Q for You: Do you also sew?

Q for You: Do you knit and sew?

I’ve sewn my whole life — or as long as I can remember. My mom definitely taught me when I was a kid, beginning with hand-stitching tasks and working up to the machine. I remember her showing me how to thread her old machine, and advising me to always run a row of stitches on scrap fabric to check my stitch length and tension before sewing on my garment. And I vividly remember 8th grade sewing class. Even though I’d only sewn sporadically over the years, I felt like that background in sewing was a definite asset to me when I learned to knit a few years ago, even if in a somewhat abstract way. It came as a surprise to me at first that there wasn’t a lot of overlap — on the web, there were sewers and there were knitters, and finding people who did both was a bit of a rarity. Or at least so it seemed. I’m definitely seeing more and more knitters lately declaring that they’re learning to sew, and vice versa, but I suspect I also just wasn’t looking in the right corners of the internet, because there are definitely heaploads of people who do both.

Knitting brought me back to sewing in a big way — I take it much more seriously now than I ever had before. I don’t quite enjoy the act of sewing the way I do knitting — I find it tedious at times and rather isolating — but I love love love being able to cook up garments that work together to form a wardrobe. So that’s my Q for You today: Do you sew as well as knit? Did one lead you to the other? And which do you enjoy most?


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120 thoughts on “Q for You: Do you also sew?

  1. I do both- learned to sew in school. Learned to knit as an adult. I much prefer knitting- and thanks to a daughter who does both VERY well I have become a better knitter.

  2. I have been knitting and sewing for over 50 years (I must have started when I was two). They were taught to me independently by a great aunt and my mother, respective. I find the two activities unrelated with the possible exception that sewing set-in sleeves has helped me a bit with set-sleeves in sweaters. I would much rather knit than sew but am sewing more since I retired a little over a year ago.

  3. Yes! I started with sewing and have been sewing since the 6th grade. I would make stuffed animals and worked my way up to garments. In college I would make all of the dresses I wore to weddings, and am now getting back into sewing clothes to wear on a daily basis. I knit my first sweater in the 6th grade, but lost touch with knitting and crocheted instead. After I crocheted my first sweater and realized that I didn’t like how the finished fabric looked/felt, I jumped into knitting again 2 years ago and haven’t looked back. I am addicted! I think I have about 20 sweaters under my belt and two more currently on needles. I like that I can knit and watch TV, but still fall back on sewing when I need a quick fix. There are so many amazing pattern makers out there now… I just wish that there were more fabric stores in my area… it’s hard to shop for fabric online as I like to touch/feel/etc.

    p.s. I love your blog!

  4. I know how to sew but am not a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination. Both my grandmothers were young married women with children in the 1930s so by necessity they could sew and knit. One loved to knit but hated sewing, the other could do anything with a needle and thread but was merely a garter stitch knitter. Each of them worked to teach me her favorite, so I know how to do both, but it is knitting I love. Sewing gives me headaches as nothing comes out the way I picture it. 😉

  5. I knit but stopped sewing long ago–I even studied at the Mayer School for Fashion Design. I recently got a new sewing machine for a present, and it looks so complicated that it scares me! I haven’t used it yet, although I have a couple of simple projects in mind. I even bought fabric.

  6. Me too — sewing first, now knitting (crochet happened in between too, among other makings). My mom did both, avidly, but I didn’t have the patience to learn knitting as a child…

  7. I got to knitting from seeing, which I taught myself to do at 12, with some help from a neighbor. I picked the HARDEST patterns from Vogue. I gradually switched over to knitting at age 35, and never see now. I even taught sewing during a fashion class as a high school teacher. With limited space and time, I prefer to knit. But who knows, Karen, I may have a sewing Rennaisance some day!

  8. My mom put me in a sewing classes when I was about 5 years old. My mom tried to teach me to knit at around the same time, but my interest wasn’t there…what 5 year old wants to knit a dish cloth? I certainly didn’t. I got less than half way before I put it away.
    I did a lot of sewing and many other arts and crafts before I finally learned to knit. The first thing I did knit when I finally learned was a sweater, and it is still my most worn sweater. After all these years it still looks as good as new. I skipped the part about knitting a gauge swatch, and fortunately the sweater is the perfect size.
    Knitting has been my top choice ever since. I plan to return to sewing in the near future. Sewing will always come and go in my life, but I believe knitting will stay with me for the rest of my life.

