I read Grumperina's post yesterday about not feeling like a 'complete' knitter because she doesn't like knitting sweaters, and it got me thinking. What is a 'complete' knitter? Is there such a thing?
My first instinct on reading her post was one of disbelief. What? She doesn't classify herself as a complete knitter? Is she insane??? She knits such wonderful things, designs items the knitting world goes crazy over (is there anyone in the world who hasn't made a pair of jaywalkers, cos it sure doesn't seem so), knows about complicated techniques and more importantly, can explain them in language even I can understand. If I had had to make a list of complete knitters, she would have been right up there at the top.
In the comments, the general consensus seemed to be that it doesn't really matter what a person knits, so long as they enjoy it. Yep, I agree with that. There are items I'll probably never knit (I'm not a fan of knitted bags, for example. All that knitting, and it'll need lined anyway? I'd rather just sew a bag, once I learn to sew properly, that is). But it's not that that keeps me from feeling like I'm the best knitter I can be.
I'm more interested in processes recently. It was cables for a while - that was fun, and they'll definitely come back into my knitting. It'll be lace again, once the mystery stole is blocked and finished (yep, still not done), and I'm having great fun with the bi-directional vest. However, it usually takes me the full length of a sweater to feel like I've 'got' the process. Socks are OK to practice things, but not to learn them, and scarves can be just boring sometimes (I still seem to make a lot of them though. One day I'll show you them all). I find with a sweater there's enough variation in the shaping plus the front, back and sleeves are different, so there's always something to think about.
The more I thought about it, the more I felt that my own sense of 'completeness' is felt in mastering processes. It doesn't matter so much what I make, just so long as I'm making. And even then, 'completeness' isn't quite the right word. I feel in order to be a master knitter, I would need to learn every process, and try everything at least once. But I feel a sense of completeness whenever I'm making, whether it's knitting, crochet, dancing, writing, and I guess I would apply that to other people too. It doesn't matter what they're making or doing, so long as they feel happy, and hopefully even complete while doing it.
And is it possible ever to learn every single technique, in every possible permutation? I have never heard of any knitter who hasn't something new to learn. In fact, when reading letters sent into magazines, I'm often struck by how many older people write in saying they've been knitting for blah amount of years, and are still learning! And the enthusiasm that comes across in those letters is amazing. I kind of hope I never become a master 'complete' knitter, in case I lose the sense of excitement that comes with each new project. It's that excitement and wonder that completes knitting to me.
Anyway, thanks to Grumperina for her inspiring post. I'm sure I have lots more to say about it, but I've babbled on for long enough just now.