Any time you have a group of people who operate together in a thing, they are likely to come up with their own language and verbiage to talk about things or each other. From the outside looking in a term like “Selfish Knitting” or being called a “Selfish Knitter” sounds terrible, since our society is geared to have a negative opinion of someone who is selfish. In fiber circles, however, a selfish knitter or selfish knitting are the terms used to describe making things for yourself. Again, I think perhaps this came from a societal idea of the kindly grandmother giving everyone she knows a knitted item. And so the terms are born, and used lovingly and happily by crafters.
There is not a thing wrong with selfish knitting. Not – a – single – thing. But I struggle with it sometimes. Again, there is a history with me and selfish people (and again I make the distinction – there is nothing wrong with being occasionally selfish, or looking out for yourself … my history is with people who constantly felt/choose to put themselves and their wants over other people in their life [me]), so the idea of me being a selfish-anything is a struggle. But there is also the piles of WIPs I have. A lot of it was projects started for me, but there are quite a few that are gifts or commissions for other people. So every time I knit something, or even think about wanting to knit something for myself instead of working on these things … the guilt kicks in.
Now, The Before Me (whether you knew her or not) would probably choose to put aside selfish knitting desires, no matter how difficult it was, and attempt to knit these other projects. I’m not happy, and it’s being knit into these gifts (I’ll write later on knitting energies and thoughts on that); I’m not excited about knitting, so I’m taking longer to finish these projects (if I even pick up the needles at all); and I feel miserable in other areas of my life because I’m not knitting, I’m not happy with what I’m knitting, and it shows.
But I feel a change in the wind. I’m listening more to what my soul is saying, and trying to balance giving into all desires and being a responsible adult/knitter. My knitting mojo is lacking – those closest to me know it (I’ve talked about it), it’s obvious in my lack of posts/updates in the last month. Everyone knows why this is happening (I mean, it’s quite obviously because The Thing is happening), and I’ve given myself time to not knit, seeing if that would help (it did, a bit, I guess). Now some things are helping to feed my mojo – I finished a knitted thing, and felt proud and happy and accomplished to get it off my needles. I started a cross stitch project, giving myself permission once a week to take a day off knitting and work on it (so guilt-free stitching!). One of my favourite groups on Ravelry is starting a swap, so there is something to be knit for that. Mojo is coming back … but it was pointing me in the direction of a project I wanted to start for myself, not the other gifts I have going.
New me, evolving me, responsible me looked at everything and made an Executive Decision. I’m giving into the selfish knitting. I’m making the cowl for myself – a colourwork project with yarn I bought on my birthday that I’ve been dreaming about making for months. I’ve made a compromise to myself – I can knit this thing, either as long as it makes me happy or until it’s done (whichever comes first), and at the end of that I pick up a commission or gift and finish it. If need be, I will keep on this schedule until all these projects for others are done (off the top of my head, I think the running total is 6 either in progress or needs to be started). Hopefully this proves to be the best solution to restart my mojo and have me cranking out projects and get me back on track to promoting myself and my knitting (as I am no where near where I wanted to be at this point, but it’s understandable because of The Thing).
So I’ve already cast on for my project, and I’m about to join it in the round and starting the ribbing. I believe this cowl will be amazing, based entirely on the colours I picked.