I spent about six solid hours on Sunday knitting.

Baby legwarmers #2 are complete! These are the pair I started at 4:30 Friday morning when I couldn’t sleep.

Since I picked up my knitting needles again back in the fall, I have seen a great increase in the number of completed projects on my Ravelry page. Part of this is due, of course, to the fact that I’m knitting smaller projects now, but let’s take a minute to reflect on why I’m knitting so many small objects.

The answer: because I like them. And I think that hits on something really simple but valuable when it comes to happiness in general, and that is: do what you like.

So often in life it can become easy to be swept up in the momentum of what you are doing — whether it’s discovering a love of distance running, a passion for cooking, a burgeoning talent for knitting — and lose sight of what you love about it. I know that as I’ve evolved as a knitter, I have started to discover what I do and don’t like about the craft — I do love small projects, sock yarn and tiny needles; I don’t love long-term knits that require a lot of my attention. When I first started coming around to this realization, I actually felt bad — did my preference for smaller, simpler projects mean that I wasn’t “as good” a knitter as someone who whips up sweaters on a whim? Do I just lack discipline for my craft because I don’t like having to consult a pattern and chart every time I pick up my project? No! Of course not. I was being ridiculous.

It sounds so obvious written out like this, but I have been discovering what I like and then just doing that. This has less to do with doing whatever I want whenever I feel like it, of course, and more to do with not trying to fit a square peg into a round hole — even (especially!) when it comes to fun. It takes some trial and error but when it comes to hobbies and leisure activities, at least, it seems silly to waste time “shoulding”. I have been so much more engaged in my knitting now that I’ve started to own my “knitter self”, so to speak — and I am really excited and not at all intimidated by starting a pair of socks, by the way, because from what I know about sock knitting it will be a great fit for me. (Whenever that happens.) Likewise, making similar discoveries in the kitchen (baking > cooking) and in the aisles of Michaels craft stores (non-knitting crafting: not my thing) is just as satisfying.

This all comes back, again, to knowing yourself. It’s very simple — not always easy, of course, but simple — and I really think it’s a key component to living a happier life.

And this, by the way, is what I’ve been working on since then:

There is more I want to say about this hat, but that has to wait for another day. For now, I need to get back to my little needles.