I've been a process knitter for pretty much my entire knitting "career" -- I'll pick a project based on how fun it would be to knit, whether I'd learn a new technique, or (and let's do be honest here) if all the cool kids were knitting it.
Now, there's nothing wrong with that. I've learned a ton from this approach, and I'm sure I'm a better knitter today because of it.
But what have I got to show for it?
Let me give you an example -- we had an "along" in one of my Ravelry groups. Everyone cast on and knit Zuzu's Petals by Carina Spencer, and I am SUCH A JOINER, so of course I'm all in. Knitting along is fun! Plus, the pattern looks interesting!
I pretty much hate it. It was a waste of good Chroma, and looks weird on me to boot (I look like the world's most rainbowdy gila monster in this picture). (I should note -- this is not intended to be a slight on the pattern itself. The pattern is fine, it just wasn't a good match for me and certainly not in that yarn. What was I thinking?)
Here's a counter example. Hitchhiker by Martina Behm (and to be fair, also an "along" but a better chosen one for me.)
Much more my style. I love this pattern and I've knit it twice.
I wore the heck out of this last winter. It's my colors, and I have a tee-shirt and sweater that match it perfectly. It's not just some weird thing I knit...it's actually part of my wardrobe.
And therein lies my epiphany. What if I knit things I want to wear? What if I considered what I was making in terms of how it would fit into my wardrobe and lifestyle? What if I remembered that I could be knitting actual clothes.
Y'all, I'm becoming a product knitter.
Meet Harvest and Ardys. (Ardys isn't blocked yet in this photo, so imagine it slightly more smoothed down and tidy). I am looking forward to wearing them (as clothes!) this fall and winter.