Knitting for fun versus knitting for function

When I’m choosing yarn and projects, sometimes I face the dilemma of whether I should be knitting for fun or for function. There are certain pieces that I wear all of the time; they are staples.

The Farmhouse Shawl is one I wear ALL of the time in the winter. It is a nice, neutral color, so it goes well with pretty much everything.


I also wear a cowl that was gifted to me by a former client (and knitter). Again, it’s plain and goes well with just about everything. It is so simple, but it is one of my major go-to cowls, even though I have others to choose from.


I also love the couple of sweaters I’ve finished over the years, and I wear them pretty often. With something that takes as long as a sweater, I am much more mindful over wearability and color choice, but even that has taken some time to learn (really, once I knitted a Burgundy tube top).

As I continue to knit and build a wardrobe of accessories and garments, I am finding myself gravitating toward patterns that I want to knit, but I question their function and wearability. I am a pretty plain-Jane when it comes to fashion, so dark colors, solids, and neutrals are what I wear most. But my eyes, gravitate toward patterns and color, even though they might not be practical.

Take for instance, the Hudson Shawl, which I am finishing the knitted-on-border for now. It has stripes and eyelets, which are totally out of my usual comfort zone, but the pattern and product just looked so tempting! The colors are still pretty earth-toned, but I keep asking myself what I am going to wear with it (despite having plenty of plain shirts that it’ll go perfectly well with).

And then, there are hats. I love knitting hats. But a girl, her husband, and her daughter only need so many. They’re a great single skein project (especially since I am NOT a sock knitter), but I tend not to wear them during the week because hat-hair is not a good look for the office. I keep finding myself wanting to knit hats, but I have one for almost every day of the winter.


I don’t think I have a great solution to this dilemma, but I am curious how others balance knitting for fun and function. I am trying to be mindful not to accumulate stuff that I don’t wear, but when there is so much lovely yarn and so many lovely patters, that can be a tall task. For now, I am happy with the wardrobe I am knitting, and I’ll keep examining what gets worn and what doesn’t. With the things that don’t get worn, I am allowing myself to be okay with giving it to someone who will love it more than I do, or I am doing myself the favor of ripping it out to repurpose into something that I will love more.

Is this something you think about when you are buying yarn and patterns? Or, do you allow yourself the pure enjoyment that knitting should bring? Either way, I’d love to know what others think on this.


Happy knitting!


2 thoughts on “Knitting for fun versus knitting for function

    • Thank you! I am still pretty impulsive too, but then I knit stuff that I don’t use as much as I’d like to. All the pretty patterns and yarn are hard to resist!

      Liked by 1 person

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