  9. I was a lucky girl. My grandma did it all! She passed it on. My Mom was a true seamstress not just a home sewer. I can do a little of everything but sewing and knitting are my strengths. I would love to know what odd handwork others do. I have done hairpin lace and punch work, bargello and macrame. You name it! BTW my Mom did not knit but crocheted like a mad thing.

  10. I learned to knit at 6, and learned to sew on a machine a few years later. I made most of my own clothes throughout high school and college (my Mom had been trained as a Home Ec teacher, so I learned proper techniques without having to take a class at school — even though when I wanted to take the Architectural Drafting course in my freshman year of high school the guidance counselor told me it was for boys and I should take Home Ec instead!! I didn’t.). I sewed a lot for my sons – it was the only way, in the early 90’s, to provide colorful clothes for boys. I’ve made a dozen quilts (not all are finished!). But, knitting is more portable and allows more sociability so I’ve done little sewing in recent years. I’m looking forward to retirement when I’ll be able to while away the hours in my “fiber room” during the day and knit and catch up with my husband in the evening. BTW, the topic of sewing machine memories is being talked about over at Mason-Dixon Knitting, too!

  11. I knit and sew (though I probably knit more than I sew). I learned how to sew first–my grandmother was an expert quilter who taught me the basics, and I remember taking loads of garment sewing classes at JoAnn fabrics when I was 12-14 :). I stopped for most of high school and college, however, first because my militant second-wave feminist self in high school decided I was above such “women’s work” (…) and then due to a lack of equipment and moving a lot in college and after. I learned how to knit young as well from my mother (maybe at 5 or 6), but never really got into it until after college–once I picked up those needles again though I was unstoppable!

    I’ve recently gotten back into sewing garments, which has likewise re-ignited my interest in quilting. I’m absolutely with you in that I enjoy the process of knitting so much more than sewing. But, I think I like the products of sewing even more than ones from knitting! My resolution this year was to spend 2016 crafting a handmade wardrobe for myself as a way to stretch both my knitting and sewing skills. We’ll see how it goes!

  12. I learned both knitting and sewing in 4-H as a kid. I completed more sewing projects than knitting projects then (I think I got through four years of sewing but only two of knitting), which is funny because now I’m definitely more of a knitter. That said, I’ve really gotten interested in sewing again in the last year or so, and I attribute this completely to the proliferation of indie designs and inspiration to be found online. It’s all really quite empowering.

  13. Yes, both! I learnt way back in childhood, stopped for a couple of decades (apart from a few sporadic projects) and then started knitting in earnest about 7 years ago and sewing around 4 years ago. I can definitely attribute both to the internet; before finding sewing and knitting bloggers my ‘normal’ was one project or less in two years, and then my brain adjusted to the new normal of a project or more a month.

    I’ve been very careful with my knitting project planning, only making items I think I will actually wear, taking notes on each trip to record knit garment gaps, and slowly filling those gaps. So my stashing is pretty controlled and designated. With sewing, I’m still getting there, because up to now my skills were not equal to make the sort of complex things I envisioned.

    I recently did a massive wardrobe purge (including my handknits as well, and recorded it on my blog so I would stick to it!) and am slowly buying and making the kind of stuff I want in sewn garments.

  14. I have knitted and sewn all of my life. It wasn’t until I found Ravelry and the whole online knitting community two years ago that my knitting got good and I became hooked. I love the concept of sewing but find the cutting a bit tedious. With the prompt of a random email/blog, I was encouraged to make a super simple dress using one from my closet as the pattern. I traced half the dress onto pink butcher paper left over from lining my kitchen shelves and used that as the pattern – two pieces – what could be easier (until I got to the neckline and armholes and explored self bias tape for one dress and a lining for the other which added a bit of time to the projects). It was a lot of fun and got me sewing again. Sometimes you need a quick and easy project to get the engine revving!

    • It’s definitely a million times easier with sewing to try stuff and see how it turns out. There’s always cheap muslin to play with, and you know within a matter of hours (or even minutes) whether it worked out or not.

  15. My mom and Grandma taught me to hand stitch as a kid, and my mother in law got me a sewing machine for my bridal shower. She quilts, so I ask her all my sewing questions! I taught myself to knit about 4 years ago, and it’s definitely my #1 craft. I’m about to try out sewing lining to knit baby blankets, so it’s the best of both worlds, lol!

