I’m a lazy knitter and a careless sewer. Too keen to get started on the project, I neglect the basics. Knit a swatch? Not always. When I do knit one, I carefully pin it out, find the tape measure and count the stitches. Recount the stitches. Take a vague approximation of the two. Refer back to the pattern. My tension doesn’t seem quite the same. Never mind, I’ll just knit the next size up or down. You can probably guess whether I make a muslin before starting a sewing project. No matter how many times Jane shows that this is a basic step to ensure that you understand the techniques and can adjust the pattern to your own shape, I just take the scissors to my chosen fabric and get started. No wonder things don’t fit
quite as perfectly as they could.
I enjoy knitting. I like cutting steeks and turning the heel on a sock. I’ll happily knit with different colours, stranding the wool across the back of the work, though I’m bad at planning and just wing it on the needles, but when it comes to fancy stitches I duck out. Really, does that jumper need a cabled pattern? I convince myself it will look just fine without. A fancy cowl neck, a picot hem or lace pattern? No chance.
I start sewing projects with enthusiasm but alas, I shall never be as talented as my mother, which is why I mainly knit and don’t sew. Last summer I had a little phase of sewing. I converted an old skirt into a top with surprising success and then bought some fabric to make another top using the same pattern. I’m not sure what I managed to do, but the top came out too short, so not quite such a success. The skirt I made was alright to wear if there was nothing else clean in the wardrobe but the fabric I bought to make a dress is still unsullied by scissors and needle, neatly folded away.
This is a rather long winded way to say that I’m joining in the Stitched Journal Project. To quote Alex “It is a project to get the ideas flowing, to process the days in a creative way, to try new techniques and to push past fears that keep us from making something. It isn’t about perfection, or getting it “just right,” it is about process and perspective.”
I’m mentioning it, because I thought you might be tempted to join in too. I’m going to use it to widen my horizons; to try the things I usually ignore. Expand my knitting beyond plain rows of knit and purl, do a little creative sewing along the way, maybe some crochet or rug making. Who knows. I’ve dragged out my “Complete Book of Needlecrafts” and “Book of Knitting Stitches”. I’ve sorted my knitting needles into pairs, my sewing machine is dusted down and I’m ready for action. I don’t suppose for one minute that I’ll actually put everything into a real journal; it will probably just get stuffed in a box. Or maybe I’ll just make it into a digital journal. Oh, how easy that is to type. I have absolutely no idea what a digital journal is.