Confessions and Unpopular Crafting Opinions

September 14, 2020

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254 Comments
  • I am so here for this. I’ve got a dozen projects started in classes which I loved and have decided that “Pandemic Finishing” is just a fad and I should not feel pressured. My friend that accompanied me to these classes has finished all but one of hers during this same period. I still like her anyway… mostly.

    • I have WIPs that go back to 1973. I find them a great motivator to take care of myself, now that I am a woman of a certain age. Because I do mean to get back to them….

      • You are woman after my own heart! I have exactly the same issue and am of a similar age. I really do intend to finish them all!

        • Thank you!!

        • Yes, WIPs since 1973. Not just knitting (that’s a recent obsession) but crewel, needle point and embroidery. Then there are the unblocked needlepoint pieces that never became pillows or wall pieces. A whole plastic bin.

        • Lisa, just one bin? Come to my house where multiples await attention

        • I was recently asked about all of my WPIs recently (knitting, bobbin lace, quilting, silk ribbon embroidery, to name a few). How could I stand it? I replied that I am process oriented rather than product oriented. The questioner kept pushing. I finally said that I don’t have a 45-year-old WPI like the one she had recently described. That shut her up. I also want to say that I finished up an embroidery project for my mother. She had started it as a teen and was in her 80s when I completed it!

      • When I first read this comment I thought, “1973? Wow! Who keeps WIPs that long?” Then I remembered the 3 counted cross stitch projects I have in my craft closet. Ha ha!

      • I love this! My oldest knitting WIP only goes back to about 2004 (when I re-learned, after a 30 year hiatus), but I have a cross-stitch WIP from 1990. And I AM going to finish it….someday…..

      • I was “gifted” an Eisenhower-era WIP that never got finished by my husband’s great-grandma. She passed it to her daughter, who is now 102 years old and no longer up for appliqué-ing shamrocks to a tablecloth, and when she was about 95 and moving into a nursing home, she decided she was never going to finish this thing, and she gave it to me. I plan on working on this with my daughter, who will be finishing a WIP that her great-great-grandmother started. We’ll get to it. One of these years. 🙂

        • I want to see this

    • At last count i had 25 projects-in-progress. Im not a fan of Marie Condo but at least once a year i go through the WIPs to see if they still spark joy…or at worst are so out of style that there is no point in finishing. I recently frogged two Stephen West mystery KALs because one made me cry and want to give up knitting and the other, well after viewing other peoples finished ones, I decided it was not for me. Now i have more lovely yarn and can start more projects. Plus unburdening my conscience about not ever having to finish these gave me bliss.
      PS i do love Stephen’s designs…but these two not so much.
      And Im starting another one of his mystery KALs next month…like Charlie Brown and the football I am!

  • Here’s mine: I really really hate hearing people call a ball of yarn a “yarn cake.”

    • I’ve written down “you shouldn’t avoid things because you don’t know how, you should avoid them because it’s your choice.” This applies to so much right now: work, left turns, etc.

    • I agree. NOBODY should put that s*#^ in their mouth!

    • So do I.

    • OMG me too.

  • I am in love with this post. What a perfect way to start my day.
    PS. I’m scoffing at only 20 WIPs

    • Amen to that!

    • Yup!

    • Likewise!

    • Thank you!! I so needed a good laugh!

    • Who’s counting? Waaay over 20 if you aren’t just four ting knitting.

  • Best post. Loved this article. I have 4 projects staring at me – I stare back

    • My husband works in a college library. When they were discarding reshelving carts (3 shelf rolling units) he brought one home. It holds 6 project bags per shelf. Project bags contain the needles, yarn, pattern. It has 18 projects. Yes, that’s the secret I don’t share with the knitting group.

      • I’m jealous.

      • Love it!

      • What a supportive husband you have!

      • OMG! I’m a librarian. Why have I never thought of this??? And would anyone miss a book truck (what my library calls the carts) if I figured out how to fit one in my car??

      • Genius!

      • Im a college librarian too. Never saw carts being discarded but now im going to alert my colleagues that im in the market for one! I alreadt have a card catalogue cabinet in my studio. It holds my straight needles, extra heddles for my floor loom and lots of ither fibery tools. What a genius idea using the cart is.

        • Love the reuse for One of those handsome cabinets!

    • I have to agree *partially* to the variegated yarn statement, much to my own personal shame. Not that I’m going to stop using them- or buying, or spinning and dyeing my own- but I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been duped with some stunningly gorgeous, perfectly balanced color ways only to end up with a pooly, messy color massacre that looks more like my three year olds paintings. I’m pretty sure I’m guilty of hoarding skeins for eye candy- some for almost 10 years- precisely because I know it’s prettier as “potential* (another dangerous hoarding excuse I use)

      • I am in the same camp. I have a closetful of onesies because. Just because.

      • I put those “treasured” skeins on a cup rack and hung it as art. I’ll never use those yarns but the look really pretty hanging there.

      • Yes yes yes! A whole lot of artisan dyed yarn is a crock. But not all…. which is which?

      • Variegated yarns are always designed for knitters. They look wildly different when crocheted. As a crocheter, I still can’t decide whether I’m happy or pissed off about this.

      • I know that feeling! Sometimes I have paired an unsuccessful multi with a strand of solid. The two knitted together can calm down the visual chaos.

  • “simply tell them it’s a vent” this made me laugh out loud!!
    The no swatching and multiple projects I’m consistently guilty of

  • Thank you for this great post! Loved it. I haven’t counted my WIPs recently but did just talk myself out of beginning the Clerestory Shawl yesterday due to my other WIPs. (Note: I did wind one ball of yarn. . . Hoping that would motivate me to finish one project. . .which was the deal I made with myself in order to begin this next project.). Well, now I’m rethinking that decision. . . I have three days off now and think i will begin this time off by first winding the rest of the yarn – Lichen and Lace in “Pressed Flowers” and then casting on and joining the Open KAL.

