I have been sewing for 9 years now and absolutely LOVE it. I cannot get enough. I have 3 projects going right now. I love to sew for myself. I remember when I was learning I enjoyed the whole process. I never [B]felt[/B] frustrated or stressed, even though there were frustrating things that happened. I had the same problems that everyone in the class had, but I just really had fun. When the class ended, I continued to teach myself and have continued to do that. I feel that I am still learning and I just have so much fun doing it. If anything, sewing has always been a stress reliever for me. You are going to think I am crazy, but here it goes: About 5 years ago I learned a little crocheting, but the whole time I was learning I felt stressed out. It was like I wanted to enjoy it but I really did not enjoy the process of learning. I put it down, picked it back up, and put it down. It was like I felt driven to learn because other people could do it so I felt like I should too. Now I am doing the same thing with knitting. I have been teaching myself and can do the knitting and purling now. I am [U]not[/U] good at it because I have only been teaching myself for a week. I am really not enjoying the process. I just feel DRIVEN to learn it because I think if other people can do it, I should too. It does not relieve stress–it is causing me stress. Did any of you ever feel this way or did you enjoy the whole process of learning? I am wondering if maybe I am just not cut out for knitting. Maybe I should just stick with sewing. I think maybe I am just in love with the idea of being able to knit well and not the actual craft. On the one hand, I feel if I don’t learn to knit, one day I will regret not learning. On the other hand, I wish I didn’t want to learn. Any thoughts from anyone?
Honestly, I think I understand where you are coming from. I have it a little backwards…I love to knit, loved to learn it, love to do it, but I can’t sew to save my life. The difference between you and me is that I never really wanted to learn to sew. Sure, I think it would be useful if I knew how to do it now and again, but I don’t feel any real drive to learn it. It’s just not in me to do it. You, on the other hand, really seem to want to learn knitting. I will tell you what I think, but I’m not an expert of any kind, so take it or leave it. I think you were shocked at how much at home and in love you were with sewing. I think you are expecting the same sudden rush from learning a craft with knitting, so you feel stressed out because you aren’t getting it right away. I understand that, I really do. I think though that, maybe, if you sit back and take a breathe and really think about why you want to knit. If you want to knit because you love the product then go for it. You can sew, and since you seem to want to knit, I really think you can do it. On the other hand, if it is just a thing about doing because you feel like you should, then let go of it, if you can. It’s not worth getting stressed about. Personally, knitting is better for me then my anxiety meds. I think you have to be doing it for the right reason for it to feel good. You [I]can[/I] learn. Anyone can. The question is, whether you [I]should[/I] learn. The only way you [I]should [/I]learn is if you truly want to, not if you are doing it because you feel obligated in some way, even if by your own standards or competitiveness.
So, that’s my advice. Knitting does take practise. It doesn’t go smoothly at first for anyone I’ve ever met. But, if you choose to do it then I think you will find that, after you’ve practised, it’s a wonderful thing. Don’t let yourself stress though. That’s not what crafts are about! I hope I helped! I really, really do.
The way you feel about sewing is how I feel about knitting. I absolutely love it. Mistakes and all. I can’t wait to try new things and have a few projects going at once.
It sounds like knitting’s just not your “thing”, and you shouldn’t do something that doesn’t truly make you happy. You shouldn’t feel like you have to do it because others do.
I was that way with scrap booking. I hate it. I wanted to learn it, but I just couldn’t bring myself to really do it. I got no joy from it at all. I felt like my family does it and I have 4 kids so I should really be doing this, but it just wasn’t for me. I have no regrets giving it up, and it gives me more time to knit!
If you’re truly not happy, stick to your sewing. IMO a craft should be something that brings you happiness and peace and reduces your stress, not adds to it.
Hope that helps!
