Thursday, September 2, 2010

Knitting myself in knots.

We were sitting on the couch last night my farmer boy and I. He was landing planes on his iPhone and I was knitting long rows of plain then purl. He turned to watch me for a while and then asked if I was enjoying what I was doing. If I felt like I was being creative. If it was about the process or the end result.

I immediately laughed and told him of course, otherwise I wouldn't do it and would go and buy it from the shop instead.

But those questions have been ringing in my ears since then.

In the beginning this cardi I am knitting felt very creative. I was learning new stitches and counting and marking and feeling very excited about what I was creating.

But then the fun part was over and I am now left with rows and rows of plain and purl. Rows and rows and rows and rows.

It feels creative because it is something I am creating, because my hands are constantly knotting the yarn into these patterns that create a fabric and because I am getting better at a new skill.

But I must admit I am a bit over the monotony of the knit, knit, knit rows and am trying to figure out a way to add a bit more excitement to the bottom band.

But knitting has brought out parts of my personality that I didn't think existed, that I hardly recognise as my own. I have watched myself spend an entire night knitting, only to find a mistake the next morning and unravel it to where I had started from. Never before have I had such patience with my crafting.

I have found it a thrill to learn and practise new stitches like the SSK and the SK2P and the T2R. And I have been happy to spend weeks at a time working on the same project rather than losing interest and moving onto the next thing like I usually do.

I'm still not sure I could make the same thing twice though.

Its interesting.

Is making the same as creating?
Can they be separated?
Do you find some crafts more creative than others?

I might ask him if landing planes is creative for him.

Have fun out there. XX


  1. For projects that take a longer time (like hand quilting), I usually have a creative surge at the beginning, then there's a bit of a slow slog in the middle, but then another blast when the end is in sight!
    But whether it's a slow or a fast project, you have to enjoy the process or, as you say, you might as well buy it from the shop.
    Andi x

  2. you can see why i have a box full of unfinished jumpers for myself - you have more patience then I :)

  3. I think sometimes I like the repetitiveness of crochet and find it quite relaxing... other times I want to do something really new- like some embroidery or a new toy. I think it is why I liked making the new robot rattles- each one is very differnt and i really enjoyed there one of a kind-ness.

  4. I like to knit different things too, however there is one baby beanie pattern I have made over and over again, changing it slightly and letting it evolve as I go. I love that. I can knit it now without the pattern and each time try to learn something new for it.

  5. Hmm, making is different from creative but not creating. You've just hit on the reason why I don't knit, it's the same in & out...

  6. Your quest for perfection is very admirable. I don't think I have the patience or the yearning for neatness enough to be a good knitter. I'm a bit more of a 'throw it all together' person. But if we weren't making things, what would we be doing? TV? Erk. It's the 'past time' factor that enriches our lives that I love. A lovely, fulfilling way to pass time. x

  7. You pose some tricky questions...its the end of the day so I can't concentrate too much on answering them but I'm looking forward to what other people say :)

    I mostly don't enjoy making things again, especially knitting, because it takes quite a long time. I don't mind just plain stocking stitch though because I can do it without looking so I feel like I'm being productive when I'm actually just sitting on my a** in front of the TV.

    I think plane landing is more addictive that creative!


  8. definately a difference! I start out creating and then end with making. I almost always lose patience half way through a project which is why I am more likely to sew than knit, 'cos i am can do it faster. I love the last comment about asking farmer boy if landing planes is creative for him lol

  9. I always seem to have a few projects on the go at the same to do quickly for instant gratification, one to do mindlessly for my meditation practice, one for the car, and one or two that are learning projects or a new skill to try out....

    Variety is the spice of life so they say ;-)

  10. definitely more creative than passing out or staring at the wall after the kids go to sleep which is my current use of time in the evenings. The slog makes it all worth while I reckon.

  11. I think landing the planes on the iphone and knitting are similar pursuits. The quiet knit knit rows are a great time to quietly think and always slow me down, like reading or other meditations. But like you I do love the tricky stitches and patterns and the counting. I like the challenge of learning new things and that's why my knit projects are all small and always involve a new skill!

  12. I've never thought about the making versus creating ... for me it's more about where each craft fits: for example the long rows of knit/purl are perfect for wet days you'd rather be indoors watching a DVD or even train journeys. Hand quilting by example is perfect for social occasions because you can stitch and talk without having to concentrate really hard on either.

    Now I absolutely have to tell you two lifelines that will literally save your life (and rows of unravelling).

    Pattern lifeline: run a thread through a pattern row you know is perfect and if you make a mistake you'll only have to unravel back to the perfect row. Do this as often as the pattern requires.

    Knit/purl lifeline: knit up to the 'wrong' stitch (like a purl on a knit in the rib) and drop the stitch. Unravel only that stitch to the 'wrong' stitch and then crochet that stitch on each row to correct it. I know you crochet so this will be a cinch for you.

    Happy knitting. I love seeing your creations.

  13. You're an inspiration, Kate! Not only are you streets ahead on the learning-to-knit journey but you have the kind of patience that will see you excel (while I'm still dabbling).

    I'm struggling with the slow approach to garment-making that knitting is. I'm used to sewing speed, so become obsessed with finishing anything I start knitting until it's done and being worn.... to the detriment of all other things I ought to be doing!

    Making and ceating... I think they're the same - you're bringing something new into the world. Designing is where it's different, in my books.