    • Do it!! You know it helps us all to see every iteration of the Clerestory Shawl –even if it joins the WIP pile.

      • thanks! I was able to wind yarn, cast on, and knit about 50 rows (helped that it started with four stitches). I will take some time today or tomorrow to figure our how to post a picture!

  • I love this article and this community. Thank you for writing this, Samantha! I am also a devoted “knotter”. When I make something for myself I leave the 2″ tails floating on the inside, not even bothering to weave them in. As far as I know, no one has ever been able to tell!

    • I was worried…a disclaimer!
      What a great set up for an hysterical article.
      I was laughing out loud. A very fun start to the day.

  • This is GREAT!!! I’ll be chuckling all day thinking of this!

    • I suddenly have “swatching” shame.

      • No shame, Diane! I swatch, too. We’re cool. The non-swatchers are cool. We’re all cool. 😉

        • I swatch. I do it proudly. I encourage beginning & returning knitters to develop the habit. I work out gauge, make mistakes, change stuff, play with color. I keep my swatches. They’re handy for that bit yarn needed to darn a hole at elbows, cuffs, elsewhere in beloved old sweatesr I had knitted ages ago. I stitched some of ’em into a crazy blanket (like a quilt, but easier). I’ve frogged many a project idea after swatching. It reduces the amount of aggravation, guilt & other negative vibes in my life. Viva las muestras!

        • I fantasize about having the ‘swatch job’ at a yarn store – not that I swatch any of my own yarn. I just think it would be the best job ever.

      • My “swatches” are what more enlightened knitters would call “sleeves” or “pockets” or “a matching hat.” Always seeking the middle ground. 😉

  • Hilarious! It is such a relief to find out I’m not alone!!! Now in the final throes of the Virtual Affiknity Retreat, I now have a multitude of WIPs to add to the multitude waiting for me here…!

  • I’m keeping my confessions to myself, but I appreciate the morning laugh! In fact I may bookmark this so I can laugh again later!

    • Yes! Holly’s comment fits me perfectly! It was wonderful to read Samantha’s words and to giggle first thing in the morning. Thank you.

  • This is so brilliant! You had me howling with laughter so hard my daughter had to come and check on me! I can’t decide which one I like best! Thank you for sharing. I’m bookmarking this one for if I ever need cheering up 😀

  • So much fun. Especially number of WIPs. Some days the only thing holding me back from casting on new things is that all the right sized needles (and I have many) are already in use…

    • Sister!

    • Amen!

    • Yes, Jacqui! But I solve this crisis by going to LYS for extra needles…. and end up with more yarn, too.

      • I resemble this as well! No sense letting a little thing like needles hold you back! 🙂

      • My pastor mentioned me in church, about my multiple WIPs and needing new needles. Because they are stuck in WIPs. Off to LYS for more needles (and yarn, can’t resist). 🙂

      • Yes, yes, yes! My sisters are here!

        • I hate bobbles. They remind me of knitted on warts.

      • And think of all the good you are doing, especially now. Those LYSs need all the support they can get!

    • Very cute! I don’t have strong opinions about knitting, spinnng, weaving etc., because I do them the enjoyment, not drama. Not about my work and certainly not about others’ work. I just realized my closest knitting friends don’t either so I’m lucky that way. Just say no to the drama.

      • Amen, Sister! Knit or do not knit. There is no other. We knit in company. We knit in solitude. We knit for others. We knit for self. We knit to participate in creation. We knit for joy. [Please insert handwork of your choice – crochet, bead, weave, spin, cook, plant, weed, carve . . . ] Endless variety. Endless joy.

    • That’s why we buy multiple needle sets!

    • You need to collect more needle sets!

    • Oh, I’m so there! I’ve been known to call the LYS to order another circular because I can’t find the one I know I have. I do have to confess that when Covid started, I went through the house gathering all my WIPs and spent a glorious week reclaiming the yarn and washing it. It was a most satisfying feeling. I’ve completed 3 1/2 sweaters from the reclaimed yarn. It’s almost as good as shopping for new yarn!

      Thanks for the giggle this early in the morning.

      • My husband threatened to scour the house for errant needles, yarn, and stitch markers and SELL THEM BACK TO ME!

  • I hate felting.

    • Me too!!! It’s so unpredictable I can’t stand it (I have felting supplies galore from when I tried liking it)

    • I’ve never felted anything, because I think the whole idea is stupid. Why spend so much time knitting something, only to ruin it on purpose?

  • I was on the verge of tossing nail polish bottles, wow, good thing I didn’t! LOVE this! And I not only have too many yarn WIP’s to keep track of, there’s the quilting side too… if it’s beautiful fiber, it’s in my hands!
    I do swatch, though. And I’ll never make another pair of socks without a hefty dose of nylon in the yarn. Because darning socks sucks. And the part that’s darned will just need darning again. What a waste of time.

    • WOW, do I hear you on nylon-dosed socks and the pointlessness of darning. Waste of time indeed!

