Knitting is sooo relaxing….right…right??

This is a common phrase uttered by many awestruck people who come across a knitter in public. Now I’m sure most knitters will nod politely and non-committedly, however, that is not me. I am one of those unfortunate souls that was born without a filter and the ability to hold a poker face. Therefore my automatic response to this awful phrase is a dumbstruck look on my face and the often sarcastically uttered “have YOU ever dropped a stitch?”

I will admit knitting can sometimes be relaxing, especially compared to other stresses in life, but there are moments of yarn-tangled madness.

Here are some things to look out for among a wild pack of knitters in their natural habitat.

This hat is knit from one of the patterns in the Let's Get Crafting: Knitting and Crochet Magazine

This hat is knit from one of the patterns in the Let’s Get Crafting: Knitting and Crochet Magazine

  1. Silence

Generally when knitters get together we talk…a lot. The conversation will flow more than an open bar at a wedding reception. However you will find at least one person in that crowd not joining in. This is not a person who is shy and this is definitely not the time to invite them into the conversation. The response you will receive to this daring act of interruption is “SHHHHHHH I’M COUNTING!” Do not try to apologise, do not get offended – you will undoubtedly be on the other side of this one day. The best advice is to ignore said counting knitter, re-join the conversation and continue knitting.


  1. The Sigh

Knitting gatherings are vital to a crafters life, they offer a moment to relax, rant and de-stress. Mothers will have run round lassoing their kids to make it to a gathering. Students will have dived into the depths of their alcohol sodden sofas to gather pennies for their bus fares, and for those at work, they will have battled their way out the door armed with knitting needles and bags weighted with not bricks, but yarn. A lot of effort for a few rows of bliss and the opportunity to confide in good company, so the worst thing to hear once their bum has hit the seat is an awfully loud drawn out sigh (head thrown back optional). Commonly this indicates something missing, something crucial to their project that cannot be borrowed from a fellow crafter, whether it be the wrong needle size (correct size missing) lost beads or that second skein of yarn needed to continue the only thing to do is offer sympathy and chocolate.

Pattern: Multnoah by Kate Ray

Pattern: Multnoah by Kate Ray

  1. Bondage gone wrong

No matter which end of a ball of yarn you decide to cast on from, it will get you in trouble. In most cases knitters will cast on from the outside. Bad idea, the yarn travels like a toddler has gotten hold of it mid sugar rush, it will tangle through bag handles, round table legs and undoubtedly gather dust bunnies. Experienced knitters however knit from the inside, this is the luck of the draw, and 8/10 times this will cause what is known as yarn vomit where your beautiful squishy ball has vomited a bundle of strands without an end in sight to grab for cast on. If this has happened to you or another DO NOT PULL! Gently untangle the yarn…and the person it is wrapped inside.


  1. Swearing  ##!!@$*

Swearing from another knitter will cause any crafter to shudder and look away, this could be for a number of devastating reasons. Stitches have been dropped amongst lacework without a lifeline in sight, the knitter has run out of yarn on the cast off row or heaven forbid 400 stitches in on a 500 stitch row you realise who have knit the wrong part of the pattern! Unfortunately nothing can be said or done to comfort the distressed knitter, the project will be flung into its project bag where it will be sent to a corner to sit and stew and think about what it did wrong. This period of project remorse can last anywhere between 3 days to 3 weeks and sometimes years. The lesson learned here is to pray to the yarn gods that this travesty will never happen to you.



As a multi-skilled crafter dabbling in everything from jewellery-making to glass carving, I have found that these mishaps don’t just happen to knitters but can happen in any craft, anywhere. Beads will indeed fly, needles will puncture skin and glue will stick not only yourself to other items, but most likely stick your fingers together! However through it all, crafting will bring joys to your life that will overcome all other stresses that may come your way, and what better way to enjoy it than to share it with others. Joining the Belfast Stitch n’ Bitch group has been one of the best decisions I have ever made, being able to not only develop my skills but also share my enthusiasm for crafts with so many has definitely triumphed over all the woes created by dropped stitches and yarn vomit!


Stephanie McFaul ©


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