What Should You Knit While Mercury is Retrograde?

What is Mercury retrograde? Simply speaking, it’s when Mercury looks as though it’s orbiting in the “wrong” direction when viewed from Earth. It happens three or four times each year, and for about three weeks at a time. Astrologically speaking, it’s a time when some people believe things are not normal and we should avoid certain practices in order to avoid life messes. For instance, they say Mercury retrograde is a bad time to sign any legal contracts because it’s much more likely that something will go wrong.

No worries, though—wait until Mercury is back to normal and if the contract still seems viable, sign it! Here are some tips on ways to approach your knitting during Mercury retrograde so you don’t end up with needless problems.

1. Finish up current WIPs

Mercury retrograde is not a time to take on new projects. It’s a great time to finish the projects you have already started. Get to working on and finishing those projects that were casted on before Mercury turned retrograde.

The next time Mercury turns retrograde, I have the Unified Field Cowl to work on (Joni Coniglio, Interweave Knits Winter 2019)

2. Work on simple patterns that you already fully understand

Now isn’t the time to learn a new technique or start a challenging pattern, no matter how exciting. If you don’t have a current WIP, but you CANNOT go three weeks without knitting, knit something that is very familiar to you, like a hat pattern you love and have knitted several times, or a basic garter-stitch scarf that doesn’t need a pattern, but can be made special with some lovely stash yarn you’ve been waiting to use.

Image courtesy of Getty Images.

3. Don’t buy fancy, expensive yarn

Have you been eyeing some 50g balls of cashmere for a decadent sweater for yourself? Don’t buy it just yet! Sometimes making a big commitment during Mercury retrograde is a recipe for disaster. Hold off for a bit to be sure that’s the stuff you want to buy, and if it still calls your name when Mercury is out of retrograde, go nuts! Or you might have decided you like something better by then.*

(*Check out our blog on affordable yarn by Managing Editor, Rachel Koon and other staff members—these are buying tips that won’t break your yarn bank!)

4. Writing a pattern might seem a little more difficult right now

In astrology, Mercury is the planet that rules communication, which is why folks warn that communication may be off while Mercury is retrograde. If you are trying to write a pattern, or understand someone else’s pattern for that matter, it might feel like more work than normal to make sure it’s correct. If you’re experiencing frustration in this area, just step away and come back to it in a few weeks. (This is pretty good advice regardless—when something stops being fun and starts being frustrating, it’s always good to take a break before coming back to it).

5. Don’t work on collaborative projects

Since communication is iffy during this time, it’s a good time to take a break from any collaborative knitting or projects you might be working on. Focus on your personal projects as much as possible, or if you can’t take a break on those collaborative projects with deadlines, just be super aware of the communication taking place in your working group. Do your best to communicate your ideas clearly and understand thoroughly what others are telling you, in order to avoid conflict.

Don’t let this become you. Image courtesy of Getty Images.

6. Don’t make any agreements to work on something new

If someone asks you to make them something, don’t agree until after Mercury is out of retrograde. They may change their minds, or finding the right project to suit them may be too much of a challenge.

I hope this guide helped you figure out what to knit during Mercury retrograde! Let us know in the comments what you’re working on (and putting off until Mercury goes direct again!).

Happy Mercury retrograde knitting!

Originally published on Apr 5, 2018. Updated on March 3, 2019.

Choose carefully during Mercury retrograde.

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