    • Never throw your nail polish! There’s so many crafty things you can do with it (including emergency repairs to hosiery!) Tired, tarnished rhinestone/glass jewelry, give it a blast of color with some nail polish. Rough spot on a bamboo/wooden needle or hook, enamel it with some nail polish until you can deal with it properly, also good for personalizing or color coding the handles/ends of your hooks or needles, never be stuck looking for your needle sizer because the size has rubbed off (you can also make pretty patterns with those nail art pens!) Personalize some comfortable (but maybe a little dull) thrift store sandals, DIY colored soles anyone? Confession, I’ve also use black nail polish as an emergency patent-leather shoe repairer before funerals and job interviews, and many a time I’ve used it as a makeshift glue substitute including for the cable on a set of circular needles because I really, really wanted to start a new project (p.s. it’s been for years and it’s still a WIP but those needles are still holding up, shame the stuff doesn’t last on your nails as well). For us crafty people nail polish is our friend…just because I can’t stop using my fingers long enough for it to dry and not end up all over whatever I’m working on doesn’t mean I should stop using it at all.

  • One of the best articles here ever! Love the combo of naughty and great ideas; going to finally clean that dryer lint trap today! Hahaha

  • “Swatching is for suckers” will be my new t-shirt line.

    • Same.

    • I need this on a t shirt!

    • Do it and I’ll be the first to order! What’s even better about it is that no one but a knitter would get the joke. Just think of all the wink-wink’s and thumb’s up you’d get when you wore it.

    • This line had me really Laughing Out Loud! I wish I had thought of the T-Shirt line. Please let me know when you have them available! Swatching is for suckers! Just cracks me up!

  • I’m packing to move and corralling up the WIPs is darn near a full time job! What a fun article, I’ll be chuckling all day. Thank you!

  • I have so much yarn I’ve forgotten why I bought some of them. One I waited so long for (back ordered) I forgot why I bought it. It’s the shade of blue that makes my eyes look almost black so I am looking for the perfect project for it…Or so I tell myself…

    • I have one skein of “combed mink hair”; what in the world did I think I would use that for?

      • a mink toupee?

  • The contents of this post made me laugh out loud! I agree: Swatching IS for suckers!

    • I am not an experienced knitter, and I have been learning knit socks on dpns. Hubby (and his friend) goad me with how expensive this “sock” is. If they only knew. I have a credit card that my hubby doesn’t see, and everything on it last month was yarn, needles, patterns, knitting notions or knitting memberships. He suspects, but mostly just shakes his head. He wouldn’t stop me, but just seems better to not fully reveal.

      • Hand-knit socks may be expensive, but they are also *priceless*! Hubby will understand once you’ve made a pair for him 🙂

        • Am enjoying all the “knitters confessions” – good therapy.
          So much yarn and WIPs here at my house from decades.
          Another addiction of mine is collecting and buying patterns. Books of them.

      • Totally can relate to this! I mean, husband knows I probably spend a “certain amount” on yarn (the house is small, the stash is large and hard to disguise) but I find it’s better not to mention any actual numbers

        • My husband’s hobby is wood-turning. What he spends on exotic wood and specialized tools more than balances what I spend on yarn and needles. We both benefit from this agreement!

        • My husband restores antique tractors. Definitely more expensive than yarn

      • I resemble this comment… or rather my husband and I do… I don’t ask about his art supplies (he is a painter) nor his D&D maps… and he doesn’t ask about the yarn… needles… stitch markers… patterns…

        As for swatching… if fit matters… like a sweater… I swatch… if it doesn’t… like a shawl then I don’t. I was infinitely thankful I had swatched my last sweater when I decided I was going to steek the armholes. I wanted to see if the superwash wool would steek fine if I needle felted it first. I used my swatch to try it first and it worked great so I steeked with confidence.

  • I do a lot of stranded colorwork; I never trap long floats, ever!

    • Amen to that! If it’s good sticky wool they will just felt together anyway. I trap when I feel like it. I’ve been known to go 25 stitches without catching the floats. It’s all up to you! No rules!

      • Preach it!

  • along with variegated yarns, I feel that speckled yarns have had their run and need to go away now. Far, far away.

    • Me too. I feel kind of betrayed when one of my favorite designers comes out with a pattern featuring variegated/speckled yarn. And they all keep doing it lately. At least it keeps me from starting more new projects…

      • Ditto

    • Truth.

    • Me too sister!

    • I thought it was me !

    • So many speckled yarns look like vomit. Deliver me from speckled superwash yarn.

      • Thank you!!!

    • Yes! Make the speckled yarn go away!

  • I swatch as I go. If it looks like it’ll be way off, I start again. Swatches lie, I tell you! I use a steam iron to block. I say “skayn” instead of “skeen,” and (for cross stitchers) “Ayeeda” instead of “Ada” for Aida (I was a music major and Verdi would roll in his grave otherwise).Brioche and I are still working out our issues. We need couples counseling. I wouldn’t even think about intarsia and I’ve been knitting for almost 57 years now (and boy are my hands tired….).

    PS I have about 100 projects, more than half of which are on the needles. I figure I’ll have them finished or frogged before I kick the proverbial.

    • I would love to meet you, Joan! You are funny, and we pronounce things the same way. And you mitigate the shame I feel about the fact that I can’t actually count my works in progress. Nor do I intend to!

  • Lmao love these true confessions! Thx for this article Samantha. I’ll definitely be using some of these myself. Nail polish on knots…genius!!!

  • Brilliant! Just brilliant!

  • Love this! I think the IG link might need to be checked? Took me to a sports club. I searched and easily found Bobble. Comedy and crafting. Breath of fresh air. Thanks, Samantha.

  • You make me smile

  • I have many wip’s, but I’m moving across 2 provinces and don’t know anyone and it’s approaching winter. So I’ll have lots of time to finish them. Plus I want to do some weaving now that I’ll have space. I’ve NEVER swatched. I don’t hate any part of the knitting process – because – maybe it’s my personality but it just needs to get done. I weave ends in as I go, and when it’s done – it’s done, except for the sewing up which to me is exciting because then you can see it all come together. Happy Knitting everyone and stay safe 🙂

  • I agree about the variegated yarn. I’ve bought too many beautiful skeins of variegated yarn that turned into sheer ugliness once I actually knitted them up. Also, my personal confession is that I think knitting socks is insane. Why go to all that effort to make a work of art to hide in your shoes?

