knitting conundrum

I picked up some clearance yarn a few weeks ago, and I’ve discovered I can’t knit with it.

Not because of the yarn, but because I decided to knit this for me. This would be the first time I set out to knit something for myself, and I’m having issues. Prior to now, everything I’ve made has been for someone else.

In all fairness, this too started out as a “for charity” scarf, but I decided pretty quickly that the poor wouldn’t want it, so I’d just use it myself. It’s a garter stitch scarf with a chunky colorful mohair yarn, and I think the yarn is pretty. It knits really fast, too.

Once I decided this was mine, I stopped flying along. I’m stuck halfway through this scarf and it ain’t moving.

About a year ago, someone saw me knitting and told me she knits too. We chatted, and when I mentioned it was for a charity, she said, “Don’t you find it’s hard to give them away? That you just fall in love with them and want to keep them?”

Heck no. I want them to go take care of someone else. I pray while I knit: specifically, I pray for the person who’s going to get the scarf / baby blanket / hat. If it’s for me, I have to pray for mercy on the whole world, and it feels so generic. I’ll have to find a better way to do this: I’m making the scarf for me and praying for Elise from the parenting group. Something like that. (Actually, without giving details, if you need someone to pray for, Elise from the parenting group is about as good a cause as I can think of.) 

My goal in knitting is to make the yarn go away and never see it again. That’s why I loved sending things to the Dulaan Project. And in Angeltown, I’d give things to the soup kitchen but be worried that I might see them again: the city had only 80,000 people, so it was possible.

But Angelborough has less than a tenth that many! And my scarves are distinctive. The last one I finished was a kid’s scarf, and I’m going to be seeing a lot of kids through the schools. 

I don’t want to know who was in such need that something I made helped her. I just don’t. I want to send that scarf flying off into the world to warm someone and bless someone and never know about it again.

But this one is for me, unless it looks substantially better when it’s done, and I keep getting a mental block. 

I need to finish so I can make something for someone else, clearly, or finish my WIP scarf that will be beaded and go with a hat, if only I can finish that.

And in the meantime, I’m confused as to why I can’t knit for me.


  1. ivyreisner

    Can I make a small suggestion? Since it’s mohair, put it around your neck. A lot of people find mohair really itchy and the skin on the neck is especially sensitive. You might not want to wear a mohair scarf. OTOH, a lot of people knit and love mohair scarves, which is why I say test first.

  2. Heidi

    Hmmm… I don’t know why it’s harder to knit for yourself. Sometimes charity can mean loving yourself as you love your neighbor is all I can think of. One possible idea is to put your name in a hat along with one other name and give it to whoever wins in a random drawing?


  3. Meghan

    Hi! Long time reader, first time commenter…

    Perhaps while you are knitting this scarf, you should pray for yourself. Part of why you like to knit is to pray and intercede for the future owner, right? Then spend a little time praying for yourself while knitting this one! Maybe start another scarf for someone else, so you can cover your ‘interceding for strangers’ desire, and continue working on your own in spare moments.

    If that doesn’t work I recomend “prayers of thanksgiving”. I go on long walks and just thank the Lord for everything that comes to mind. It’s incredibly powerful! (Who knew that being thankful for leaves, bicycles and little black dogs could bring such Joy?!)

  4. Julie D.

    When I was learning to knit my instructor asked what I was doing with the slippers, the sweater, the … something else I can’t remember … that we made in class. I gave the slippers to my husband, the sweater to my sister and the “something else” to a friend.

    She nodded and said, “There are two kinds of knitters. Those who knit for themselves and those who knit for others. So we know which kind you are.”

    You too, evidently! I have made myself a pair of socks over the years. I got away with that because I didn’t have anyone in mind at the time and then when they were done decided to keep them for myself. Although they are so bulky that I only use them for bedtime in the winter. 🙂

  5. ivyreisner

    Julie, I’d give your instructor fits. I knit for myself and for others. If I kept everything I knit, my house would be even more overwhelmed with wool. If I gave away everything I knit, my friends would run in fear every time they saw me.

  6. Julie D.

    Ivy, you break the mold! (And I mean that in a GOOD way. :-D)

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