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April 21, 2008


Suzanne V. (Yarnhog)

I definitely knit to give myself something to do with my hands and mind. I am easily bored--I can't even watch t.v. without something else to do--and reading tends to distract me a little too much! I don't mind swatching, and it's not the finishing that bothers me, just the sewing. I don't like to sew and I don't feel confident about it, so I'm always worried that I'm going to get to the end of a seam and it will look like hell and I'll have to start over. But the only way to get a good finished product is to be as careful with the finishing as with the knitting. Finishing carelessly is like throwing a handknit in the washing machine; it's just a waste of all that knitting time and effort.


My mom is a quilt artiste (my title, not hers) and I've spent hundreds of hours listening to her sewing machine. She definitely maximizes her time actually sewing by cutting everything out at once, etc. It's kind of like an assembly line, and that organization soothes her. But - and this is key - her sewing is by modern definition contained to one area.

For me, knitting can go anywhere. Once a project gets too bulky to carry to class, I have to force myself to finish it because I have to work on it in a specific place and therefore at a specific time of day. I don't like swatching, but because I picked up a thing or 2 from my mom, I DO like seaming. It's the portability of the project that makes or breaks me.


I'm a knitter and a sewer. I think the two are different, but compliment each other. I don't mind the finishing involved in a knitting project and have it firmly in the timeline in my head, as significant as one of the knitted pieces. Even though a knitting project takes much more time I enjoy getting to know the fibre more closely, colour and texture etc. Best of all it's portable. (An eight hour car journey with three small children is something I look forward to.)

I think being a knitter gives me more patience to take more care and time on my sewing. Doing a bit of hand stiching is only adding an hour or so to achieving a finished garment. If I were only a sewer that might be waisting time I could spend on the next project.


oh i'm totally not patient. in fact, i'm quite restless and find it hard to concentrate when i'm only doing one thing. plus, i feel guilty just sitting around. i would totally knit in meetings if i thought i could do so without distracting others. i don't find finishing to be a problem either. but as soon as you start with the blocking and sewing etc, you lose the portability of the project. and that's why i don't sew. i'd like to, but i feel that i need a proper set-up and room and i just don't have that right now. but some day.


I would go absolutely mad in all those waiting moments and don't understand people who are "bored" anymore, as they could find something or other to do, you know?

But since I started spinning, my knitting time pales in comparison to my fiber prep time, much like sewing and its related activities. It really separates the process person from the product person! (Both being lovely)

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