    • Variegated yarn almost always looks good with Feather and Fan stitch. I also don’t knit socks for the same reason.

  • Truth!
    Confession is good for the soul!

  • Such a fun way to start the day. –But…this is serious enabling and I am weak…

  • I adore the lesson about “if I make it for myself and it doesn’t fit – I gift it.” It helps if you have sisters and cousins in all different sizes and shapes… and they all like blue. The good news? I don’t think any of them have discovered MDK, quite yet.

    • You can always donate to charity auctions too. Now to figure out how to make yarn tax deductible…

  • I agree swatching is for suckers. I always say “It will fit somebody”

  • Thank you, Samantha. I am going to share your post with my knitting group this morning. One of us only knits scarfs and fringes every one, our fringe queen. What a great way to start the day with your humor. I have a 40 year old wip on my needles, a Scandinavian yoked sweater that only needs yoke finished. I started it when I was 35 lbs. lighter….maybe this year….

    • Fringe frightens me Tassels are tempting, but a tassel is just a come-on waiting to break your heart, and pom poms are hateful little teases that stick their tongues out at you and laugh behind your backs. Sour-grapes-talk, I know. But it is what it is!

  • I spit felt my ends. No knot and no dangling end.

    • Rachel please explain « I spit my felt ends »

      • Also called spit splicing and I do it, too. It only works with feltable yarns (wool/animal fibers and not superwash), and is a way of joining in a new yarn with no weaving and no knots. You can do an internet search for tutorials, but the gist is that you fray about an inch and a half of each yarn end, pulling out a few strands from each side if you want to reduce bulk, then “moisten” the yarns as your conscience (or immediate company) dictates, overlap the ends on your palm and rub your hands together briskly enough to generate friction, which will felt the yarns together. Then you go right on knitting. Magic!

        • I think pompoms are a waste of yarn. Although, that isn’t much of a confession because I say it all the time. I have NEVER swatched. I love myself anyway. I know how to block. I choose not to. However, I have no stash of WIPs. Maybe that is my true confession. I get anxiety if I start another project before one is finished. I actually buy other people’s WIPs from second hand stores and finish them for donation.

      • She didn’t say that! She’s referring to spit felting, not felt ends. Aka spit splicing.

    • If it worked for Elizabeth Zimmermann, it works for me — especially if I’m working with Rowan Felted Tweed

  • 1) What is a hot glue gun? 2) No knitter should be called a sucker—a particularly nasty epithet in the Trump era.

    • Or, (a gentle suggestion, it’s up to you) we could decide not to let Trump own that word. And someday things will be better. I’ve heard tales of this legendary hot glue gun but decided not to give in to temptation. Easy for me since I don’t mind weaving in ends, etc. Plus there’s no way I’m making a rug out of yarn. Why would I need to make my own rugs when I have Wayfair? 🙂

  • Thank you! I really needed a laugh this morning and you delivered!

    • Fray Check works better than nail polish, and it dries clear. Just use sparingly!

      • I use fray check too.

      • Fray Check! One of my favorite things! Especially for knit knots, although with good wool I do attempt to spit felt.
        Also, that Tunisian hook I bought many moons ago, works like a champ for the hair in the bathroom sinks!
        So inspired, I had to immediately leap up and wind a ball to start a new WIP, but I also have to admit my darkest secret.
        I collect toilet roll tubes (only the FL double roll orange package), which fit my ball winder Perfectly, so I can wind big skeins of worsted or fluffy yarn; it gives me an added inch plus on top.

        • Very smart!

        • Brilliant, love that idea!!

        • Genius!

  • LOVED LOVED LOVED this!! Thank you!

  • Hilarious!
    I’m obsessed with floss tube, and I don’t cross stitch. In the last month, I’ve ordered 4 cross stitch patterns and some over dyed thread. I DON’T CROSS STITCH

    • Use them for color work patterns!

      • A sampler sweater! Hahaha!

  • I LOVE these confessions! If our crafting had to be perfect, we would never start anything!

    • I have said, for a few decades now, if anyone notices a mistake or some other problem in my knitting (and in days of yore, my sewing, quilting, counted cross stitch, or other stuff-that-I-make), they DESERVE what they see and should just keep their observations to themselves, goldarn-it! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. So there. Nyaah nyaah nyaah! Phhhhtttt.

  • Started my morning with good laughs!

  • At a present “ripe age” as a person and a crafter, I can identify with most of these confessions! I purchase digital downloads, like the MDK Carol Feller issue, and then fall prey to cluelessness on how to retrieve them for use or reviewing! Also, I’m moving this week to a tiny apartment, in a brand new state where I know no one near by,and I am obsessed with which corners to use to stack my 15 bins of carefully inventoried luscious yarn.Of course. I will have used up most if it by spring for quarantine knitting in the fall and winter!

    • Lol, Emma,just remember you are not hoarding—you are planning ahead!

  • When I started up with yarn again, I decided to crochet a huge blue and gold blanket for football games. I went to Michaels and bought HUGE skeins of synthetic yarn, got a quarter of the way thru and stopped. This was so many years ago, and I’m still staring at that awful yarn. I don’t have the heart to throw it away, but would anyone want it??

    • One of my knitting group adores collecting yarn like this, to hold three strands together and use a humongous crochet hook, to make cat beds for local shelters.
      She gets the yarn from Dorcas and other donation centers.

