There are just those times when you want to stop and take a break from knitting and everything. Perhaps you experience burnout (because of work and responsibilities) or you’re just looking for something fresh. It can also be the case when you feel like you’ve hit a plateau and no matter how hard you try as a beginner progress seems far off.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter, everyone deserves a break. Perhaps a week or two is already enough to recharge and renew your enthusiasm on knitting. Remember, it’s perfectly fine to take a break because you can come back to knitting anytime and wherever you want.
How to stay motivated in knitting
Well, motivation is needed if a task requires willpower and the reward is not that obvious or immediate. For example, motivating people at work may require reminding the whole staff about the goals and the rewards. It can also be about reminding people about why they’re at work in the first place.
It can be a similar thing when it comes to knitting. We can remind ourselves about the goals and rewards. Perhaps we’re trying to knit a full sweater and once we complete it we’ll feel a high sense of accomplishment. Or we’re knitting something because it will be a gift to a loved one. These are great motivators because it’s an internal feeling. We want to accomplish something and we want someone to feel delighted because of our work (whether it’s a baby beanie or a kitchen accessory). Reminding ourselves of our goal can instantly fuel us to pursue a task no matter how hard or time consuming it is.
That’s quite easy though because in a few hours or days we can actually accomplish something tangible especially if it’s just a small knitting project. You can do a blitz where you level up your pace and enthusiasm for at least few hours. Before you know it you’ve already finished something or your momentum has already built up. The engine is running and it’s just hard to stop. This blitz can build a solid momentum and perhaps even help you go further than you imagined because of the fast accomplishment.
What about staying motivated for the long term? Can you sustain the hobby for several months straight? This is difficult even for the most experienced knitters because knitting is similar to most other hobbies where most of us lose interest if we’re doing it for too long. Even if we’re passionate about something, time will come that we’ll temporarily lose interest and perhaps look for something else that would command our enthusiasm. Even if knitting were already part of our habit or routine, there will be a few days or weeks when we don’t feel like touching the needles and yarn. Some of us might even feel like it’s a burden and we want to avoid it at all cost.
Good news is that most likely the enthusiasm comes back after taking a break (perhaps after exploring other hobbies). There’s just something about knitting that continues to pull us in. Perhaps we feel it’s therapeutic because we’re forced to withdraw from the digital and fast-paced world. Or, whenever we’re doing something creative with our hands we feel relaxed and peaceful. Whichever is the reason, the enthusiasm will naturally come back. You don’t have to force it because knitting has its own pull and appeal.
What if you want to level up?
Many beginners (and some experienced knitters) feel stuck because they can’t get past a certain level or plateau. They already feel bored on knitting hats, scarves and simple home accessories but when it comes to tackling bigger knitting projects, they also feel bored or they get intimidated by the size of the task.
Does this sound familiar? Well, knitting a full adult sweater is indeed intimidating and feels overwhelming. The measurements should be correct and there are specific techniques when working on the sleeves, collar and underarms. All the pieces should come together at the exact place so that the resulting sweater can be truly useful and something to be proud of.
Knitting small hats and scarves feels safe because they’re easy and they don’t require large amounts of time and patience. It’s a totally different thing though in large projects because your motivation and patience will be tested. Also, perhaps at the back of our minds we don’t want to start the big project because we’re afraid we’ll make a mistake (a tangle or we’re halfway already and then we notice a major mistake) or just finish it halfway and never come back to it again. We don’t want to set ourselves up for failure so we don’t begin and as a result we lose our enthusiasm and motivation along the way.
For many knitters what works best for them is to just sit down and knit. It’s quite easy if it’s already a part of routine and they have nothing else to do. They still push through even if they’re not in the mood. It can get really difficult if they feel exhausted from a whole week of work and other responsibilities. The keyword is “overcome” and in many cases they’re able to complete a big project despite the odds.
Another approach is just to let the feeling of overwhelm fade away. Staying motivated every day for almost every hour is just impossible. There are times when you need to take a break (don’t force yourself) because it might be a sign that you’re actually tired. Perhaps it has nothing to do with knitting at all because there are other concerns and problems in the “real world.” After all, knitting seems like an escape (or reconnecting to your inner self) and your mind and body is telling you now that you have to confront the real world first before you can get back to knitting.
Aside from the two approaches mentioned above (just sit down and knit, embrace the break and let the feeling of overwhelm fade away), another awesome approach is to try new projects. Perhaps your mind and hands are just craving for something fresh (goodbye to hats and scarves for now and hello to unique projects with interesting designs). Here at The Aussie Knitting Co you can find some inspiration and actual projects you can take on.
Staying motivated often involves taking a break once in a while or just trying something new. No matter the reason for losing the interest in knitting, you can always go back to the hobby by taking some time off or exploring new projects. It’s all a part of the process of learning how to knit or sustaining the hobby. What’s important is that you come back and enjoy the rewarding activity again.