We all have l o n g to do lists.

Things to do around the house.

Things to do with family and friends.

Things to do at work.

Lots and lots of lists.

And knitting is no exception. You may have patterns you want to knit, yarns you want to use, and techniques you want to try, or even master.

It is these long, never-ending, lists of things to do that can overwhelm us. And create anxiety.

But have you ever stopped to write a list of things you don’t want to do?

Think of everything you did today. Is there anything you did, that really, you didn’t need to do? Anything that you could have spent doing something else more…productive towards your goals?

Write down at least one thing. It doesn’t matter where. In a journal. On a piece of scrap paper. In a memo on your phone. Just write it down.

We all have 24 hours in our day. No one has more hours than anyone else.

But we can create more time (and take back some control of those lists and limit our anxiety) by acknowledging that there are some things we do not need to be doing and spend that time elsewhere in our lives.

One of the things I used to be guilty of was getting sucked into the rabbit hole of Instagram. But in 2019 I decided enough was enough. I didn’t just stop posting to Instagram. I stopped even opening the app. I instantly had more time for other, more productive, activities throughout the day. And Instagram is no longer a source of stress for me.

This “not to do” list applies to knitting too.

It can be so easy to get swamped by all the different techniques, patterns and yarns available to you, that your anxiety builds and turns your craft into a source of stress, instead of stress-relief.

If you logged into Ravelry to update your progress on a WIP (work in progress), do you need to be scrolling through the new patterns?

If you are really enjoying knitting lace patterns, do you need to be learning about brioche stitch right now?

Have you run out of double knit yarn, found what you need, and are now browsing the aran weight collections?

Think of three things to do with knitting, that you do not want to be doing.

Write them down.

Here are mine:

  • I do not want to learn about brioche or entrelac.
  • I do not want to knit with velvet type or chunky yarns.
  • I do not want to add new patterns to my, already sizeable, collection.

Now that you know the things you do not want to do, you can avoid time-consuming tasks related to them, and you no longer need to worry about doing them.

For example, if I don’t want to add new patterns to my collection, I don’t need to spend time browsing through new patterns on Ravelry. I can use the time I would have spent doing that on something more productive, such as knitting the patterns in my collection that I already fell in love with.

When you choose to include things in your day that don’t benefit you, then you are also choosing not to do the things that do benefit you.

We all have 24 hours in our day.

Knitting is meant to be a source of stress relief. But it is so easy to get sucked into all the options available to us, and all the things that we might like to do, that it can start to become a source of stress itself.

Sometimes we just need to stop and remind ourselves of the things we don’t want. And in doing this, you are putting a limit on that stress and proactively saying no more.

You are taking back control, not only of your knitting but of your life too.

Share your three things in the comments below and you may be able to help others by doing so.

Best wishes, Sam xox

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