It’s both, damnit

Last Saturday during my Toronto day, I met up with Austen for lunch and knitting time, and among other things the conversation drifted towards that ubiquitous question of being a process knitter or a product knitter. She came down firmly on the side of product knitting, for herself – she wants the finished thing, to wear and use and immediately integrate into her wardrobe. I agreed that I have product knitter tendencies, though often in a very different way. I always want to be able to wear the finished thing, but mostly I want to just finish the thing; I like having it done and knowing that it is complete, successful, and something to check off my list as done before being able to move onto something else. (Side note: maybe what I really love isn’t the Finished Product feeling, but the Being Able To Start A New Project feeling? Hmm.)

But at the same time, I can’t shrug off the process. I love knitting, and I especially love knitting that isn’t boring. I need to reach for something that’s going to engage my mind in some way, even if it’s a repeating 2-row pattern or a ribbed sock that makes me stop and work heels and toes every so often. I like knitting that asks a little something of me.

I mean, why else would I not only design a pattern with stabby twisty tiny cables for Kim’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer yarn, but then go on to knit the pattern not once, not twice, but three times? That’s definitely process and product working together. I love working the cables, but darn it all I want to show them off, too.


It’s true. I did one as a test sample, one as the real sample, and then this third pair here as a variation. In the pattern instructions I let people know that one way to modify the sock is to omit the swooshy diagonal across the instep, and simply continue the leg cable chart all the way down the front of the foot. It produces a more classic look and is possible a bit more versatile for both men and women looking for some cabled sock action. So I decided to actually go ahead and do that myself, and snagged another skein of Kim’s Merino Sock (you can’t have just one), and cast on. This deep purple is lovingly named ‘Edward Discovers Wood Chippers Make Excellent Juicers.’


Same delicious stake-through-the-heart cables as in the original pattern, just more of them to love. And they are toasty and comfy to wear. I’m glad I finally got around to sewing up the toes on these babies, because spring’s the perfect time to show off new socks – no longer buried under boots, but still cool enough to need the layer.

As luck and timing would have it, the pattern is now available not just to Indigodragonfly club members (I did this pattern for the October 2010 installment), but in the form of a kit. (The pattern will be available individually through wide release in my Ravelry and Patternfish stores, as of June 15th.)

No matter what you’re knitting on this weekend, I hope you enjoy both product and process! Happy Friday.


  1. Beautiful sock, and great name for a yarn color, too.

    Does this mean that you’re a fairly monogamous knitter? Most knitters I know wouldn’t have any issue with starting a new project, even if the current one isn’t done yet! Me, I like to finish before I start a new one, or I’ll never come back…UFOs will multiply like tribbles and take over the house.

    Congrats on your sock pattern re-release!

  2. Oh, I’m definitely a multi-project knitter! Though if I get more than 3 or so on the needles at once, it does start to stress me out a bit and I feel the need to finish things. I always need at least 2 to go back and forth with!


  3. Nicole T · ·

    I was wondering… you mentioned in a post a few months back about how all the socks you own are handknit. Do you run in your handknit socks, too?

  4. Good question! And that is in fact the exception – I use wicking running socks for running.

  5. The yarn color you used has the greatest name ever.

    These are definitely socks to show off in spring shoes.

  6. Val Champ · ·

    Love the colour a member of the Indigodragonfly club I love the names of the yarn. My hubby waits for me to open the package just to see what Kim has named the next installment.

    I think that the name of this one made him a bit nervous..LOL

    Great socks and they were a great knit.

  7. Those socks are GREAT!

  8. I don’t know when I changed – because I totally used to be a fussy-cables, fancy-twisted-stitches knitter. But as I knit more (and possibly as I get busier) I seem to get more drawn to endless swaths of garter stitch and plain things that I’ll want to wear often.

  9. Love the color!

    I’m not sure what type of knitter I am. Maybe I could say I’m both. When I first started knitting (and crocheting), I pictured myself making all these things for people, and people flocking to me and asking me to make things for them.

    But then I came back to reality, and decided that if people want things, I will make things for them, but I am going to make things for myself and things that I would wear first and foremost.

    I think this is realistic, and also, cuts down on any disappointments!

  10. I love the process and the product. I do love the act, it relaxes me but then I love to show it off.

  11. Lovely yarn, great pattern I have a weakness for socks and fingerless mitts(not quite sure what that is all about yet). I’ll have to get my hands on that kit.

  12. Maureen O'Danu · ·

    I was just telling indigodragonfly that I plan to do a sock pattern and yarn review based on the last post she did (it should be up in a couple of days, but I’m behind).

    As for process or product, absolutely both. I’m working on the Anjou sweater out of French Girl Knits right now (look it up on Ravelry) and I’m stuck because at the end are over 200 kitchener stitches, and I’m nearly done, so hell approacheth. But boy, do I want that sweater, so I must endeavor to perservere

  13. I’m DEFINITELY in the product knitter camp. There are few things I enjoy more than saying “I’m finished with _______”. I think because so much of my day to day life is never finished. The laundry is never finished, the house is never finished, the yard is never finished, I’m never finished being a spouse or parent. It’s what drew me to cooking and baking first and now knitting. The ability to say “I DID that.” instead of “I’m doing.”

    I love those socks but this product knitter does NOT have the patience for those!

  14. […] and they're instantly wearable. And unlike sweaters or shawls, I wear socks every day. I'm an unabashed product knitter, and I believe that while making something beautiful is important, making something useful is […]

  15. […] instantly wearable. And as opposed to sweaters or shawls, I wear socks every day. I am an unabashed item knitter, and I feel that even though making something stunning is critical, generating some thing […]

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