Five Stages

I’ve been thinking about it and I’ve come to the conclusion that there are five stages in knitting. See if this sounds about right.

One: Euphoria

This first stage consists of the dreamlike euphoria that one experiences when pairing pattern and yarn. The whole experience is swathed in excitement over the potential, the vision, the awesomeness that promises to be. This euphoria reaches it’s peak as the stitches are first cast on to the needle and it slowly fades as the knitting progress.

Two: Doubt

As the euphoria begins to dissipate, the doubt creeps in. Will this really be good? Will it fit the intended recipient? Am I getting gauge? Are the colors right for this pattern? As the rows build one upon the other, the doubt is either quieted or enhanced, but it doesn’t go away. Throughout this second phase, no matter how gloriously the project is coming together, a wheedling doubt tickles in the back of the knitters head and doesn’t let up.

Three: Wandering

Somewhere between cast on and bind off, after the euphoria has worn off and the doubt has taken root in the mind, many knitters experience the wandering. This stage consists of a great deal of time on Ravelry looking at other projects and patterns, feeling guilty about not finishing the work in progress, and ignoring the fact that she hasn’t actually worked on it in quite a while. Not all projects experience this third phase – quick projects skip right over it – but the longer projects are destined to muddle through, and not all make it. The wandering knitter may cast on something else with full intention of returning after a little break. Sometimes this is death for the knitting in question and sometimes this leads to a terrible case of startitis (especially for me). But, sometimes, she returns and then she enters the fourth stage.

Four: Determination (or Denial, depending on the project)

This is the stage of a knitting project in which the knitter puts aside the nagging fears and the wandering eye and decides to slog on. She knits, determined to reach the end, not caring anymore if the result is even going to be any good as long as it is a finished project.


The last stage can go two ways. Either the knitter casts off that final stitch and holds up a masterpiece, or she holds up a disaster. Blocking is sometimes employed to turn the disaster into a masterpiece if it can be done. This final stage has a wide range of possible emotions from “so excited! Look! LOOK! See what I made?!?” to “I wanna die! I spend how much of my life, my time, my money, my life…?!? Ahhhhhhhh!”

Where are you in your current WIP? I’ve got startitis….