Sunday, August 31, 2008

Finding the P-Spot

The other day we had a new member attend our knitter's group. (Welcome Judy from Oregon)! While she sat chatting with me, I was frantically working on finishing the final bottom strip of my Striped Modular Vest.

Judy brought up the familiar process v. product discussion. She stated that she is a process knitter, and that like me, she is a relatively slow knitter. It set me to thinking, once again, about where I rest on the process v. product pendulum.

A year or more ago, I probably would have said I was very much a "process" knitter, as knitting for me is enjoyable, relaxing, and I'm not in a race to get it done. Also because my very favorite thing to knit in the WORLD is lace, and especially shawls. For me, knitting a shawl is a pure act of concentration meditation. Knitting lace pushes aside any anxieties, worries or random annoying thoughts. I am fully being and doing and breathing during that delightful zen-like process.

But what is surprising to me is that more and more, I see myself moving toward the PRODUCT side of the spectrum. Why? As I gain knitting skill, the outcome really IS important to me. That's why I so often knit for myself - I really really want the Finished Object, either for myself or a dear friend or loved one. And how it turns out is important. That's why I am so disappointed in disaster projects, such as the Talia. Ughhh!!!!

Nothing delights me more than when a project turns into a perfect marriage of design, yarn, color, texture and being flattering on the recipient as well. What a a gratifying feeling when it all comes together. Pure Magic. The project doesn't have to be perfect mind you, but it has to feel right in all the major elements that are meaningful to me.

Granted, you can't always predict the projects that will really hit that RIGHT spot, but I am getting better at finding that P-spot (perfect project spot).

I'm getting better at spotting the YARN for THE PROJECT to create better results. Getting better at noticing when it's not coming together so I can add the missing element or frog the whole thing. I'm no longer satisifed with keeping or giving away things just to finish them and have them off my needles. If the project isn't right, I have to either fix it or frog it. My yarn and my knitting time are much too valuable to waste on a poorly executed Finished Object.

So where do you fall on the pendulum? Have you found your P-spot?


Elysbeth said...

It's some of both, I knit as a Jewish Rosary (process) but as part of that, the finished product has to be worth my time and effort. I definitely will rip if something isn't right (look...more free knitting) but I also won't keep knitting if it's not enjoyable or there's absolutely no hope of it looking like anything but toadskin.

Sadly I joined the YOL only to have it all be yarn that my fingers can't deal with, so it very much is about the process.

CeliaAnne said...

I'm a product person. I am more concerned with the finished object than how I got there. However, I view all handwork as a period of time I am thinking about the person receiving the FO. So maybe I am a little Process too.