When a Knitter Loses Their Passion….

My friend Kara was over last night. I asked her a simple question: “Are you knitting or crocheting anything right now?” She has a grand daughter about to have her first birthday. I figured she’d be pulling yarn out of her hair. Her reply? “Nope…..”

“Nothing for yourself?”


And it seemed to me that some loss of inspiration had occurred. She gave a laundry list of reasons why she no longer felt the desire to make anything for anyone. She didn’t want to spend the trouble making something that would be marred by a Popsicle. She didn’t want to spend the hours working up a blanket in awfully spun acrylic. She didn’t want to spend the energy on something that would be stowed away for years and years never to be touched again.

Her last project had been a mermaid blanket that seems to be all the rage right now. And all I could think was that her finished piece (and I saw it, it kicked ass), has not met with the enthusiasm she had enriched it with in her mind while she worked it up. I could be wrong. But, I sensed it. Her first piece worked up for her first and only grandchild probably has never seen the light of day since it was gifted. That can hurt a knitter. That can kill your passion. Why bother with anything else? Why make the attempt. I mean, there a million things I told Kara she could be making for her precious granddaughter, but they all seemed to fall off her face without inspiration.

We’ve all been there. We’ve been smacked upside the head with a loss of interest when it comes to this craft. Maybe it’s because someone didn’t really appreciate what we made for them, the time, the thought. Or maybe because you’ve done it so much, so often, that it has become (dare I share? … a chore?)

And I assure you, I have those moments, too. So, I thought that would be a great topic for next week’s show. “When A Knitter Loses Their Passion.” You know, we all greedily run to our needles for safety, for security, for comfort. Sometimes our needles and hooks are our best friends, the only ones who really understand us, our magic wands of creation, our artistic enterprise. And there are other times where we just can’t stand to look at the damned things. Our hands hurt, our hearts ache, our spirits are wrecked and we just don’t want to bother with needles and hooks. We don’t want to make things for others….we want to be the ones that people make FOR.

So, send me your stories of when you got cynical about the craft, when you felt it just wasn’t working for you. Because as much as the knitting community loves to hyper extends how loving and endearing and relaxing the craft is, there is another side: when you’re fed up, toss your stash, bury your head in your hands and say, “I’ve had enough.” I want to hear your stories of when that happened, and more impressively, what brought you out of that disinterest and had you running back to your friendly needles and hooks.

You can email me your story in written form if that works. But, if you can, send a video. We’ll find a way to make that into the show. You can use Dropbox and send them to madmanknitting@gmail.com.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.





  1. I have crocheted for over 30 years, knitted for the last 10. I have put it down and picked it back up many, many times throughout the years for a myriad of reasons. What has inspired me to pick it up again also varies. However, knowing your audience, or the recipient is appreciative is a HUGE motivator. In the past when I have crocheted the baby blanket or baby sweater hat combo for the baby shower gift instead of picking some random registry gift and it went under appreciated I felt slighted. It hurt me personally. It would stop me in my tracks. Literally, no creative juices at all. Thru social media I have found some very worthy charities to knit/crochet for and while I don’t know those recipients personally, I know they are ultimately appreciative and grateful for the hand made item. So I now only ‘create’ and give to who I know will know what it took to create it!

  2. It’s unfortunate that there are people out there who don’t value handmade gifts, nor appreciate how much time, energy, effort and expense goes into making something by hand. Once you can find that tidbit of information out, you never have to waste any of your precious time making anything for that person again. It’s much easier to walk into a store and buy something.

    Like the poster above, I have crocheted for the last 38 years and knitted for the last four. When I crocheted, I never, ever made anything for myself. I crocheted blankets for wedding gifts, sweaters for baby showers, scarves and mitts for Christmas and countless squares, bunting bags, hats and toys for a charity in South Africa. After years and years of crocheting, I felt my passion waning. The craft that I valued and relied on as my “zen” activity could no longer give me what I needed.

    Then I discovered knitting.

    Knitting is an entirely different beast. All of a sudden, I couldn’t bear the thought of giving away such beautiful and expensive handiwork, as I had also discovered the value of real and hand dyed wool. I made myself sweaters, blankets, coasters… you name it, I knitted it. Gradually, I got faster and found cheaper wool which allowed me to entertain the thought of making gifts for people again.

    I’m currently working on a blanket for a friend’s upcoming wedding and a hoodie for my son. But I also have a couple of projects for myself on the needles and a few in the queue. It’s hard to resist!

  3. O, how this has now struck a chord…. 6 years ago I crocheted a baby blanket for my now wife’s nephew, in the softest white baby yarn, the softest, yummiest baby blanket to have ever come off my hook… When I bought the white yarn, I saw real “boy” yarn, and decided to buy the yarn to make a second blue and brown blanket after the white one, so he would have a “toddler” blankie too…. I gifted the white one as soon as it was done, washed it with delicates soap, dusted it with baby powder… It was NEVER seen again….. Needless to say the blue and brown yarn was hid in the cupboard as a painful reminder of the rejection I suffered…. 6 years later I know crochet for a charity group and the blue and brown turned into a beautiful C2C.
    People can not fathom the love and effort that goes into a handcrafted item… I saw a meme… Crochet is like sex, if I like you and you appreciate it, it is free, other than that? You can not pay me enough.

  4. I’ve encountered that rude awakening moment when I’ve seen a crocheted or knitted item I’ve made and had given to someone just get tucked away, never used, and then seeing that same recipient just get all ga-ga over some store-bought machine-made whatever! Currently, I’m knitting dish cloths as part of future gifts to each of my grandchildren as they come to their 18th birthday. I’m putting together hand-knit and -crocheted gifts that they can use in their future homes. And I confess I’m knitting with a bit of wariness that these won’t be appreciated. My oldest granddaughter when she visited me had seen what I’m doing. She actually did a little of the knitting on one of the dish cloths. And she’s told me which pattern of hot pads and place mats she wants. Each grandchild will also get a crocheted afghan done in their birthstone color. I’m a bit hopeful but still wary that my work will be in vain. I remember seeing the reaction of a woman who found a dress she made for her then 2-year-old granddaughter in a pile of used clothing for a charity sale. She was upset to find it.

  5. When this happens, I create for those who I know will appreciate what I’m making. I spend my summers knitting hats for homeless missions. Then, when fall rolls around, I send my hat stash with a note: “From God’s heart through my hands.” After that, I’m recharged for the season. There’s nothing like focusing on someone who you know will find comfort from your work.

  6. So a couple years ago my nieces and nephews started having babies, I was so excited for the greats. And had so much fun knitting the first two blankets that I spent hours researching patterns and lovely yarns that were durable, washable and not Red Heart. But then they really got going with six babies in two years. All of those lovely intricate patterns and beautiful tiny yarns turned into knitting nightmares where all my leisure time was sacrificed and even then I couldn’t keep up. So by the time the last blanket was knitted It was fat yarn on big needles in the simplest of patterns. I was also so burnt out I didn’t knit for about a year. As always I was able to rekindle the passion by buying some kitchen cotton in vibrant colors and churn out a few amazing washcloths.

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