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Topic: Getting past instant gratification  (Read 1699 times)
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SpecialKRJ
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« on: September 07, 2009 03:21:45 PM »

This might seem kind of weird to see in a knitting board, but I'm a beginning knitter, and I've noticed that it takes a good while before my knitting starts to actually go anywhere. I want to learn new things and make things that I can enjoy, but I've got the same problem that a lot of people have nowadays. I'm impatient. I have to finish things quickly so that I can show off what I've done. And in a lot of cases, if I can't get something done quickly, I get frustrated.

I've figured out that the reason for this is that these days, everything is fast. Internet connections are high speed, we all eat fast food, talk to friends through instant messaging, many meals are instant (and yet I still get irritable having to wait three minutes for the microwave to go off!)

So my question to all of you is this: How do you overcome the impatience? Or are you like me, with tons of half-finished projects lying around neglected?
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soozeq
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2009 03:49:00 PM »

Most knitters have some UFOs sitting around because they get intrigued with another pattern or yarn and start yet another project. At some point, they usually get finished. If you're a process knitter, you just like knitting; a product knitter wants to get a finished item done. Some of us are a mix of both.
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sue
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2009 05:28:19 PM »

I'm from a different age, I have to admit, but what I love about knitting is the process, watching it grow, watching the needle go in and out, even after all these years of knitting (50+!) it still fascinates me.

I do have many projects going at the same time, as well, just for variety and also for different situations (i.e. commute, home, work all have different projects). So maybe you can have more than one project going just for variety.

For those who want to have something grow quickly, who aren't yet into the zen of watching it grow stitch by stitch - try some of the large needles with large bulky yarn.

Having said that - knitting can't really be an instant gratification thing (except perhaps for machine knitting) - at least to my mind it is more amenable to the meditative mood, the quiet time, etc.!
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Aislynn
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2009 06:12:55 PM »

I knit for relaxation.  I sew for instant gratification.  If I want to feel accomplished with my knitting, I make a dishcloth, or something with chunky yarn and big needles, like a hat.
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SpecialKRJ
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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2009 07:38:39 PM »

I guess sitting for a while and just knitting and knitting will eventually get me past the impatient stage. The ironic thing is that I'm so impatient to get PAST the impatience.
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soozeq
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2009 07:51:35 PM »

I'm a VERY impatient person, but ironically, have a lot of patience with knitting. I'll take out a near finished or already finished item and re-do it because it's not quite right.
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sue
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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2009 08:09:03 PM »

I don't know how old you are, but I can say this:

I learned to crochet when I was very young.  I played around with it for years, and was constantly getting excited about it and then realizing I couldn't just whip something out, and setting it aside again.  When I was in high school, I gave it one more good bit of attention, never finished a single thing I started, and put it down "for good".  It wasn't until I joined Craftster a decade later that I started crocheting again, and within 6 months had also taught myself how to knit.  (You can still see my first knitted project somewhere around here on Craftster.)  In the meantime I'd had a child (and if there's anything that teaches you patience, it's that) and grown quite a bit in myself.  I think I really just needed a little more maturity to get past that impatience.

Then again, I started back up with small, quick projects, in double-strands and GIANT hooks, and I didn't get very ambitious right away.  It wasn't until I really sat down and looked at what I was doing, and got excited about the way fiber works, the way shaping works, the nitty gritty of the whole genre of crafts, that I really developed the patience to get through projects.  I got into the technical aspects of the craft(s) and even learned how to spin and started reading textile history books.  And even so, I still work on lots of little projects while larger and more complex ones languish on the sidelines. 

So I don't think there's really any way to get over the impatience.  I suppose that really examining why you knit, what you want to get out of it, would help, but you might actually discover that for now you SHOULD only knit fast things.  If you will get more satisfaction out of small or fast projects than out of larger ones, then stick with those.  Who says you need to knit a sweater, or socks, or a 9 foot long scarf?  Knit what makes you happy.  And if you do really want to get to those more imposing projects, then you will, because you'll find something about yourself and your interest in the craft that helps you.
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SpecialKRJ
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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2009 08:52:34 PM »

I'm a VERY impatient person, but ironically, have a lot of patience with knitting. I'll take out a near finished or already finished item and re-do it because it's not quite right.
I do that too! I've done it twice with the thingy I'm working on now. I think part of it is also not wanting to be done yet. Which is kind of strange, because I'm impatient to get to a certain point, and then I go back...

Actually, I just realized that much of my impatience is in wanting to show off my stuff, and I have to force myself to wait until it's done before I take pictures, so that it will be an all-at-once type of unveiling ... thing. Once I got to thinking about it, I'm a really impatient person, but when I am working on something I care about, I tend to lose track of time and spend forever on stuff that most people would probably whip through. So I guess what this is all about psychologically is my wanting to get the most out of crafting stuff, appreciate it at its fullest. Who knows, maybe that's a sign that I've reached the peak of enthusiasm for any given thing, by wanting to be even more enthusiastic.

Regardless, I've decided to spend more time with my dogs by just sitting with them and knitting. ^_^

So, tl;dr: Impatience is patience. Or something.
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SassyRedhead
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2009 06:33:28 AM »

I'm like this too, I started a vest a while ago, my first garment, and got impatient and put it aside. I've been working on hats and gauntlets and other small items for Christmas presents, and all those small projects actually made me really want to do something larger that I could really work a lot on, and now I am finishing the vest. If you are the sort of person who is able to spread your focus, having multiple projects going at once may be great.
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