Are you a process knitter or a product knitter? Maybe some combination of the two? If you aren’t sure, or you have no idea what I’m talking about, read on for an explanation and to find out what type of knitter you are.
Process knitters are those who knit because they love the process of knitting. These people knit for the therapy, learning, and state of flow one can slip into while knitting. One sign of a process knitter is that they don’t finish every project they start, and so have many WIPs in play and UFOs that need ends woven in. They don’t feel the need to finish everything they start because the joy is in the making of stitches.
I like to think that the knitting process also includes choosing yarn, making swatches, learning how to fix mistakes, and all the other little things that come up during a knitting project. The entire process from pattern selection to binding off can yield countless moments of being fully engaged and present, which is one of the major benefits of knitting. A final product is not necessary for these folks to thoroughly enjoy their knitting.
One part of the knitting process is winding the yarn. I enjoy winding by hand to bring myself into the moment. Photo by Hannah Rose Baker
You probably already understand how product knitters think and behave based on the description of process knitters. These people love having finished a thing they can wear or give, and they finish most of the projects they start.
For a long time, I thought I was a product knitter. The majority of my knitting decisions are based on the item I want to create, and I generally finish all the projects I started. Even though I start all my projects because I want that particular knitted thing at the end, I have learned that I am both a product and process knitter (read on).
Stacks of finished handknit sweaters by a formerly self-identified product knitter. Photo by Hannah Rose Baker
Combination Process and Product Knitters
I consider myself a combination of process and product knitter because both pieces of the craft bring me joy. Firstly, I am selective about which projects I choose to start because I want to make sure I am spending my time creating something I’ll really want to wear or be proud to gift. Then, once I pick the next project to cast on, the entire process from start to finish simultaneously challenges me and is a form of calming therapy. I love finding exactly the right yarn, swatching to get gauge, casting on, knitting and learning new techniques throughout the pattern, and ultimately having a well-made product to present.
So, are you a process knitter, product knitter, or some combination of the two? What do you love most about the knitting process, and what types of projects do you finish the most?
Hannah Rose is a freelance writer, editor, and knitwear designer. She lives and knits in Northern Colorado. Find her on Ravelry and Instagram at @bakeyknits.