Monday, April 23, 2012

Product vs. Process Knitter

Have you heard of the difference between a "product knitter" and a "process knitter"?

(Picture from my Minimalist Cardigan.)

The joyandsmiles dictionary states:
product knitter noun \pra'-dahkt nih'-tur\
one who takes great pleasure in completing knitted objects.

process knitter noun \pra'-ses nih'-tur\
one who takes great pleasure in the act of knitting.

I have thought quite a bit on whether I'm a product  or a process knitter. It's quite confusing for me because depending on my mood, I will switch amongst:

  1. loving every second of the monotony of knitting plain stockinette.
  2. frantically finishing up some stretch of boring, plain knitting to see what my FO looks like. I will promptly prance around in the FO showing it off to everybody (whether they care or not) in as humble of a way as possible. Do they think it's store-bought? Yes! I have succeeded in having very neat finishing.
  3. picking the most complicated stitch pattern I can get my hands on to let my brain revel in the beauty of k2togs, ssks, yos, cables, or (rarely) colorwork.
  4. furiously completing an intricately designed project just to marvel at how clever I am (never mind someone else designed the pattern). Do you see that complicated lace shawl I made? Yeap--I'm that smart.
(Picture from my Paisley Long Shawl.)

Some people are very clearly one sort of knitter or the other. I have friends who love finishing object after object and will often have the cutest little baby hats. Other friends take their time, but will produce magnificently cabled sweaters.

For me, I think my productivity/processivity depends on major things that are going on in my life. Sometimes I need little FOs just to feel like I'm accomplishing something. This will often happen when I'm slogging through a huge amount of studying and we don't have tests coming up. I want something to be done and finalized, so I'll often leave it up to my knitting to feel that way. Other times, (let's say, around exam time) I'm knocking things (exams) out every other day, so long boring stockinette stitch is absolutely perfect to just enjoy the relaxing repetitive motion of knitting. Guess what kind of knitter I am right now.

How about you? Do you find that you're sometimes a process knitter and sometimes a product knitter? Perhaps you're a product/process person! I'd love to hear your views.


  1. What a cute post. I also waffle between loving to finish and loving the process. I am just in love with knitting. period.