  16. I’m a QUILTER! I’ve been piecing & sewing quilts for 14 years now. I have a severe addiction to fabric & color. Just last summer, I took Rebekka’s beginner class in Nashville on learning the basics of knitting. I have a few friends that knit and now we’ve started Monday Night-Knit Night just the 3 of us! That addiction has continued on to fine wool, yarn & a love for all things sheep! Spinning is tempting me too! I’ve enjoyed learning to knit these past 9/10 months. It’s a different love from quilting, but a love non the less. We are so excited for StitchesSouth coming soon! I can’t wait for my pals to meet you!

  17. I also learned to knit and sew from my mother as a young child. She sewed beautifully and made clothing for all six of us children. I treasure a photo of my sisters and me with our pretty dresses and her in her stylish sheath, all made by her. I sewed all through high school but intermittently since then. I did quite a lot of weaving for a number of years but always some knitting too. Now I mostly knit but am trying to get my sewing skills back up to speed.

  18. I learned to sew in 8th grade Home Ec, but my mom made many clothes for my sister and me. I went of to college with some model of trusty Singer, and made lots of my clothes then, and (ta daa) also learned to knit (my first object? a Penny Straker lace and cable cardigan, on size 3 needles. Two years work, as I recall …). But knitting didn’t stick, and finally sewing clothes became too time-consuming and was more expensive than buying. But when I took up quilting I bought two vintage Singers, one a 301A (zig zag! reverse!) and a 1940s 15-96, which stitches more evenly than any machine except maybe a Pfaff. Then about 6 yrs ago I sold all my quilting stuff and went back to knitting – time, portability, etc. But the sewing machines are still in the bedroom, and I have a small pile of mending and alterations that I’ve promised myself to get at before the summer.

  19. I learned to sew and knit as a child. Both crafts have had their ups and downs ie sewing a lot but no knitting and vice versa. In the last 5 years I took up knitting again and now am starting to sew again. It’s almost like starting from scratch but I’m determined to learn how to sew jersey fabric ( stretchy) and have signed up for a class.

  20. Yes. Both of my grandmothers taught me to knit, sew, crochet & embroider when I was quite young. I lost interest in all of them while in high school but in college I studied under a master tailor & had so much fun. And I agree the principles of garment construction definitely cross over. I worked as a tailor for nearly 15 years. Now I sew a little but knitting is my primary go-to. It’s great occupational therapy for my hands.

  21. Well, I was introduced to sewing by my mother, a talented seamstress, who did everything…sewing, knitting, crocheting, embroidery. But I didn’t really enjoy it till much later in life. I had the typical… started but never finished afghan, sleeveless cardigan (not intentionally), messy cross stitch pillow, trousers that had to become a skirt because I was too lazy to figure out legs, etc. I was always relying on my mother to sew all my suits for school, drapes for my windows, crochet my tablecloths and bedspreads, and anything else I could think of. Then, when I began teaching, I met a fellow teacher who knitted all her own incredibly beautiful sweaters, and wore one each day with a skirt or pair of trousers. She, along with my mother, and very accomplished, talented sister, inspired me to consider all these different talents an art form. When I opened my Fine Art Gallery, I often showcased their creations in sold-out fashion shows and exhibits….once, again, letting others do the work. Recently, I’ve rekindled my desire to do it myself; to actually finish a garment I begin. That’s what ultimately led me to the fortunate discovery of your site…such an inspiration and a blessing! So now, I knit, crochet, sew, and rug hook, though needlepoint is still too tedious for my attention span. Now…with markedly less years on my life’s calendar, I suddenly want to do it all!

  22. I don’t sew but I could see myself enjoying it. Though I’m unlikely to actually do it until I’m at a point in my life where I have more free time to do all the things I want to do! My mom sewed when I was very young and I learned the basics at the time so it’s not completely foreign to me. For now, I’m loving knitting – having learned just a few years ago – and knit as much as I can in my spare time.

  23. I’m going to be the odd one out here. I don’t know how to sew but I knit. I’ve tried to sew at various times in my life–with much assistance–but remaining startlingly unsuccessful with it. I learned to knit about 30 years ago in university and knit off and on until about 8 years ago when I started knitting regularly.

  24. I do both, but it’s apples and oranges to me; I really can’t compare the two. It would be like comparing knitting and baking, or sewing and carpentry. I did once tell a mechanic who was patting me on the head after I mentioned I had replaced the hard-to-reach battery in my old van that it was no harder than working on my old Singer…to my surprise, he was outraged. People are funny!