      • Thank you! I’m on it!

      • I make cat beds too. I realized if it doesn’t need to be fitted, I don’t need to swatch. So i make squares and rectangles.

  • The “hole is a vent” made me snort coffee. Thank you for the laughter and the sinus cleansing! Reading the list REALLY improved my self-esteem.

  • I love the admission in comments that someone has WIPs going back to 1973 – yes!! That is just the admission I need!

  • Laugh crying to start the day – yes!!!

    • I giggled at several of these but the heifer one got a snort as I imagined it in my aunties ever so sassy tone.

  • Most variegated yarns DO only look good in the skein! LOL! I love granny squares (only for afghans), and despise fringe. And I hardly ever swatch.

    • Those variegated skeins are so deceiving! And yet I’m often fooled and purchase them, only to be disappointed. Sometimes the only way to use them is to hold them with a strand of a solid. Or they sit half used in the time out/reject bin.

      • I’m with you. I know it’s wrong wrong wrong, but they are so beautiful in the skein, I keep buying them. I think the secret is knitting them in something other than stockinette stitch so you don’t get that nasty zigzag pattern. Maybe crochet (a la Sophie Dugard) is the answer. I’m fine with speckled. Confession: After a lifetime of snorting at them, I have a strange desire to make a granny square blanket.

        • Or try knitted linen stitch. It’s kinda magical with variegated yarns.

  • I was a sewer before I became a knitter.Sometimes I sew sweaters together the way you do in sewing with right sides together instead of the “proper” way if it isn’t going to show. Lightening hasn’t struck me yet but I always worry someone will know!

  • My true confession – I get anxiety when my sweater quantity stash gets more than 3-4 sweaters ahead of me and my other stash gets 3-4 hat/mittens/wraps ahead of me. I’m very anxious right now. And I get anxiety when I have more than 3-4 wips. I envy people who can buy and start things without worrying about “When am I going to use it?” or “When am I going to finish it?” It sounds so lovely and freeing.

    • Gailk, I’m on your team too. I like knowing that I can be the boss of something, my knitting and stash had best behave! My kid and my cats and my students now, they get my patience and flexibility.

    • Me too! I am really trying to bang through my stash during this pandemic! I have four kids, and their activities have dwindled to practically nothing— I have no excuse. 🙂

  • Hee hee, I have to agree about the granny squares and variegated yarn.

  • Life is too short for brioche unless you’re at a bakery.

    • hahaha yes!

    • I know how but I choose not to!

    • The PERFECT response for this thread!

      Thanks, guys, for starting my day off so well. I no longer have to feel guilty about all the WIPS I found when I packed up to move last year, incorporating too many needles, nor all of the yarn I keep buying even though my stash (severely pruned as it was before the move) still takes up three shelves of storage cubes.

  • Embroidery on a sweater — just no.

    After all those hours of knitting and blocking and sewing up, do you *really* think I’m going to waste more hours embroidering when I could be wearing the damn thing?

    Thank you for this safe space

  • The confessions and commentary are hilarious!

  • If your goal was to make me feel better about myself and my “shortcuts” then mission accomplished! Thanks for the laugh!

  • L O V E ! ! !

  • Granny squares: No! (My actual granny made me a granny square vest in the late 60s. No then, not now.)

    Variegated yarn; The commentor is right. It only looks good in the skein. Unless it’s tone on tone, and even then – no!

    But Pandemic has at least gotten me thru all my sewing WIPs. Still have a hat and a sweater. And stash.

    Shawls—not for me. Not lace, either…

  • I’ve also been knitting almost 58 years. My confession: I keep buying yarn. More and more and more.
    I have a stash to keep me going into the next two lives.
    I also have every gadget ever made for knitters. ( most of them are totally useless)
    I only have two wip on the needles right now. I’m a slacker.
    Very funny post! Thank you, Samantha. Just got your blog. The IG account took me to a sports something…

    • Jane x you are a woman after my own heart – i can say ditto to everything you wrote!

  • Love this! But I have to admit I have an admittedly irrational anti-glue gun stance.

  • HA – this was so great. So many WIPs. Left Twix vs right Twix. Not weaving in those ends. Honesty wins all. Awesome read, Samantha. <3

  • I love these!

  • Great article. Glad to know I have company in the # of WIPs department. Haven’t counted recently but I don’t think 20 is too far off. Also, I do not like pom-poms or fringe, and sometimes when I encounter a knot in my working yarn I just keep right on knitting. If it doesn’t show, I leave it.

  • This was wonderful. One question, though – why on earth would you count your WIPs? Who needs to know?

    • Hahahaha!!!!

  • I feel so validated. This was way better than therapy. Thank you!

  • Thanks for all this excellent advice. Off to order a Tunisian Crochet Hook—never knew How useful they are!

    • Whoops! Found SEVEN Tunisian Crochet Hooks among my existing supplies! Who knew? One now has a permanent place on the dryer.

      • I have one, too, and I have no idea where it came from. But now I’m going to put it in my toolbox, with the screwdrivers and wrenches! Obviously, that’s where it belongs!

  • I loved this post! “You shouldn’t avoid blocking because you don’t know how. You should avoid it because it’s your choice.” is the most intelligent advice ever!! I fall on the “do it all the way the experts tell you to” technical end of the equation, but now I can see there is much for me to learn here 🙂

  • Thank you for this. COVID, smoke from wild fires, and the election are making me cranky. This list of secret vices made me laugh. And I’m not admitting to anything!

  • Hilarious. I add: you can have enough needles as another myth/misconception. The counting of WIPs is a guilt-ridden exercise for the weak of character. I refuse.
    Respectfully,
    Yarn Slut

    • Thank goodness.

