In preparation for Woollinn Dublin, and I’ve been adding to a Ravelry bundle marked “Woollinn Wishlist” for a few months now. I tidied it up and narrowed it down. Am I obsessed? No, research says, I’m just living my best life 😀
Before I go to a yarn fest, I enjoy looking at the vendor list, learning what will be available and planning ahead so I don’t get overwhelmed with yarn fumes. I do believe anticipating something is a big part of the enjoyment. Turns out there’s a shocking amount of research in both consumer behaviour and happiness research about “anticipation and the valuation of delayed consumption.” If you’re into marketing, you might find this interesting too. The brilliant Gretchen Rubin gives a good explanation of anticipation + happiness. (Highly recommend her Happiness Project book!!)
- We have more intense emotions about future events.
- When we anticipate events or purchases we get a longer experience of enjoyment.
So a big part of these events is all the fun stuff in the run-up to the event. For me that has been casting on new projects, and also making a wishlist.
Casting on joy
I cast-on special projects to wear at the event and even think about what I’ll knit at the event. The best conversation with a knitter is, what will you knit on the way to the event and while you’re there?
I bought the yarn for my first Woollinn project back in November, and cast it on right before the new year. Pure Joy, it was truly a joyful knit too. Winter and the holidays is an especially rough time for me, having this project was a great comfort. Easy on the brain too, with just enough challenge that I could get into a flow state without tedium. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says Flow is a secret to happiness.
I finished it so early, I cast on another project for the event, and… I might not even finish it in time! It’s this Purlbreak in Dublin Dye yarn. If I don’t finish it, I know what I’m knitting at the event 😀
Research also explains why it’s been so hard for me to KNIT MY STASH. I identify with my self-symbolic yarn purchases.
Research “demonstrates that greater preference doesn’t translate into consumption; consumers prefer to save, rather than use, self-symbolic products.” Saving It (And Us) For Later? Consuming and Saving Products That Reflect Our Selves
So I’ve used the wishlist to motivate me to knit more. If I finish X, I can get Y. This meant I would need to finish things long un-done and dig deep into my oldest stash to knit projects I’ve had in the queue since the dawn of Ravelry. And it turns out, I’ve been prolific!
This year, Ravelry introduced a “Ravelry Challenge” tool. I’ve found it super motivating. I set my Ravelry Challenge to 20 projects! Considering I finished 7 projects in 2017, this seemed ridiculously high. By April, I had finished 50% of my target. Woot!
- Finished 4 shawls.
- I finished 3 hats. None of them seems to fit anyone well! Ha!
- My first pair of socks, promised to my husband 2 yrs ago.
- Finished one baby sweater, which was meant for about 3 different baby boys, but I never finished til now.
- And a poncho with my oldest stash!
This year, I’ve been able to knit more and un-knit less. I remember reading Eunny Jang explain the secret to prolific knitting is just knitting frequently. I think I was obsessed with ‘knitting fast’ – timing each row, and looking at different methods for holding, etc. I knit my way and that is OK. Now, I have 7 WIPs on the go. I’m letting myself cast on as much as I like and knit on whatever I want. No more punishment knitting! I know now I need to have a variety of projects such as mindless garter or interesting lace to match my moods.
My Woollinn wishlist
Thanks to this flurry of knitting, my Woollinn Wishlist has gotten more and more ambitious. Of course, I can’t get everything on my list, but this is what I have to decide between.
- A Bilum Yarn gradient – definitely getting one of these! I knit a simple shawl in a Bilum gradient that came out so special.
- A sweater quantity of yarn for a cardi, either Netherton(DK), Nori(worsted/aran) or Featherweight(lace/fingering). Weight options gives me some flexibility based on what I find.
- Sportweight yarn for Caress My Soul. Pretty much decided on Stolen Stitches Nua!
- And hoping to find 50g of some luxury yarn for a neckerchief like Zuzu’s Petals or this Weekend Cowl. 155 – 220 yards of sport or worsted.
- Something wild and fun from Countess Ablaze.
- I need more project bags – with NO zips! And handles!
I still REALLY want to knit Kermis! I tried stash diving, but I don’t have enough of the right weight together. I tried with the lovely Blacker Yarn I attempted with was too thick and I couldn’t math my way out of it. I have some DK weight yarn, but need to figure out which yarns I have and what colours I’m looking for. I expect I could spend a whole day hunting down yarn just for that project.
My wishlist expands well beyond what I have a budget for unless I can find vendors that take credit cards or PayPal. (There’s no cash machine at the event!) But thinking about the event has given me a bit more joy and I’m looking forward to it very much.
So if you think you’re a bit obsessive about your yarn fest – take heart that you’ll enjoy it more, and increase your happiness to boot!