Creative Fatigue: Knitting swatch fails
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Fighting Through Creative Fatigue: Focus on the Basics

There’s nothing like a sickness to mess everything up. In mid-July I suffered a heat stroke. Over the past month I have been fighting. Fighting illness, physical fatigue, mental fatigue, and creative fatigue. Honestly, it’s been terrible. I was stuck. I even was stuck on creative ideas I had before the heat stroke. Once I was sick, I could not complete the concepts OR move forward.

Push Through Your Creative Fatigue

Just do it? Push through it! You can do it!

Unless you can’t. I mean, sometimes you can’t.  I tried to push through. And here’s what happened.

I cast on again and again and again. Only to come up short and unsatisfied. This image shows a sampling of the swatches that didn’t make it.

The stack of terrible swatches was proving to be more than I could bear. Each failed attempt making the block harder and harder for me to work through.

Take a Break!

“Take a break! Run away with us for the summer!” If you sang that line, we MUST be friends! Hamilton Fans Unite! 

Fan Art by Ellen Urten Click photo for more

Taking a break is NICE. It’s more than nice it’s NOICE!

For a week, I stopped knitting entirely. I rested, slept, watched TV, listened to music, read books. I just stopped all knitting projects.

If you follow my IG, you can see that I didn’t have any posts for a couple weeks.

However, this also didn’t seem to help. It made me feel terrible! I love knitting. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Is that crazy? Sure, I listed a bunch of things that I did, but none of it was knitting.

It was nice, but just not the thrill I get from knitting. It has become such a part of my daily life that, without it, I felt like I was missing something.

Focus on the Basics of Creativity

I have too much yarn. I know that’s not something a fiber artist is supposed to say. But between you and me, and PLEASE do NOT tell my hubby I am saying this. But I have TOO MUCH yarn. It’s everywhere. It’s filling up drawers, and baskets, and bins, and bags. And yet, I constantly want to buy more yarn. More and more yarn. It’s so pretty! It’s so soft! It’s so fun!

So, I decided to use up some of my stash yarn. Two birds, one stone – get rid of some yarn and hopefully work through this creative block!

I began with opening up my Vogue Knitting Ultimate Stitch Dictionary, grabbed some yarn and kneedles and just knit. Not a pattern. Just blocks of different knit stitch patterns. For about a week, I cast on and knit up swatches of nothing. Block after block of knitting.

The Final Push Through Creative Fatigue

I closed the Vogue Knitting Ultimate Stitch Dictionary. I picked up some beautiful variegated yarn that I have quite a bit of, some knitting needles. The first thing I decided was to cast on with the lace cast on. If you are unfamiliar with this cast on, you should check it out.

After I cast on, I just started knitting. The next thing I knew, I had pushed past my creative block. I had a new pattern idea. I finally was able to swatch for the blanket I promised my niece, AND figure out how to finish a pattern that’s been hibernating since March.

Coming out the Other Side of Your Creative Fatigue

I just want you to know. No matter what your creative block is, no matter how many different ways you try to get past it, just remember to never give up. Just like Aaliaya sang to all of us children of the nineties, “If at first you don’t succeed, Dust yourself off and try again. Dust yourself off and try again.”

Happy knitting Everyone! See you soon with new patterns, tutorials and all things knitting!

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