Do you knit and sew? Not everyone does. Until the middle of last year I was basically a seamstress who liked wearing knitted items, looking at knitting, reading about knitting, and thinking about knitting, but who had never actually done any knitting. But once I realised I could, with sufficient encouragement and support, make clothes I have to admit I was hooked.
Two weeks ago I made a new clothes making plan.
In summary I said I would knit four items
- An Ankestrick Heavenly sweater
- An Ankestrick Holsten sweater
- Finish my Fara Raglan
- Make a jersey for myself from the left over green cashmere yarn
And I would sew four items (five actually as the last is trousers and a jacket)
- Red Burda coat
- Burda summer dress
- Cord trousers with the Style Arc Talia pattern
- Alexander McQueen suit
Progress so far has been one knitted and one sewn item, so it looks like, for me, they are evenly balanced.
But that would be the wrong conclusion! I have two half finished jumpers now. The Fara (no progress) and the green cashmere. I decided to make another Heavenly – partly because I like the style. But also just to see what happens when you make the same item in a different yarn. Although the Lang and the Colourmart yarns are both 100 per cent cashmere double knit they are very different creatures. The Lang is soft and fragile. The Colourmart is strong, a little stringy, not very cashmere-like in terms of feel. But I enjoyed borrowing Gus’s poloneck in this yarn so I think I will enjoy wearing it. The style of jumper allows it to be worn over a T shirt or blouse so I think it will be versatile for me. I prefer this sort of scooped neck line on T shirt or jersey. I am enjoying knitting something for the second time as it allows me to relax even more and also to avoid some of the mistakes I made first time round (although I made new ones!).
So what of my sewing plans? The Talias were a bit of a pain, and didn’t proceed as expected. They took a few weeks to complete. I have the fabric I need for at least the coat and the suit. I also have the three patterns I need for the sewn items but have not even printed out the Burda’s or opened the Vogue. Why? I am not sure but here are my reflections.
- Right now I am still very excited about knitting. I need to be enthusiastic to compete a task that I don’t have to do.
- I am happy to knit simple things – I am a beginner so I am making fairly easy things that don’t need much fitting.
- Style-wise I am not that keen on the dressmaking equivalent – the Jiffy/Beginner/Easy pattern. Not that I am a snob – I just feel I could buy a T shirt/baggy dress – when making clothes I want a good fit and a stand out design. This is much more challenging to make and requires a fair degree of concentration.
- Previously I welcomed more challenging work – drafting or draping a pattern. At the moment I prefer stocking stitch – with circular needles, and with a TNT! I want to be on auto-pilot.
- I think I have a bit too much on at the moment in terms of work – a huge project looms – and I want to crash out a bit in the evenings
- My weekend routine has been smashed – but in a good way. I am travelling to the country (three to four hours in a train or car each weekend), and then basing myself in a place without a proper sewing area (yet). At the moment I want to sit in our lovely sitting room and knitting or reading seems more harmonious with my environment than going into the back room and doing “industrial” type work.
- Maybe for me sewing is more like work, and knitting more like leisure.
Do you have different feelings about your clothes making activities? What do you like doing best? Do you make clothes for recreation or challenge? Or other reasons?