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"How Do You Find Time To Knit?"


This is a question I've heard many times. And as often it's formulated as a statement "I don't have time to knit" either suggesting the speaker would like to have the time but they don't or that they are wondering if I have any other life but knitting. And it's not just knitting it relates to, as people also use the same "excuse" for not exercising, reading or doing other things they would like to do or think they should do. People don't want to say they are lazy and that's why they don't exercise enough; it's so much easier just to state "Oh, I would like to go to a Zumba class as well, but I don't have the time!"

"It's easy for you to say, you don't have kids!" is another phrase I hear often. An old acquaintance of mine even went as far as to say "I've been wondering what you do with all your time since you don't have any children!" I tried to tell her I still have to do the same basic housework like grocery shopping, cleaning, preparing dinner and washing clothes like everybody but she just wouldn't hear it. I'm not saying my life with a husband and three cats is in any way equal to having three kids, but it's not like our house is always immaculate and spotless and there's no work to be done. I also have to go to work every day and I even have a second job as a fitness instructor a few nights a week, something she doesn't do as a stay-at-home mother. 

My friends and co-workers often admire things I've knitted but lately I've noticed it has started to get a judgmental undertone suggesting I do something wrong when I do have time to knit, like I'm bragging that my life is perfect and I'm trying to rub it in their faces with my woolen sweaters and scarfs. The questions are nowadays formulated as "Have you knitted something new? AGAIN?" or "Did you knit that as well? WHEN?" Then they start to say I should knit something for them and when I say that I can teach them instead I hear the phrase "I don't have time."


OK, so how do I find time to knit?

I guess it's just a matter of prioritizing. 

I used to think I didn't have time to read and I felt really sad and guilty about it. But when I thought more about why I felt I didn't have time to read I realized I started to read less and less after buying my first smart phone and then my iPad. The time I used to spend reading had been substituted with mindless surfing, clicking and scrolling on these two devices or playing futile games like Angry Birds. I weighted these two options in my mind and came to the conclusion that I much rather read a meaningful and well-written book than pointless celebrity gossip or even worse, spend the time searching and pinning books I would want to read on Pinterest. 


We all have just 24 hours a day. It's just the question how we want to spend those hours. I decided I wanted to read real books so I had to give up the surfing around the internet and Angry Birds to make time for it. I've also given up on things like Facebook, because you can easily spend hours a week on it and I don't think it gives me as much pleasure as a couple of hours of good exercise, like going for a walk or a run. I also try to multitask like knitting and watching TV at the same time. My best friend (who lives in another city) and I also have "phone-dates" when we both go outside for a walk and we talk on the phone all the while. Or if the weather is bad I sit on the sofa knitting and talk with her with my hands-free on. 

And as for knitting, the saying "if I sit, I knit" applies to me. I rarely watch TV unless I knit at the same time. I knit while reading books and news papers (but only if I knit something easy like stockinette stitch or a simple ribbing, and if the book is easy to read). I sometimes knit while preparing dinner; like when you just have to stand there and stir the sauce every now and then or turn the pancakes around. I knit when I'm sitting in a car - but only when someone else is driving of course :) I knit when I'm on the telephone with my mother. Every now and then I'm multitasking and knitting with the TV on and a cat sleeping on my lap and conversing with Magnus at the same time. And sometimes I just sit and knit and nothing else.


I make time for my knitting. It means I've had to give up on some other things I like doing: I used to like playing computer games but I haven't done that for a couple of years now because I rather spend the time otherwise. I do miss it from time to time. I also used to paint and draw a lot but I can't remember the last time I did either of those; that's something I'm sad about and I was thinking about making time for that hobby again. But that means I have less time to do something else. A while back I wrote about not having many friends and I would gladly give up some of my knitting time for coffee dates with friends.

