Process or product

As I’m racing along to finish my Ravelympic projects…despite having little extra knitting time…the (much-debated elsewhere) question that has crossed my mind is whether I really am a process or a product knitter.

What is it I enjoy more, the journey of the knitting, learning and using different techniques, working with different weights and textures of yarns, making a wide variety of objects in many styles?

Or the satisfaction of a finished product, one that can be worn and admired, given as a gift and appreciated,  something useful?

I am definitely not a linear / serial knitter.  I know some people who begin a project and don’t start another until it’s finished. That’s quite a foreign concept to me.   I know others who have start-itis in a much more advanced stage than mine, with so many projects on the needles and nothing quite finished, and they’re perfectly happy with this.  I have a bunch of different projects OTN, but I get many of them done.  Not all, but most.  Some do need to hibernate sometimes. I do have some projects that are finished but not finished…the knitting is done, but the seams/weaving ends/blocking keeps getting put off.  I do want to finish them, I put in a lot of work on them, but….don’t always get around to the finishing touches.

It has been said – and unfortunately I don’t know by whom, because I like to credit my quotes – that if you learn a new technique to make a project, you are a product knitter;  while if you choose a project to try a new technique, you are a process knitter.  OK,  so maybe it’s a combination of the two that I – and most knitters? –  love.  I admit that I am addicted to the process –  I’ve got WIPS in bulky yarn to fine yarn, from fuzzy mohair to smooth bamboo,  from tiny needles to huge needles, in complicated lace, colourwork, cables, and simple projects with rows and rows of mindless stockinette or garter stitch.  (Personally, I like patterns that alternate complicated with simple…makes it more fun.  A project with only garter or stockinette can get on my nerves…the only satisfaction there is seeing the project grow.)  I  can work on whatever project fits the situation or my mood.    But … if I won’t like the finished product, the process itself isn’t enough for me to take it on.  I also love finishing a project and adding it to my wardrobe (or someone else’s!).  I do sometimes work on deadline,  like on a gift for a birthday or holiday…or the Ravelympics!  Sometimes I get so eager to see what it looks like finished already!    And of course, for the Ravelympics I’m knitting for the joy of it but I also want to challenge myself and cross the finish line and be awarded a (virtual) medal.

The same question pops up in many other situations.  I’m a puzzle freak.  There, it’s almost all process.  The challenge of completing it is there, but it’s the getting there that is fun.  Not much to do with a completed puzzle.  Logic puzzles, crosswords,  sudoku/kakuro/hitachii  and the like just get tossed once finished.  Jigsaw puzzles, on the other hand, can get taken apart and perhaps enjoyed again at another time.  With a few isolated exceptions –  some completed jigsaws get saved, perhaps glued together and kept.  This fruit puzzle in the round decorates our coffee table.

It sits on a little stand, except for those occasions when the cat thinks it would be fun to knock it off and watch it roll across the floor.

Who, me?

Naughty kitteh.

So…are you more of a process or a finished product person?  Is your journey something to be suffered to reach your goal, or is your enjoyment in what you discover along the way more important to you?


2 Responses to “Process or product”

  1. Esther Says:

    I’m definitely a process knitter.

    I knit dishcloths just to ‘play’ with a new stitch patterns and I frequently continue a project well after I realise it isn’t what I want or doesn’t fit just to see how the pattern develops.
    I’m relatively monogamous as mood affects my knitting and it I wait a few months to finish a project my knitting style and tension will have totally changed.

  2. kathy Says:

    Process–totally a process knitter here. 🙂

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