This me-made-month has been more frustrating than the previous ones for me. I've felt stymied and unsatisfied by my wardrobe. I had attributed this to a change in my style, and I think that is still partly true, but while I was updating my knitting project on Ravelry today, I realized that I'm overall much happier with my knitting projects. So then I started thinking about my 'knitting career' as it were and I remember that I've been knitting since 2000 and I've only been sewing since 2010.
Well, duh! Now the light bulb comes on. My expectations are too high. The first 3 years or so after learning to knit, I made a string of hats and scarves to learn various stitches and yarn qualities. I only have one of these projects with me now, the others have been given away, etc. I don't even have any photos! In other words, those first learning years produced nothing spectacular but were essential to build up my skills and tastes. I am going to sprinkle in this blog post spectacularly failed knitting projects. ;)
Knitting to be frogged:
As the project time for sewing is generally shorter than for knitting, I can make way more learner projects in the same time period...that I now can part with! (Sorry, I've been watching the A & E Pride and Prejudice so my diction has been affected!) ;) This is just to say, that I don't feel bad about no longer having/wearing those early knitting projects, so I shouldn't feel bad about my early sewing projects. I can always reuse the fabric to make a quilt.
Also, in my first years of knitting, I never put my creations on the web and participated in challenges! Well, such things didn't really exist back then. But, while I love the on-line interaction, it can lead one to pressure oneself and second-guess one's sartorial tastes and sewing decisions. :) Of course there's the inspiration and encouragement which far outweighs any negatives!
Another difference between my knitting and sewing projects: the time and money investment. I think that overall my knitting projects are more expensive. And of course they take way more time. But my requirements for a knitting project are such that I really only want to do this particular pattern in this particular yarn quality, brand, and color. And because I know that it's going to take me months to finish the project and that I can wear it for years afterward, I generally don't skimp. (Although I will gladly take advantage of any and all sales - as my stash can attest!)
More knitting to be frogged:
Moreover, when a knitting project doesn't work out - as sometimes occurs, either 1/2-way through a project or at the very end - I really don't hesitate to frog the entire thing and use the yarn for something else. And, somehow, I'm not too, too upset by the failure. Either because I enjoy the process so much that I still feel it was worthwhile, or perhaps, it's also knowing that I'll easily find another project to try with that same yarn. I feel like it's easier to just start over in knitting than in sewing...because there's no cutting out of pieces, just unraveling and casting on again!
So I think one of the traps of my sewing has been that a) at the beginning, I had no strong knowledge/conviction about which fabrics to use; b) it goes too quickly ; and c) it can be done relatively cheaply. If it took months to finish a project I think I'd take more care when choosing a pattern/fabric. And I'd feel more justified in choosing a better quality/more expensive fabric!
And I am happier, in general, with sewing projects in which I've invested more time and money. However, I think it's going to take much longer to have a similar skill level in sewing as I do in knitting w/ regard to fitting, simply because yarn is so much more forgiving! Knits readily conform to your body, whereas you have to compel wovens to do so by cutting them out and sewing them together cleverly.
Anyhow, I'm not trying to romanticize my knitting skills or taste; I just thought it was interesting to notice that I feel much more confident when choosing knitting projects than sewing projects. I also feel much more confident in ignoring people's advice and just doing my own thing in knitting. I belong to a knitting group and sometimes the other members will make comments and/or give unsolicited advice. And, for the most part, the comments just roll off my back because it's my knitting and I'm completely comfortable with how I'm doing it and I have no problem living with those little mistakes (one twisted loop, etc.) that drive other people crazy. I haven't reached that level of confidence (or is there another word for when you don't give a sh**t?) yet with my sewing, but I'm looking forward to it. :)
For those of you that started out in another area first - crochet, knitting, weaving, beading, etc. - how do you feel about it in relation to your sewing? Can you relate to what I'm saying?
One more project waiting to be frogged: