I Don’t Do Mindless Knitting

Beautiful winter sunset with snow and trees

Now that “the holidays” have come and gone (you mean Christmas?), and all my decorations have been taken down, there is a certain sense of quiet that has pervaded my house. Winter quiet. Where there’s nothing much to do outdoors except walk my doggers; and some days are SO cold, once they’ve done their thing they turn and let me know they just want to go back home where it’s warm!

January is a good time to catch up on my knitting. By that I mean, go through all my unfinished works and finish them. A scarf, an afghan, a placemat, a sweater, another scarf, blocks to knit for another afghan, AND to see what else I will be making in the year 2016. (Or is that in the year 2525?)  😉

A few of my projects are very easy knit stitches, but I wouldn’t call them mindless knitting. In fact, along with yarn bombing, mindless knitting is another term I don’t like very much.

After all, where else do you hear anything else that is a hobby called mindless? !!

There is no such thing. Oh yes, some knitting stitches can become very familiar; so much so that you can watch TV and knit at the same time and not drop a stitch. Why so insulting to such a beautiful craft?

I just finished this pretty scarf, knit in an eyelet pattern.

Pretty turquoise scarf

It’s easy but it’s not mindless. You have to keep track of your rows and your stitches or it will become a mess.

Here’s the pattern for my Turquoise Eyelet Scarf:

Size 10 needles and yarn of your choice. (I always like a soft acrylic)

Multiple of 2 + 2

I cast on 32 stitches.

Rows 1-6: Knit.

Rows 7 and 9: K1, *yo, k2tog; rep from * to end, k1.

Rows 8 and 10: K1, *yo, p2tog; rep from * to end, k1.

Anyone who’s familiar with knitting stitches knows that a “yo, p2tog” is a little different from “yo, k2tog.” You’ve got to bring your yarn all the way around and loop it to where it seems to be going around the needle again, but it doesn’t. You cannot work it as a “k2tog” because you won’t end up with that extra stitch!

In other words, you have to pay attention. That’s not mindless.

One of my all-time favorite knitting patterns is the  “feather-and-fan” stitch. You can make ANYTHING with this stitch. For Christmas I made my 3 year old grand daughter her own “sparkly red afghan” which she uses all the time. Upstairs or down, it’s never far away for those moments when she likes to sit and relax as the afternoons start to wind down.


It’s made in feather and fan. I’m thinking that you could do up a slew of afghans in just that one stitch pattern and take them to a craft fair and be quite successful with them! Colors, textures, and yarn fibers; it’s a winning combination.

Does that look mindless to you?

I didn’t think so.  🙂

Knitting is nourishing. Not mindless. It’s not only good for you it should be required to learn in school! Imagine all the good that could come from it if all kids learned to knit! For the homeless, for animals, for gifts, for overseas relief, and etc.

Now comes what I perhaps inflatedly call my philosophy of knitting. Like many philosophies, it is hard to express in a few words. Its main tenets are enjoyment and satisfaction, accompanied by thrift, inventiveness, an appearance of industry, and, above all, resourcefulness.
Elizabeth Zimmerman

This lovely lady helped to give us modern knitting. There are many books and patterns you can find with her name on them.
This book entitled “Knitting Without Tears

is from 1973 and it still will teach you all you need to know about how to knit. To become a nourishing knitter. To make a difference in your life and lives of those you know.

I don’t do mindless knitting. How about you?

Why be a mindless knitter when you can be a nourishing one!

As always take your knitting to heart!

Glitter heart





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  1. Julia Dawn Mason says:

    Hi Alice,
    I am still knitting another pair of gloves for a former boss I had when I first started doing the crossing guard job. I had made her a pair of mittens years ago and she said they were looking kind of ratty. So I asked her if she was allergic to wool and she said no so I told her I would make her a pair of gloves. I told her that even if they get wet, you can squeeze the water out of them and they will still keep your hands warm.
    My daughter in law sent us some more pictures of Hunter and Tyler. Hunter was fascinated by the paper his gifts were wrapped in. He has grown so much since I saw him in May.

  2. I would like the pattern for the red sparkly afghan that you have pictured above. Can you stir me in the right direction? Thansk.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      That would be your classic “Feather & Fan” stitch. It is a multiple of 18 stitches. I usually do afghans in 126 stitches but they can be wider or less, whatever you like.

      Row 1: Knit.
      Row 2: Purl.
      Row 3: (K2tog) 3 times, (yo k1) 6 times, (k2tog) 3 times. Repeat this across the row.
      Row 4: KNIT.

      Repeat these four rows until desired length. NOTE: I sometimes do a “longer” version. I knit Rows 1 & 2, then I knit Rows 1 & 2 AGAIN. Then I do Rows 3 & 4. If you choose to do that, just remember to knit it the same way every time.
      One of my favorite patterns and definitely something that looks good anywhere!
      Alice Seidel recently posted…I Don’t Do Mindless KnittingMy Profile