  25. My grandmother taught me both sewing and knitting when I was quite young. I was in a 4H sewing group in about fourth grade and took a required sewing class in junior high. In high school I made a lot of my own clothes and before I went to college I made several items to take. I’ve even had a couple of jobs as a seamstress, one doing alterations at a clothing store, mostly menswear, and the other job was sewing garments from RE-cycled denim in the 70s. Space is such an important factor in sewing. I live in a small space so knitting has been my preference. But I’m seeing so much excitement about sewing, I may just figure out a way to start again!

  26. I learned to hand sew and knit from the age of about seven. I thought myself dressmaking and have sewn constantly since, for myself and others. Knitting was more sporadic- I took it up now and again for baby gifts.
    Finding Ravelry and blogs, really made me think more clearly about knitting. I’m no longer confined by a written pattern and that has made my knitting improve exponentially. I sew more than I knit – but I almost always have some knitting on the go now, it’s much more portable than sewing :)

  27. I love to knit and sew. My mother and grandmother taught me both when I was young. I love the soothingness and portability of knitting. I love the color and possibilities of sewing. I also love to travel and find fabric and yarn shops all over, each has their own personality. I can sit and knit for hours, but I also find sewing to be much more tiring.
    I also love your blog!

  28. I love to knit and I’m trying to learn to love sewing. I learned to sew in school but had more bad outcomes than good. Lots of cuss words learned. Seeing your sewing outcome has encouraged me to dust off the machine and try again. I never learned how to fit and I am trying to figure out that now. The scary part about sewing is that once the cloth is cut, you can’t unravel like knitting and try again. I’m also trying to learn which fabrics work best. Grainline patterns are wonderful and her blog is teaching me a lot.

  29. I know how to sew the most basic things but alas, I don’t own a machine or have a table/storage for it so it may be a long time before I start sewing seriously. I lived with a roommate who had a machine and I made shirts and tailored things. I keep offering him money for it since he doesn’t use it but it’s his mom’s lol I learned how to knit at a young age and I like that I can do it pretty much anywhere.

  30. I would love to learn to sew. I can do a decent job of sewing by hand, and I have a garage sale sewing machine that I’m a little intimidated by. I would love to take some classes and learn properly, but that will have to wait until my kids are older. I joke that I need a new hobby like I need a hole in the head!

    The fact is that I have explored so many different crafts and enjoy them all. The reason I have stuck with knitting and crochet is portability- take your project with you, work on it a bit here and there, and voila! A pair of socks or gloves or hat or whatever.

    But your comment about lack of overlap (or maybe there is quite a bit) between knitting and sewing made me think of the apparent lack of overlap between knitting and crochet in the US. For some reason people appear stubborn about not doing the other craft and I really have no idea why.

  31. I started knitting about 4 years ago and sewing two years ago. That is something I can thanks blogging for. For being the channel to find all the inspiring knitters and sewers out there.

  32. My mother was a great seamstress. She made clothes for me through my college years. My grandmother also sewed. I have fond memories of her teaching me how to make a crazy quilt. My mother knit off and on. She taught me to sew but not knit. I first learned to knit when I was in my twenties. I have done both, knit and sewing, on and off since. Now that I have grandchildren I sew and knit a great deal. Knitting and sewing for them has lead me to knitting and sewing for myself. I usually knit at night and sew during the day. Even though I am retired I find it difficult to find the time, however. I have to set asside a day and say this is for sewing and nothing else.
    Have only recently taken knitting seriously. I love it and want to improve my skills. I live in a small remote village and get most of my instruction, inspiration, and supplies for both knitting and sewing) on the internet. Blogs and stores like yours have been invaluable to me.

  33. I am still sewing with my 1968 Singer Golden Touch n Sew. It was top of the line in 1968! I knit much more now simply because it is so portable. I sew needle rolls and project bags now rather than clothing. There was a time when every piece of clothing I owned was handmade. I even made my own jeans!

  34. Oh man, the time. I shudder at the thought of falling in love with a new craft. I did take an introductory sewing workshop a few years ago, seduced by all those Colette blog posts, but the teacher was so crummy she didn’t even understand why I needed to be told how to cut a straight, even line.

  35. I CAN sew, but I don’t like to. I think I’m just not good enough at it for it to be satisfying. I don’t like seaming up my knitting either. I have a good sewing machine, some good fabric, a nearby shop that isn’t a national chain. No excuses, I just don’t like it.

    • I keep saying I don’t like sewing, but I like having sewn. But the more I do it, the more comfortable and confident I am in what I’m doing, the more enjoyable it is. Anyway, I get that some people just really don’t like it.