      I was frantically searching the comments for one like this!

      Confession: I have so many knitting needles, and they are most of the time in such a tangle, that most of the time it is Just. Easier. to go out and buy a new needle than to look for the one I need.

      • Haha. My many many sock dpns live in a drawer All mixed up together and it takes me longer to fine 4 the same gauge than knit the sock! If I can find my needle gauge that is….

      • Lol, you go girl! Time saved that you could be knitting is worth it!

  • I can’t believe how much of this spoke to me. I’m not intimidated by blocking, but that was funny. The last time a cake of yarn tortured me was the last time, and now I wind all of my yarn, by hand, into a ball. A ball of yarn is the best yarn, sitting inside the project bag so it doesn’t roll away. There.

    And a special thank-you to the genius who showed us a practical use for that discarded Tunisian crochet hook. I’m relocating mine to the laundry room today.

  • Oh, that was so much fun!

  • Wow! I pretty much agree with (and do) almost ALL of the above!

  • LOVE IT!!!! Here’s my Unpopular Opinion:
    I like acrylics.
    Not RHSS, but quality acrylics. Yes, I also love luxury yarns and use them when budget allows. But even if I had a skazillion bucks, I’d still choose quality acrylics for kids’ clothes, baby clothes, and anything knitted for charity. I find that I wear my machine-washable sweaters more often than the ones that have to be hand-washed.
    I like acrylics.

    • ABSOLUTELY!!! Death by washer- not anymore! Darning socks? I don’t even know what that means! Any kind of texture you can imagine? Under $10. So while my luxury yarns sit on the shelf waiting for that *perfect* project, I’m plowing through wool-ease and LB mandala, because even if it’s not perfect, or even great, and *more often than I’d like to admit* a complete fail, who cares?

      Thank you to all of the crafty, crazy, color obsessed yarn moguls for validating my own bad habits. This was a wonderful way to start my day!!!

  • My confession: I started knitting again at the beginning of the whole pandemic thing. I am NOT a good knitter! And I only have the bandwidth for dishcloths. I have sooooo many completed wonky dishcloths now since knitting them does really help with anxiety. But I can’t pay people to take them! My friends are just flat out saying no to dishcloths. Someone suggested sewing them together to make a blanket but they’re all different sizes and that seems anxiety making in itself. I am so embarrassed by this but I keep knitting!
    The whole process seems so helpful I hate to give it up. I keep hoping someone will come along and want 50 wonky cotton dishcloths for something.

    • Dear Coleen Marx — Find nicer friends. I Cannot imagine refusing a hand knit cloth no matter how wonky it turned out. Who doesn’t want some love in their home????

      • Really! Or use the wonky ones yourself—I do. But between my sister, my mother-in-law, and the rest of my family, I have eager takers for dishcloths, no matter what size, shape, or color.

    • For a touch of “outsider” interior decoration, you could hang them on a string like Tibetan prayer flags.

    • How about donating some of the dishcloths, and moving on to scarfs? I’m the opposite of you re dishcloths. I would like to be a person who knits them, but I just can’t do it.

    • Cloths always come in handy even if they are wonky. If it makes you happy and relieves anxiety keep doing it. It’s definitely not something to be embarrassed about.

    • Can’t give them away? I love the knitted and crocheted dishcloths (or spa cloths). Roll them up, tie them with a ribbon, and donate them.

  • Great post to start my day. It leaves me smiling!

  • WIPs, as far as Im concerned, are LOs (learning opportunities). If chosen to be finished, brownie points. LOL

  • OMG! This is the first post of yours I have read! Where have you been all my life! I need more!

  • Oh, I so totally agree about variegated yarn! This confession made my day. In fact, all the confessions were liberating. A great article!

  • Delightful and so true! Thanks for a fun start on a Monday.

  • About all those WIPs and UFOs, I love what the Indian Hills Community sign (on Facebook) says:
    I NEVER
    FINISH ANYTHING
    I HAVE A
    BLACK BELT IN
    PARTIAL ARTS

  • Just hilarious and spot on!

  • In my humble opinion, MDK curates the very best yarns, patterns, and contributors!!! Thank you Sandra. Ann & Kay (and those who help y’all): you rock!!

  • This was the best. post. ever. I currently have approximately 15 WIPs (could be more – I really haven’t counted). Confession – sometimes a project makes me crazy so I put it in a bag and a time out – the time out could last for years! LOL.

  • These are so very funny, and so right on! It’s good to know that many if my guilty secrets are actually known and by other crafters. The “varigated yarn only looks good in the skein” is one I seem to need to learn over and over.

  • Ha! Some great ideas. 🙂

  • I quit making swatches when I realized that my gauge from beginning to end of the project changes. So…sometimes my first FO becomes my swatch before I rip it all out.

  • I’d say my worst confession is I hate weaving in ends so much that I let a project – one of my first, a simple chunky garter stitch scarf using huge blocks of color in a repeating pattern – sit 99.9% finished in storage for 12 years. It took moving cross country to infinitely cooler climes, my partner saying “Hey, make a blanket. No, not an afghan. A full bedspread style blanket,” from the Granny Squares I was making (140+ effing squares later, WTF was I thinking), and spending about 3 weeks weaving almost 300 ends in on endless Granny Squares for me to finally say “Okay, I can do this.” Plus side, I now have the most ridiculously thick, warm scarf for my native Northern climate. Down side? The Granny Squares are in a tub under my bed. Have a feeling sewing them together is my personal Everest.

    • oh I think I need to do a post or a you tube or something on my method for granny square making which leaves NO LOOSE ENDS as you make….

