this will be a project to show off (although I will post a pic here and on Ravelry when it’s done), it’s a project that will be useful in winter, since this apartment is very drafty, and my room has the exit door to the back yard, which fire codes will not let me block off.

No, it’s not my favorite kind of knitting; no, it’s not yarn I would really use to wear; but, yes, it’s a way of keeping my hand in — even when I need a break from my usual diet of socks, hats, shawls, and mittens.

So, a question: What do you do when your knitting mojo takes a break? Enquiring minds want to know.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Donna
    Sep 04, 2012 @ 15:24:16

    Oh I left a whole list of what to do on one of my blog posts last week. http://knit1spin2.blogspot.com/2012/08/10-on-tuesday_21.html
    I think finding the right project like you have will help get it back! I can’t wait to see how your afghan progresses.


    • otherdeb
      Sep 04, 2012 @ 16:12:59

      Hi Donna! Had somehow missed your post, but went and read it immediately. I’m not sure why the mojo seems to desert me every so often, but I do know that it will pass eventually, and I will be back on my 00s at some point.

      I love the idea of the Yarn Along, and have signed up for it.

      I definitely agree about hanging out on Plurk! I’ve made a ton of knitting friends there (including you, if memory serves), and someone is always showing a new pattern or project, or pointing to a new blog post, podcast (although I’m not really a podcast person), book, or magazine. More importantly, the thing about Plurk is the people who hang out there (both crafters and otherwise).

      Ravelry is always a source of inspiration, although I thin my queue is up to 540 prospective projects.

      About the only one of your suggestions I won’t try right now is visiting a yarn store. I have vowed to cut my stash to 1/3 its current size before buying any yarn that is not specifically earmarked for something.

      So, thanks again for the great suggestions!


  2. Paul
    Sep 04, 2012 @ 15:36:37

    That blanket ideah has crossed my mind more that once. When My knitting MoJo takes a break. I let it. I’ll watch more TV. I will read more, but for me just looking at friends activity on Ravelry, and seeing their knitting on podcasts. Keeps my MoJo


    • otherdeb
      Sep 04, 2012 @ 16:28:28

      Hi Paul! TV for me is mostly background noise, but reading is the pleasure I never have enough time for (you don’t want to see my books to read list…or if you do, find me on FictFact (and those are just the series I’m following)!

      But you are right, when the Knitting Mojo decides it needs a break, then it needs a break. I can sometimes shorten the break by switching to a project that is the opposite of what I generally do, but not always. Sometimes, I just have to let it go, and let it come back on its own.


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