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Patterns and Expectation

Updated: Jul 29, 2021

"Knitting without a pattern offers the freedom to discover in the absence of expectation."

I don’t really follow patterns. I love knitting books and information, but patterns have never done much for me. It took me into my 20’s to identify how this could have happened. It was just the way I knit – I loved it and didn’t see the need to frustrate myself with patterns. As it turns out, I knit before I read. To read the pattern was harder than the knitting for me. This was one of the most freeing aspects of my knitting; offering many lessons that will be revisited repeatedly through this blog.

I’ve also come to see that patterns are expectations! This liberation from expectation fueled creative discovery that would not have been possible within the confines of an expected outcome. I had started with yarn, needles, a bit of help to cast on, and went from there. What happened next was as much a surprise to me as it was to anyone else. I was on a mission to find out what would happen rather than starting with an expectation and then working to fulfil it. With a loose vision or goal, I’m also free to change the plan mid-project or tear something back a few rows to change. I’m also not so married to any given project because I’m not limited to a pattern that I’ve invested in (or overwhelmed by the options). Anyone who has seen me knit knows I’m pretty non-comital about what I’m making, not because I’m deliberately secretive, but I’m not always sure myself. Furthermore, I’m not that interested in staying stuck on having an idea that may be tossed or revised. On the way to the end of a project, I may have batted around a number of ideas. I don’t want to create expectation (I suppose this also liberates me from accountability – that’s not always helpful). In the case of knitting, I feel this is a fun project and shouldn’t be.

This is something that I still need to consciously put into practice. And I don’t do it as well as I’d like in all areas of my life. Knitting without a pattern offers the freedom to discover in the absence of expectation.

Knit, discover and love the ride!


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