Knitting and the Television

Remember when you first started knitting and it was something to do while you sat around, watched TV, did other things? A means of being productive while doing something else?

I realized yesterday that the roles of knitting and other distractions in my life have completely reversed. In an attempt to unwind from real life stressors, I spent a lot of time watching TV and knitting this week, especially yesterday. When I first started learning to knit, almost five years ago, my projects were mostly scarves (because that was what I did at the time) and very simple stitches. I could knit while watching anything—except for maybe stuff with subtitles.

Now, I’m picking my TV around what I want to knit. I don’t have TV service at my house, so when I say “TV,” I mean TV (or movies) on DVD. When I wanted to knit on my Rock Island shawl? I put on True Blood, because I’ve seen seasons 1 and 2 enough that I don’t have to pay attention to them, and could instead tune into the chart portion of the shawl (I’ve got about 10 more rows to go on the chart; it’s awesome to see how much knitting this is picking up as the rows get shorter and shorter).

Rock Island Shawl

When I wanted to work on my Elemental Boatneck, I put on Torchwood season 1. I’m getting the discs from Netflix, and since I’m a total newcomer to the show, I knew that knitting linen stitch in the round (forever) would be a better choice, because I don’t have to pay attention to the knitting.

Elemental Boatneck

The good news is that I’ve finally separated for the front and back on this pullover. I just started working the lace pattern this morning. Yay progress! Though I did find a bit of errata for the two largest sizes of the sweater. As written, armhole shaping is supposed to end with 98 (102) sts. However, these numbers don’t work with the lace repeat, a multiple of 4 sts plus 4 sts; 98 – 4 = 94, which is not evenly divisible by 4 and 102 – 4 = 98, also not evenly divisible. If you’re knitting either of those sizes, either work another row of decreases or stop a row short (so you’ll have either 96 or 100 sts for the 46” size, or 100 or 104 sts for the 50”). Sorry if that was a bit too much math for your day off, if you’re observing Memorial Day.

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12 thoughts on “Knitting and the Television

  1. hahaha oh yeah, absolutely. I do the same thing. Part of the reason why I have so many different WIPs, actually. So that I can work on things depending on how much attention I need to pay to the knitting.

      • I’ve learned to accept having WIPs. With how I do these days, even when I’m not watching TV, I may not always have the mental capacity to take on a difficult project. And I’ve learned to always have something portable (blankets, which are my mainstay easy project do not make good traveling projects) on the needles.

  2. Yep, I work on more detailed projects when I’m watching mindless TV or rewatching something I’ve seen before, and I have mindless knitting for more detailed TV/movie watching. I’m always glad to know I’m not the only one.

  3. I had this exact debate with myself last night. Working on a lace shawl meant I put on the Bored to Death dvds yet again so I wouldn’t really need to pay attention much. Also – both WIPs look gorge.

    • Thankfully I have a stash of DVDs to watch for “complicated knitting!” Though now that I’m into the yoke and lace portion of the sweater, I really can’t do the mindless thing anymore. Soon I’ll get to the sleeves though, then it’s back to Torchwood!

  4. SO TRUE. Except in my case, it’s more like crochet or stockinette for TV I actually have to pay attention to, so I end up watching more fluff TV than I might otherwise to get me through the harder stuff…

    • I still can’t quite crochet without looking at the stitches, so I need easy TV for that too. Fluff TV is good for crafting!

  5. I’ll often craft while I’m watching TV, so long as what I’m watching isn’t in another languange and subtitled. If it is, then I have to make something that I know very well. If not, though, I can make just about anything, since I can divide my attention without much trouble.

    • Subtitles are very difficult! I did recently watch Amélie, but I think I was knitting something in stockinette at the time. 🙂

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