That is some stuff to ponder, blessedtosew. I would say right off, that if knitting is frustrating you and you aren’t enjoying it much, then maybe you should put it down and keep sewing. Most people have so little free time that pursuing a hobby you don’t enjoy doesn’t seem like a very logical thing to do. I certainly wouldn’t learn it out of competitiveness, as NovemberGypsy said.
Now having said that, I find that although I love knitting, and for me, it is a major stress reliever, there are times when I haven’t been able to figure out a technique or a pattern and it has frustrated me. In fact I have a project on the needles right now that I have been working on intermittently because it is rather difficult. It took me quite a while just to figure out that the stitch pattern was written in a weird way. I don’t know how many times I recast that on. I put it down for quite awhile and went to a different project, and then came back to it when I was feeling more like it would be a challenge than a frustration. I discovered that putting it down for awhile made it a lot less of a frustration, although it is still not an easy pattern.
So I guess, if you want, you might continue to pursue knitting for awhile, but take breaks and work on your sewing when you fell frustrated. Come back to it later, and see if it’s more enjoyable. If it doesn’t get enjoyable after trying this a few times, then maybe sewing monogamy is for you.
I am wondering, though, if you are a perfectionist, and you are frustrated because your knitting doesn’t look perfect, then it will get better with time and practice. And if you are using inexpensive materials, try splurging if you can, on a skein of nice soft wool or alpaca or something like that, and some really good needles, and try knitting with those. You might be amazed how much more enjoyable it is!
Hi, since you learned to sew in a class, maybe you would find it helpful to try learning to knit with other people. Do you have a LYS that you could get some help from or maybe you know someone(s) that would work with you? Just a thought.
Thank all of you for your responses. I am a perfectionist—my family doctor told me that one time. It is because the stitches aren’t perfect that I am getting frustrated. As I have read your responses, I have come to the conclusion that what made sewing initially so enjoyable for me was that I was in a class with other people and I could see that I wasn’t the only one making mistakes. By the time I got through with the class, I could do the basics well enough that I just kept at it. Unfortunately, I live in a very small town and there is no knitting class. The sewing class I took was taught by a friend of mine who knew of several of us who couldn’t sew and wanted to learn. She took one night a week and we met for about 4 hours and she taught us. We met for 1.5 years, and because we were all friends, we not only sewed but we brought food and ate, talked, and just had a great time of fellowship. I do think it is fun to do the stitches on the knitting needles. I am just stressing out because the stitches are “perfect”. I am going to try to relax.
Blessedtosew, I was frustrated until I found the knitting videos on this site. That changed everything for me because I could play them over and over until I understood. I was very stressed in the beginning and really hated knitting until I learned continental style. The process of throwing the yarn over the left hand needle in right hand knitting seemed to contribute to the messiness of my stitches. I did a lot of practicing and now I love it. I’ve even done two sweaters and only learned to knit last summer. BTW I used to get majorly stressed when I’d sew. I only did it to make clothes for myself (especially when pregnant) so I admire your talent!
I had a devil of a time getting knitting down. Mom taught me to crochet when I was a little tyke, but not knitting. I was so clumsy with those two needles. I gave up lots of times, but then I go back and look at patterns I really liked and it ticked me off that I couldn’t do them b/c I couldn’t knit. So I’d go back to the drawing board again. Yes I got frustrated and stressed out - many times. But at a certain point, I refused to let it beat me. That was about four years ago. Now, I rarely crochet and LOVE to knit! It is relaxing for me now, but it sure wasn’t then. I practiced and practiced and practiced. Some people take to it like a fish to water. I wasn’t one of those.
The videos on here helped me tremendously. The other thing that has made a huge difference in my knitting is my knitting group. We’ve been meeting for about 3 years now and have grown very close. I believe you can search for groups in your local area (yahoo and ravelry). That may be something to check into as well as classes at a local yarn store.
If you choose to stick with it, you’ll get lots of help here. But at some point if it’s still more frustrating and stressful than enjoyable, you may decide knitting just isn’t for you. Good luck!
