Sunday, 15 November 2015

Knitting vs sewing

Hanging out on Instagram has shown me that a lot of us sewists switch between sewing and knitting. I love to knit and I am just picking it back up having not really touched it since last winter. For me it is definitely a seasonal past time and I am not someone who can knit all year round, especially since having a dedicated sewing space. I also never really shake the feeling of being new to knitting. I have mentioned before, but I have been sewing since I was very young and was very fortunate to have a mum who made her sewing things available to me. My mum can knit too and my Nan was an amazingly competent and skilled knitter, but for some reason I never got into it beyond learning to knit, purl, cast on and cast off. Had I realised at the time that this is pretty much all you need to know then maybe I would have got more into it, but I thought there was much more to it to do all the pretty stitches.

I sometimes secretly feel jealous of people who have knitted their whole lives because of all that knowledge they will have absorbed that will take me an age to catch up on. Sewing is like that for me I guess, in that I don't think sometimes I just do.

When I started knitting and crochet in my mid-twenties I really jumped in and sampled every stitch that interested me and read so many books, but I know I've got so much to learn. I used to incorporate knit into my uni designs quite a lot and often thought how much I would love to become a knitwear designer, but I don't think my confidence was ever there with it. Here is a coat project from my final year that is not too cringe worthy!

I am just coming to the end of a cardigan that I started last year that I am writing the pattern for as I knit it. When I say writing I do not mean that it is a pattern that will be published or even understood by another knitter, but I will probably use it as a base for other personal garment projects.

Sewing always comes first I suppose because I understand it and don't need refreshers to get back to it, but when I pick up my knitting I remember how much I love it and my imagination starts dreaming of all the projects I want to start before my interest fades for another year. At the moment I'm so eager and impatient to get things finished and started because I know it will be short lived and I feel reluctant to step near my sewing machine in case it takes me away completely.

What on earth is this ramble about? I have no idea, but I think it's an inner sadness that I always feel when I realise I don't have the capacity to continue with both disciplines side by side. For me it seems to be one or the other, but rarely both. I'm going to try and tackle that next year and see if I can have small knitting projects all set up to turn to on any sewing down time, but we'll see how that goes!

Happy Sunday and thanks for reading this randomness if you made it to the end! x


Anonymous said...

I do both in roughly equal amounts, but I knit at times when I can't / won't sew - mostly when commuting to work, but also in the evening when I'm watching tv or just too tired to sit at the sewing machine. That way I don't feel like it is stopping me from sewing!

Pippa K said...

Ah English Girl at Home just got there before me. I spend a lot of time knitting when I can sew, sewing is not really a communal activity so if I'm spending any time with my family/other half (and want to get some creating done) then knitting it is.
But there are some times I just need to switch back to sewing as I feel so much more productive with it. Knitting does take a lot longer than sewing a garment.

Marilla Walker said...

Ah, that's the thing! Kids have changed alot of my habits because I can't knit around them at the moment without one of them wanting to unravel my balls of wool or run off with the needles. When they grow out of that phase then I shall be able to knit socially again, but my time is limited for all crafting and I tend to pick the one which comes easiest. I forgot that was the reason!!! ;-)

Melissa said...

This is an interesting and timely post for me as I just attended my first knitting class today. Actually I learned to knit and purl over 10 years ago but never got beyond scarves. I am hoping these classes will not only get me back to knitting but also turn on the knitting grey cells so that I can knit socks and sweaters!

I hear your yearning. It's the "why can't I do it all?" thing. You are a very creative and talented person so I can just see you struggle with not having enough time. I usually take to ONE thing that I really get into (currently it's sewing) so it will be interesting how I handle the knitting.

I had a peek at your sweater on IG - looks really cool!

Marilla Walker said...

Oh Melissa you'll love it! It's really so absorbing because there's so much to learn. I found I didn't want to do anything else when I first learnt to knit, but you may strike a nice balance of doing both!

Definitely a case of not enough time to do it all sometimes (for us all) ;-)

Jo H. said...

I found it really to do with having little children - as mine have got bigger and more independent, I've got much more into knitting. Especially when I could take them to playgrounds after school and let them run loose for a couple of hours, it was an activity very well-suited to keeping an eye on them while keeping myself entertained too. And quite sociable as well! I used to get loads done then, and am very much missing my daily "childcare" knitting time now I'm working more :-( Like Pippa and Charlotte I now tend to do it on my commute or in the evenings when I'm too tired to get off the sofa and sew - but am definitely bothered the fact of sewing less, even though I wouldn't be sewing then anyway. I'm enjoying having more knitting on the go, I just wish it wasn't at the expense of my sewing productivity. That and I get really antsy if too many days go by without any sewing at all.

Ramble, ramble... you've inspired me to blather on as well! Hehe x

Marilla Walker said...

Me too Jo, I get terribly antsy if I don't do something! I'll look forward to knitting more as the kids become less cheeky then, although won't wish the time away ;-)

JustSewJenna said...

I very rarely do any type of crafting when I have the child around me anyway (except when she was a baby when I did a lot more of everything!) so my crafting falls into two very distinct time zones: sewing on evenings when I stay up and sew by myself and knitting on evenings when Phil and I watch television together, if I didn't I would get too antsy wasting time watching television! It means I don't have enough time for either pursuit so do both badly! Also, I have been knitting for almost my entire life and you are still way more proficient than I am!!