  14. Creativity/design is my favourite bit. Sometimes, in the making, it can be disappointing when things just to not turn out as seen in one's 'mind's eye'. But, when it does, such a wonderful sense of achievement. Glad to hear that FB is getting new skills under his belt, hehe!

  15. I make AND create mess. Does that count?
    I think making/creating is what you want it to be. What some call art I call rubbish (literally, I sometimes think is that from my bin?) but most non-patchy peeps think I'm nutty for spending so long making/creating a quilt but I'm damn chuffed when I walk in my room and see my fave quilt on my bed. I think you are feeling your knitty way, enjoy - rarely are the most exciting things, exciting 100% of the time.
    Ab xx

  16. You are so patient Kate! I find I have huge problems with knitting even though I learnt to knit when I was a kid and only started crocheting a few years ago. I drop stitches and have to undo sections and just find it takes a lot longer to work up. I think it's a bit dull compared to crochet but then I think maybe I'm not doing something right! I'm always willing to give it a go if I LOVE the look of a finished project.

  17. I'm like Cath, I think at different times different things suit me, like when I'm dead pooped or a bit fragile I love the repetitiveness of crochet it's soothing nature.
    But sometimes I don't feel like it too, or it drives me a little nuts, especially when I make a mistake and have to undo.
    Bu i think honestly my favourite part of making my bears is doing their heads and faces, and putting them together, it's the part that I agonize over too and get nervous
    You are far more patient than me with knitting, I could only ever make toys and bear clothes. xo

  18. such good questions!
    making vs. creating...they are both fluid terms. For me, creating is when something is more free form, spontaneous, 'i really did just think this up in my head' sort of thing. Making perhaps has more rules or guides, or is something you do in a more repetitive manner.

    I only started knitting a few months ago, and I'm loving it as well. Like you i love learning new stitches, and have not made the same thing twice, yet. But at the same time, i do love the same same meditativeness(sic!) of doing row after row of knit and pearl while the boyf watches the idiot box!

  19. I have the same feeling about knitting - I guess that's what attracts me to the small project. but there is such a sense of accomplishment in finishing a big item that you can wear. I get a strong feeling of satisfaction in 'producing' something or in being productive. I like knitting in the evening when we are either quietly chatting or watching tv. or when the others are reading and we are together.
    I don't think I would ever make the same thing twice though - especially not the big things - I like to do different things.

  20. I tend to make what I need or what I can't buy in the shops. Then its useful and you really want to get it finished. If its a "one of a kind" then I'll stick it out to the end!! Does that make me creative or just tired of the some ol same ol.....who knows!!!

  21. Laughed at your planes question :) I'm a crocheter not a knitter but I feel much the same way... only I think I'm more likely to let a mistake go by if it's not too glaringly obvious ;) Also, I find the repetitive part of crochet very relaxing and quite like meditating. Beautiful green. Kx

  22. Sometimes I need the monotony of an easy pattern, the over and over and over, especially after a trying day, when I really need some project to take the edge off the bad day, so that i can take a breath and exhale - I seem to be able to do this best when I have an easy project on hand - like therapy I guess.
    I hope you are battening down the hatches ready for the big rain - we are here on our farm, I have moved to chooks house to higher and more sheltered ground and piled up the wheelbarrow with wood, now where is my crocheting bag?

  23. Hey Sweets, I have loved your last two posts - getting away from the computer seems to agree with you.

    Now, making VS creating... they are different, I think. 'Making' to me is like, making dinner. Something you do - a means to an end - that you don't partiuclarly enjoy but do it because you need/want/are looking forward to the end product.

    Creating though - that is where you are fully involved in the entire process from start to finish, you have input in it from the get go & you enjoy every moment, or if you don't enjoy itlike that, you are challenged & enriched by it.

    ...just my 2 cents... ;)

  24. Ahhh... interesting - I'm taking the opposing position to Vic - I think making v. creating is the same thing. I was thinking of the making dinner example too... even if you follow a recipe your own mark will be made on the dish, there is a bit of you in it and as each of us is so very different that makes it unique too. Being 'creative' can be simple, it can follow rules - I think sometimes we tend to only let the word be used to describe products or process that are outside the square. To this end I think some creative beings on this planet undersell their own achievements - making a distinction allows people an opportunity to hide from their greatness.

  25. I sometimes think there needs to be a bit of monotony in knitting because I can't spend my whole time counting and concentrating! I've started a jumper for Trev and the rows are long and boring but I can do it without concentrating which is great when watching TV or sitting with the kids!

    Can't wait to see the finished cardy!

  26. I agree with flowerpress, knitting is a kind of meditation. At the moment I am in to crochet, have been making up my own hat patterns as there are not many available in DK yarn that I like. I like the accomplishment involved in making/creating.

    Cleaning the house day in day out just doesn't cut it for me, I get satisfaction from accomplishing something that doesnt get undone, hence the pillowcase pinafores and crochet beanies :-)

  27. I find that many of my projects very easily bore me! Therefor I always have several to switch between so I don't get too bored. As some of the others have written, I also like to have some projects that are much more easy to stress down, and more advanced things for when I get bored.

  28. So what was his responce to the plane question (if you asked him:)

    I love the creating - but also love the finished product and having people comment on it. There are some things that I will knit over nad over again. The Spring Garden Tee and the Milo are two of those:)

    Oh and I have no idea what a T2K is!

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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