Crocheting was the same for me. I wanted to love it, but I never did. Then I got into knitting and I was totally stressed out until, I found out I ould learn on the web (I am a visual learner and need videos). This web site and the folks here have helped alot so I don’t feel that I am in the void. I am now working on two patterns; a jumper (sweater) and a shawl that I couldn’t get past the third row until recently. So now I know that if I have a question, I come here or do a search. If that doesn’t help, then I come here and ask.
Trust me, I can relate. I am a recovering perfectionist.
If you do choose to keep knitting, trust me, the stitches will look better with practice. This is almost totally related to tension, and getting tension even is one of the hardest things to do when you are first learning to knit (in my opinion.) This is because unlike knitting “techniques” there are no step by step instructions for getting tension down. And different people hold their yarn different. It just takes practice, practice, practice!
Does your town have any big box stores like a Michaels or Joann? They do tend to have classes. Or do you have a knitting friend that could help you? It sounds like part of the fun of sewing for you has been being able to socialize and have fun with your friends. Maybe you could start a knitting circle and learn with others, even if you are all beginners and learn from videos or books. I still think in this case you could help each other learn. Maybe you could even try this with your sewing friends.
I was taught crocheting at age 4 by my grandmother, and sewing by my mother at the same age. In the almost (but not quite!) 50 years since, I have made a living from and had a lot of joy out of sewing, crocheting, crafts like jewelry and beading and whatever caught my fancy.
But I could never get the hang of knitting. I [I]wanted[/I] to knit. I even [I]longed[/I] to knit. I loved the look of knitting. But it just wouldn’t stick in my brain, even though I knew how to stitch a knit and a purl. Projects would live on the needles for about two years, and eventually I’d throw it out.
This last New Year’s, though, in the middle of a terrible cold snap in the UK, I wanted a very long, very warm, preferably merino wool scarf, and when I found a “weekend” cabled scarf and then realized how far available yarns had come (I had been trying to learn knitting in the days of basically five kinds of yarn and one or two kinds of needles), I realized that I could knit what I wanted on bulky merino yarns and large, beautifully made needles that helped instead of hindered, and get it done really quickly.
So I did. Now my family thinks I’m obsessed, and I guess I am! I LOVE knitting, finally, after all these years!
Previously, I’d always tried to teach myself on acrylic yarns and cheap needles, figuring that I shouldn’t waste money on something I was just learning. Working on lovely fiber and nice tools on New Year’s Eve, I suddenly had this epiphany: I am a total tool and fiber snob. When I sew, I work mainly with nice fabrics in beautiful fibers (I specialized in silk wedding gowns), and with the best tools I can afford. The same goes with every craft I’ve ever done.
What the heck, I realized, had I been thinking?! No wonder it never stuck: I had tried working on projects that I felt were boring, in fibers I normally wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole, on tools that were so basic I might as well have made them myself out of twigs…if twigs were made of plastic.
So now when people ask me about learning a craft (most recently, of course, since I’ve been taking knitting with me everywhere, knitting), I tell them: don’t work on projects that you don’t love. Only choose projects and materials and tools that you love. If you love the project and materials, it will carry you through the boring and/or frustrating bits.
If you love an inexpensive acrylic yarn, great! If you love your plastic bargain-store needles, FABULOUS! I’m not saying you have to be a tool or fiber snob like me. But love what you’re using, in a project that you adore.
It’s the only thing that gets me through the umpteenth frog to go back and fix the row with bad tension.
Hope that might help you!
Oh and BTW: are you on Ravelry as well as here? If you aren’t, get yourself an invitation and JOIN A GROUP OR SIX! It can be like a virtual Stitch’n’Bitch group if you pick the right ones, with interests that you share, and you can then pick group members brains for answers to your problems – which, of course, you can also do here. You can research patterns and yarns, finding out what works for what quite easily, as well as what doesn’t work.
And do use the vids here, as others have suggested. They’ve saved my bacon many a time!