      • I fell under the spell of the Hue Shift Afghan kit on Knit Picks website. It was on sale and was soooo pretty. I claim temporary insanity because it requires weaving in approximately one million ends. Haven’t started it yet. Insanity continues because comments indicate that the kit might not quite include enough to finish. Therefore, I have purchased an entire second kit of yarn just so I will have enough to weave in. I have now lost interest entirely in this project, and the box makes me tired just looking at it. Sigh.

  • Weave in the ends, or knot them, just as long as you SECURE them! I had an aunt once that crocheted an entire sweater for my daughter’s birthday, and I later discovered (to my great horror) that she didn’t weave in or knot, but apparently just CUT OFF each end, so that the whole sweater was unraveling in different places!! My daughter never got to wear it. There was no saving it, so I donated it (someone can reuse the yarn I figured) and I never told my aunt. She never asked, thank goodness.

  • I cannot stop laughing….

  • SNORT went the coffee through my nose. HILARIOUS! Thank you for the spark of joy in my day. And also, thanks to several of the posters who validated important aspects of my crafting existence. I now feel empowered to speak my truth: variegated yarn is only good for socks. Nothing else. Ever.

  • I have more yarn than I will ever use. I buy, I inherit, or accept other folk’s yarn de-stash. I’m trying to catalog it all on Ravelry. I’m a little over halfway through and have 168 items. And so many partial skeins! I must face facts: I AM a yarn store. I have placed myself in timeout.

    • Jennifer J, you are a brave woman. Even thinking about cataloging my yarn in Ravelry gives me hives. Funny thing, I can’t remember my spouses birthday, but pull a partially used yarn out of my stash and I can tell you exactly what I used if for.

      • Karen, same, girl!! I have found some partials to catalog and I just get my yarn info from my project page! Easy-peasy! I dread figuring out the unlabeled partials, though. Ugh.

  • All these comments and no one has latched on to “re-create a faux fur rug using yarn” – HELLO LATCH HOOK RUGS!! Gave me a flashback and I almost peed my pants! Now tufting is the hot thing but I can’t stand the noise of the tufting guns. I’m “allergic” to glue guns. I guess you REALLY wanted a faux fur rug! Agreeing with many of these comments. Thanks for the laughs!

  • Nail polish? Why the heck did I buy Fray-Chek?!

    • It had never occurred to me to use FrayChek on yarn! Now I’m wondering if the 30 year old FrayChek left over from my cross-stitch days would still work.

  • The heifer comment and “learn to block so that you can choose not to” had me laughing out loud! Thank goodness I was alone; I shudder at the thought of trying to explain the humor to any non-knitter

  • OMG. I love that you did this!! I love the honesty and caddiness of the whole thing-thank you! You totally made my day!!!

  • More Samantha please!

  • My confession is a follow up to the person who doesn’t block. I know how to block, I know it makes things look better but I still don’t do it very often. So I guess my confession is: I block things by wearing them.

  • I don’t often swatch, but there are times when the yarn doesn’t have stitch/row information. Then it’s essential. I knot ends because it’s quicker, but I weave them in eventually (especially if it’s a gift). I choose not to block unless it’s obvious that the item needs it. As for using the outer or inner end of the yarn, either is good for me. I have a device called a Wool Jeanie that allows the yarn to unwind without the ball rolling on the floor. I also have a yarn holder that I use on holiday where you have to use the inner end fed through a hole in the top. As for WIPs, I have 9 amigurumi, 6 knitting and a few embroidery. All of the embroidery WIPs date back at least 20 years. One of the knitting WIPs is also more than 20 years old, but that’s because I bought the wool in Orkney, didn’t buy enough and couldn’t get more until recently because no Internet shopping in 1995!

    Love the article. It made me laugh. Having read some of the comments, I know I’m not alone. And I’m not as strange as I feared. Thank you!

  • This is the first time I have visited your page and this article has me hooked. I am a swatch dodger and have many oversized UFOs to prove it!

  • Love love love. And I loled for real.

  • I have read MDK since almost the very beginning, and I’m pretty sure this is the best column ever! Thank you so much!

  • I’ve lost count of my WIP’s ☺️

  • Loved your post!! A number of these confessions resonate with me – many WIPs, ain’t sayin’ how many; hate hate hate fringe; and have been known to make something for myself and then “regift” it when it turns out not as expected.
    However, I freely confess that:
    – I >>despise<< glue guns since I burned 8 out of 10 fingers once making a wreath. I understand that it was operator error, but burned fingers HURT!!
    – I love weaving in ends. I find it meditative.
    – I ADORE variegated yarns – I can't get enough! Long or short color runs, speckling- I love them all!
    – and although I have many skeins of luxury yarns, acrylic also has a piece of my heart. I crochet a lot for donation, and they like the acrylic's ease of care. There are quite a few acrylics that are luxurious feeling, easy to work with, and have a wide array of colors available.

  • Oh I loved this. As long as the yarn makes you happy…..even if all it does is look back at you from the skein!!! and yes multicolored skeins can be totally different when knit up! There used to be a ravelry thread for this…

  • Brooklyn Tweed’s (i.e., Jared Flood’s) Noro striped scarf pattern is the best use of variegated yarns I’ve ever seen, no matter what brand or type of yarn you’re using.

  • I knit shawls, scarves and cowls galore but don’t wear them because most of my clothes have patterns,too. I love variegated yarn and don’t care if it pools. The comment about bobbles looking like warts made me LOL so hard I woke my husband.

  • I thought I was the only one. Variegated and speckled yarns are the devil. They look so pretty and enticing in the skien. You knit them up and they turn into an ugly duckling. I do love a good fade tho.

    • Totally agree on the variegated yarn. Beautiful in the skein, but when worked up looks like that ghastly space-dyed fabric from the 70s.