Small things we do on a daily basis don't feel very big or relevant when they are considered only one day at a time but when you start summing things up they suddenly feel huge. Let's say you watch one TV show every day and one movie per day during the weekend. That's not a lot, is it? And then you add one hour of daily Facebook, Pinterest, Ravelry and gossip columns, and a little bit more during the weekend. So that's 5 times 1 hour TV + 5 times 1 hour internet during the work week added to 2 times 1.5 hours of TV and 2 times 1.5 hours of internet during the weekend. Now it already starts to sound like it's a lot more. Let's add it up. So, it's 10 hours of TV and internet during the week, and 6 hours during the weekends. It makes 16 hours a week. That's like two whole days of work. In a month the sum is up to 60-70 hours. Just think of how much knitting you would have done during that time!

"I don't have time" is in my opinion often just an excuse for not doing something. We should be honest with ourselves and figure out the real reason why we don't do it. Knitting for just half an hour a day makes a real big difference if you want to get something done, and most of us could easily spare the time from time we spend on internet or TV. And the same goes for daily exercising: just 20 minutes of  weight-lifting or a 30 minute run is enough to keep you in shape and most of us do have time for that. I guess it has more to do with bothering than having the time.

P.S. Did you spot Luna in the background of the first photo? :)

Comments

  1. Todella hyvin kirjoitettu! Jos on aikaa istua Facebookissa ja somekanavissa niin on aikaa myös niille asioille joille "ei ole aikaa"! Niin se vain menee.

    Minä koen, että minulla on paljon aikaa neuloa vaikka siirryin hoitovapaalta taas oravanpyörään. Olen yksinhuoltaja kahdelle pienelle. Aikaa on kun sitä tekee :)

    Priorisoin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. kyllä jotenkin tuntuu että mitä enemmän kaikenlaisia some-sovelluksia ja muita appeja tuleekaan, sitä vähemmän jää aikaa "oikeille" harrastuksille. itse olen siinä onnellisessa tilanteessa että työmatkani on vain 7 minuuttia kävellen eli siihenkään ei mene hirveästi aikaa "hukkaan". ja yritän käydä kaupassa vain kerran viikossa, koska siinäkin säästää ajan lisäksi myös rahaa. helposti menee liikaa aikaa kaikenlaiseen säheltämiseen ja vitkutteluun, mutta pienellä suunnittelulla saa pitkällä aikavälillä isojakin muutoksia aikaan.

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  2. Hey! Your post really cheered me up! I tend to get those comments from time to time as if I should spend my time 'more wisely'. But then again, knitting makes me a happy and relaxed person so you could say that knitting enables me to do other necessary things (like studying or doing chores) with so much more ease :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean! I usually call knitting my kind of meditation, my "zen". If I have had a bad day knitting usually makes me calmer :)

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  3. People who ask you how you have time to knit are probably surprised at how fast you knit. At least I think you knit fast. I would say I spend too many hours knitting when I *should* be doing something else. Even when I'm working on just one project I knit a lot slower than you. My reaction to your knits is, "What? She's done with that already? And she made something else along the way and teaches Zumba, too? Waahhh so fast!!!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I never thought of it that way :D I guess I'm quite a fast knitter. By the way, do you knit continental style or American/English style? I knit in the continental style (working yarn in the left hand), and what I've read about these two styles, it is usually stated as the quicker way.

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  4. I knit continental, but I think I just knit slowly. It probably doesn't help that I use bamboo needles--the clicking sound of metal needles bothers me!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nämä oli kuin omia ajatuksiani. Hyvä teksti. Ja tuo on niin totta, että kaikki ei ymmärrä, jos on TAASneulonut jotain uutta. Ja mitä kirjoihin tulee, niin viimeiset viikot olen tajunnut ajan menevän instagramin pläräilyyn. Siis Kuinka turhaa. Nyt lopetan sen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tein viime uutena vuotena päätöksen ettei iPadia saa tuoda sänkyyn. Paras päätös ikinä ja ainoa uuden vuoden lupaus jonka olen koskaan oikeasti pitänyt. Suosittelen :)

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