  36. I started knitting about 10 years ago. My grandmother was my inspiration and she knits, sews, crewels, weaves, embroiders, and dabbles in pretty much every fiber art. As I’ve seen her age, it seems as though when her arthritis kicks in when she does too much of one thing, she just switches to another craft.

    I’ve tried to sew, but it seems the only times I can sew something correctly from start to finish is when I’m doing it with someone else. I cut out some fabric for a dress I really wanted once, only to realize that I cut half of it UPSIDE DOWN (and the pattern had a definite up and down side). I haven’t tried to do anything else since that. Though, I would love to.

      • JKosek, my mom (a terrific seamstress) once made me corduroy pants when I was in middle school with the wale of one leg going one way and the other leg the other way. That was the day I learned my first curse words. I wore them; I was eleven and didn’t care. Adults need to get over the idea that because we’re adults we should know how to do stuff. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not learning. Give sewing another go.

  37. I am 70 (that might be relevant), and my mother taught me to sew as a child. Later I was in 4H, taking sewing lessons, for 6 years. Sewing was mandatory in my home: we never bought anything we could make, and my mother made us learn to do it correctly and perfectly. I continued to sew while my children were young, making almost all of their clothes. I came to hate it, and one day I just stopped. I would rather spend the time shopping, and give more time to the knitting (which I have done fanatically since my teen years). Now I will do my own alterations, mending, and such, but otherwise I don’t sew.

    That said, the understanding of clothing construction and pattern shaping is fundamental to my knitting skills, and I use that knowledge all the time. It is all part of a general love for, and knowledge about, textiles and as such the experience is invaluable. It makes me a better shopper, it makes me a better knitter and pattern designer, and it gives me a deeper understanding of any/all other textile and fiber arts.

  38. My mom taught me-a few years after she made a complete Chatty Cathy wardrobe one Christmas. In High school I’d ride my bike to TG&Y where fabric was a buck a yard and make tons of coulottes. It was much cheaper to sew your own clothes in the 70’s. I sewed for a designer a few years as she handpainted silk. But with fabric stores dwindling and patterns reaching sky high preices I also put the machine away except for repairing.

  39. No I do not sew at all and, hopefully I can say this without seeming like a jerk, I have no interest in it whatsoever and I wish you had a separate blog for sewing stuff because I get disappointed.

  40. I love to sew so much! In another lifetime I sewed many of my sons small clothes as well as my own. Now I’m repurposing clothes for me. Mostly I sew small sweet things for our shop. Its the tactile thing and the color! Batik fabric – such unpredictable, colorful cotton – is my “paint” for what I make. My own clothing palette may be pretty basic but with my creations I play with paints and with fabrics where its all about color. Too fun. And lucky for me that we have a local sewing machine repair guy who is excellent. My old Riccar is always working perfectly. Looks like you started a rampage with this question!

  41. I taught myself to sew in junior high (50 years ago!) and for years made pretty much all my clothing. I am tall, with long arms, and being able to make myself long sleeved garments, particularly jackets and coats, was a real plus. I taught myself to knit as well but never really made any actual garments. About 5 years ago I began knitting again, this time determined to make something I can wear. I’ve made about 5 sweaters with varying degrees of success. I like doing both knitting and sewing, but the appeal is different! Knitting I do while watching tv or reading (if the pattern’s not too complicated!) Sewing is for clothes year round; our weather’s too warm for knitted things at least half the year.

  42. I do both, I started sewing first – I too remember my 8th grade sewing class. I made a gym bag. My grandmother was a seamstress and she taught my father how to sew and my father encouraged me but I am a waaaay better knitter than sewer. I will admit this movement towards knitting myself a wardrobe of sweaters has made me want to dust off my sewing machine this spring and make a dress or too.

  43. I do them both pretty equally (but with seasonal changes: mostly knitting in the winter, mostly sewing in the summer). I love the portability and social aspect of knitting that’s tougher to achieve with sewing. I recently took a sewing class pretty much JUST so I could be around other people who were also interested in garment construction. I really wish there were more sewing studios with free hours where people could come with special problems, to see what other people are working on, or just to sew and chat stitch-and-bitch style.

    • I could imagine that in a local fabric store, but tough to think of in a joanns. I think it’s a great idea. Maybe you could start it up at a community center if you don’t have a local store.

      • I think I might just run it by my local fabric store’s owner to see what she thinks. I think it would be great as a way to get people into the store regularly to see her new stock, but maybe it wouldn’t quite be worth the wear-and-tear on the machines? I’ll definitely try to figure out a way to pitch it to her.