      My confession: a stash beyond all reason. I keep it listed in a spreadsheet—current total is 700+ skeins!

  • These were great! I love it!

  • Laughed out loud!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you! I’ve found some soul-knitters!

  • I refuse to even try to knit smaller than 6 stitches per inch. That oughtta be small enough stitches for anything! I tend to knit on the looser side, so to even get 5 stitches per inch I have to use pretty small needles. But if I fall in love with something small-gauge, I knit a smaller size at whatever gauge I feel like.

  • I keep being sucked into buying more variegated yarn, so appealing in the skein, but immediately so unappealing in a ball. I have dozens of these faux pas. It would’t be so bad if they weren’t all at the high designer end of the price scale..What do other people actually do with variegated yarn apart from stranding it with a plain colour to tone it down, or using it for display? It really is a terribly addictive, but totally useless yarn fashion fad that we have been sucked into. I can’t be the only one who keeps buying it because its so pretty! There are only so many scarves and shawls you can make as a one-skein project.

  • I have knitting wips, quilting wips, cross stitch wips, weaving wips, embroidery wips, sewing wips. None date to 1973 but some date to the 1990s.

    Thanks for the belly laughs!

  • Hysterical! Validation! Agree, variegated yarn looks the best when still in the skein. Speckled yarn too. And I thought it was me all along not liking the popular kid.

  • WIPs from 1970 and a few more have been added since then. Tie my ends together and knit or crochet them in as I go, 1 each way from the join.

  • So many of these confessions ring true for me:
    – I hate fringe (it seems like such a massive waste of yarn in my opinion)
    – I gift stuff that doesn’t fit me right/doesn’t feel soft enough against my skin or when held up against my face the color suddenly make me look right.
    -“Pandemic Finishing” is a thing? I thought lockdown/quarantine was the perfect time to START new projects despite the thirty or so WIPs that are secreted about the house (some of which are there because I didn’t swatch, ran out of yarn and couldn’t find any more of it.
    – I never swatch…I feel like I should know better by now, as pointed out several of my WIPs are still WIPs because I ran out of yarn, which I’d have known would happen if I’d swatched first. Also my mum clearly never swatched either, she went for bulkier yarn and sized up her needles accordingly to knit me a nice cozy cardigan for starting primary school aged 4. I wore it on my last day before heading up to high school, aged 11.
    What else:
    – I’m ALWAYS buying new needles and stitch markers because they’re tied up in other projects. I started knitting/crocheting
    -I’m also guilty of being more likely to finish crocheted projects first…they just seem to work up quicker even with the same weight yarn.
    – I also never make fingers (except thumbs), mittens, convertible mittens, fingerless gloves, arm warmers, I’m addicted to all of these and will happily modify patterns to suit this habit, I must have about around 20 pairs in my trunk of ‘winter stuff’ and of course, I’ve gifted probably close to 100, I also have some lighter pairs made from sock yarns that I keep in my bag for the office, but I’ve only ever made 1 glove with 5 fingers, that’s right not a pair of gloves, 1 glove, and it’s been languishing alone, and unloved for so many years I can’t even remember what pattern I used, it was a printout and I have no chance of finding the original, I do make little half-fingers that stop at the first knuckle now so that’s progress right?
    -I am guilty of buying ‘mystery bundles’ of yarn online from sites like ebay and facebook where the ballbands are missing etc, I buy them with the idea of working these odd, often beautiful vintage yarns into my ‘epic sampler afghan’ which I intend to be the size of a king-size quilt when I finish. The trouble is I’m actually allergic to most wool (yeah I know, but I’m fine with merino wool. Other wools make my hands break out in hives and dermatitis, I’ve managed to improve my tolerance over the years so I can use 10% blends and even some 20% blends) so many of these balls end up never being used and find themselves relegated to the dark corners of my house until I can find someone I can gift them to.
    -I hoard laceweight yarns. I love laceweight yarns…at least the look and feel of them, I love the beautiful intricate patterns of the shawls I intend to make with them, but I do not love the time it takes to work them up. I do not love spending 8 hours completing 72 rows of intricate, complex knitting counting every stitch, every row and looking down to realize I’ve only don’t about an inch of knitting. But does it stop me being beautiful skeins, balls and cones of lovely lace? No, of course it doesn’t.
    – I vacuum pack my yarn (it really doesn’t affect acrylic or cotton in anyway) not to keep my precious yarn safe from humidity and bugs and the like, but so no one can tell how big my stash has gotten.
    – I hate when people tell me I’m purling wrong – it’s called combination knitting people, it’s a thing, look it up. Though I’m actually purling ‘correctly’ on my current sweater because it didn’t look right my way and I had to frog it twice which I suppose wouldn’t have happened if I’d swatched (eye-roll).

    I do weave in my ends though, I’m rather fanatical about that but only because I know I pick at any and all lose threads…except hats, if you get a had from me expect to find at least one knot on the inside.

  • On works-in-progress: There is always hope. For my dad’s 90th birthday, I tied and bound a flower garden “quilt” made from a top hand-pieced by his grandmother, who died in 1955. (I was born in 1951.)

    • This made me smile. Even if I don’t finish everything, there’s always the chance someone will finish something. Unfortunately my mother and aunt were not the sentimental type, they tossed everything my granny hadn’t finished in the bin or sent it to charity (though having seen pictures of some of the things she made for me before she passed I’m not sure my skills could ever do them justice). I hope I raise my own kids to be more appreciative of the time and more importantly the love that goes into hand made things.

  • I like to sew my sweaters together on my sewing machine or serger. Plus I do like to start something new instead of finishing something old.