There is a certain classification of knitting that holds a special place of angst in my heart - Bitch to knit, joy to wear - I think many of you will know exactly what I'm talking about. The knit you really want to make because you know it is a garment you will wear for years, almost every day, and yet the actual knitting of it makes you feel resentful every second stitch. Or even every single stitch.
It's a tactile thing. Horribly unenjoyable knitting can be different things for different people, however it is about the tactility of the process of this particular project, not agreeing with you as a person.
It could be that the yarn doesn't make your hands sing (but blooms wonderfully after blocking, damn you yarn) and the knitting doesn't have it's normal flow. For some projects it might be that the yarn sticks to the needles and others that it slips off them. It could be that the yarn is too heavy or too light to feel good for you, creating wind resistance or drag. It might be that the size of the needles you need to use for the project don't agree with your hands - too big, or too small - and you get aching fingers for no reason at all. Whatever the annoying tactile thing this project has going on it means that knitting it is a total bitch.
In my latest case of this phenomenon - I've decided to reknit Vitamin D without the flaps as it is my most worn sweater. I know you have seen it a zillion times on instagram. I just saw on Ravelry that I actually made it five years ago and I love it as much now as I did them. Making a second one in a different colour is an intentional thought-out decision based on the ideas I talk about in my post about Slow Fashion.
One needs garments like that in one's wardrobe - workhorses! I adore the shape and I need a cardy that is blue or grey and has that simple versatility to go with the bajillion blue/grey frocks I have. For days when the yellow is too yellow. It will be an everyday till it wears out garment and I can't wait to have it available to me.
The thing is that I'm knitting it in 5ply alpaca because 5ply alpaca is incredibly light and wearable in three seasons in Melbourne. But no matter how much joy I will feel wearing it, I absolutely hate knitting with it. It is terribly slow going which is always a bit demoralising, but as well as that, the alpaca slips on the needles and drags through the air. It is also a bit splitty which means that I have to look at what I'm doing* on the purl side every so often to make sure I'm not ending up knitting half the stitch. The whole process is simply bloody annoying.
Endurance is the name of the game with a project like this, and it's a good test of your determination to see if you can keep your eye on the prize. And even though I'm an incredibly big fan of the process of making, sometimes the process has little to recommend it at all. In this current case, I'm bribing myself with fun sewing as a reward when I get through a section - I just finished the yoke and as a reward made gym singlet from scraps - and then there is the promise that if I get this finished then I can move onto to something totally creative and fun. I'm going to finish the #oldschoolpattern as my big reward.
Sometimes, just sometimes, and definitely not often, the product alone is worth the angst.
Others might call it product knitting but my title feels a bit more in the spirit of the grind. I think you know just what I mean?
How do you deal with it? Strategies?
*Oh the horror.