Knitters’ Paradoxes

Ever find you have accomplished the impossible? Do you ever wish you hadn’t? Isn’t it funny how often those “wish I hadn’t” cases apply to knitting (or your fiber craft of choice)? I’m currently struggling with at least two of these…

Knitters’ Paradox #1 – The Stash Paradox

I have plenty of yarn in my stash. No seriously. My stash puts small yarn shops to shame. So how is it that in this massive pile of neatly organized yarn I have absolutely nothing to knit?

yarn storage


Knitters’ Paradox #2 – The Sleeve Paradox

It takes me 1-2 weeks of dedicated focus to knit the body of a mostly-stockinette sweater in medium-weight wool and my own size. It also takes me 1-2 weeks to knit a matching sleeve. For those of you following along at home, a sweater sleeve is not nearly as many stitches as a sweater body. How on earth do they always take so darn long? And no, I haven’t finished the first sleeve of my CustomFit sweater yet, thank you very much.

Knitters’ Paradox #3 – The Easy Paradox

Have you ever searched patterns on Ravelry by their difficulty ratings? Every single pattern on Ravelry is “easy”. Garter stitch scarf? Easy. Stockinette socks? Easy. Heavily cabled sweater? Easy. I know the simple answer there is that everything is easy once you’ve learned how to do it, but I prefer to think that Ravelry magically makes everything easy. More on how to choose projects you’ll personally find easy (or just the right amount of challenging) in a later post.

This sweater? Totally easy.

This sweater? Totally easy.

Knitters’ Paradox #4  – The Gauge Paradox

This is a very important project to me, and it absolutely has to fit. So, I sucked it up and knit (or crocheted) a nice, big gauge swatch. I washed it. I dried it. I treated it exactly like I will treat my final project. Then I measured it very, very carefully. If gauge didn’t match up the first time I repeated the whole process, because this is an important project darn it. Now I’m several days into knitting, and what do I have? A big old pile of frogged yarn. Because gauge swatches lie.


Dirty lying liars.

Knitters’ Paradox #5 – The Deadline Paradox

I am knitting something specific for [Christmas, a yarn company, a baby shower…choose your deadline] and it is due on a specific date. I am responsible and planned for this, so I’ve got plenty of time left when I start. Man, this project is really flying along! It’s practically pouring off the needles; at this rate I might even finish early! Two weeks to go and I’m 80% done? No problemo! Wonder what else I’ll knit with my extra time. One week to go and I’m 90% done? Huh, that sure slowed down some, but there’s hardly anything left to knit. I’ll be fine. Two days left and I’m 92% done? What? But I’ve been working on this 8 hours a day! Where exactly are all these stitches going?! Oh yeah, into the Deadline Paradox.

Have you fallen prey to any of these? What other Knitters’ Paradoxes have you encountered?


11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by caityrosey on June 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Hmm. Well there’s the ” I just need to knit a few more rows” paradox. This usually manifests in one of two ways. 1) Asymptotic. You seem to be getting close but not quite there. And it takes forever. Much longer than you thought it could possibly take. 2) You set out to knit just a few more rows and next thing you know you’ve overshot your goal by a couple if inches.


  2. Hilariously true! Especially the “easy” one!


  3. I suffer from all of these! The yarn stash paradox is the killer for me. My stash is full of wonderful skeins, but I just can’t go there. I think it’s because most of my stash is made of up selfish, had-to-have-it purchases. They are the ones you want to stroke and stare at and dream of knitting with, but don’t actually do it.


    • Yeah, I think the problem with mine is all those 1 skein “but it was so pretty!” purchases when I’m mainly a sweater knitter. There are definitely a couple “too pretty to knit with” skeins in there too. I know better, but I keep doing it anyway!


  4. So much yarn yet nothing to knit? Oh yes! Not enough of a certain yarn to make the thing you’ve got your eye on? Oh yes! Keep spying that yarn you love but don’t know what to make it into? Oh yes! Summer’s here but your summer top isn’t ready yet? Oh yes! I think I have parallels to your paradoxes…


  5. I am currently experiencing the deadline paradox at this very moment! Excellent summary of the intricacies (and hidden evils) of knitting!


  6. […] « Knitters’ Paradoxes […]


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