    • A local sewing machine store/quilt shop has a sewing night once a month. Check out the quilt stores in your area. Or put up a notice in your church or community bulletin board that you’d like to start up a sew & chat group. Good luck!

  44. I also started sewing in a grade 8 sewing class and at that time made blouses, jumpers and turned all my clothes into pop culture outfits, mini skirts and bell bottoms! I continued to sew, acquired a serger and then taught myself how to knit in my twenties and did both until 4 children and working took up all my time! The last one has just left to university and I finally have time to do both again. I recently got hooked again after looking at photos of me from the past and noticing that everything I was wearing in every photo I had made:) I like the quicker results of sewing and that it takes me off into my own world. Knitting however is more meditative, projects lengthier as well as accessible anywhere and can be done while watching shows/movies and…. occasionally (people accept distractions of cell phones more than knitting needles for some weird reason) while visiting with close friends and family…. or sitting outside in the garden with a latte.:) I am sure they are connected in the creative side of my brain but don’t know if the skills cross over??
    I love how its all evolved using the digital world and how the technology of sewing machines, self threading sergers, and needles have changed for the better and just wish there was a ravelry for seamsters?!

  45. I come from a long line of makers. My grandmother, Mother and Aunts all made most of their clothing by choice. They were petite and clothes did not fit well when purchased. I made my first skirt in 4th grade and all through the seventies made everything-including my blue jeans. Think-Flat front,hip hugging, wide bells! I did it to get the fit I needed as a Tall girl. Only one Aunt knit. My Mom’s best friend taught me to knit at six. I took to it with zeal. I taught myself from a book written in the 4o’s which I still cherish. Now, I sew to alter and repair. I have tried some quilting- but I prefer to knit. Occasionally, I still make a simple linen sundress. My daughter has no interest and places no value on learning to make. So, I teach a class every Wednesday for 15 years.

  46. I actually made mo wedding dress. It was a Nina Ricci Vogue pattern that I altered. I have been selling since I was six. My grandmother taught me both sewing and knitting. I used to make dolls clothes when I was little. I had to stop knitting for a while because I have rheumatoid arthritis in my elbows were too bad to knit. Now that I have my RA under control I knit all the time. I prefer knitting over sewing. As you find it tedious so do I. Most of my sewing now is for slipcovers curtains Roman blinds bed skirts etc.

  47. I do both and started sewing first. I allways did small mendings and clothes alterations by hand, but after starting to crochet I decided I needed to buy a sewing machine, to make a crochet needle case (and publicly to make taking up hems on trousers faster). Knitting came latter, heavily influeced by ravelry. Yet I only recently started making clothes for myself, my first projects were bags and small patchwork projects.

  48. I learnt to knit and sew as a child from Mum and an aunt and have continued to do both over the years – sewed most of my daughter’s clothes too but now I’d much rather spend the time knitting. Out on the deck or on the couch, it’s such a solace to my soul :)

  49. I do both. My mother also did both, but she could only teach me the sewing. She was very left handed and I am very right handed! Anyway, I finally learned knitting as an adult. I enjoy both. The sewing feels more instant- so if I need something to wear this week I will sew. The knitting is more about the process and the relaxation it provides.

  50. I have sewn for more than 50 years, knit for about 15. Both bring me much joy. I knit much more than sewed until my retirement because sewing wasn’t as portable, and I couldn’t sew while doing other things as I could with sewing. Being retired has allowed me to return to sewing more, and my goal is to sew 50% of my wardrobe. Will always continue both knitting and sewing because there is nothing like taking a flat piece of fabric or a ball of yarn and transforming it into something I can wear or gift.

  51. I learned to sew in high school and loved it since it helped me make clothes that fit (I was always the tallest in class and now just under 6′). While I have put aside sewing for many years and only returned to it a couple of years ago it has always be in my blood (or brain). I only recently (Dec/15) learned to knit from taking a great class. I really like knitting but I need to find a knitting group with real people I can talk to next to me, to get me moving forward to knitting sweaters which I think really complements the things I have sewn!

  52. I have sewn minimally. There’s so much of sewing that isn’t sewing, I find it tedious. And I was trying to do it as a teenager when everything is tedious. Knitting is magical because the prep work is also knitting, and clean up is virtually non existent.

    On the other hand, woven fabric still strikes me as more sophisticated. It definitely wins at smocking. I may get a machine and sew at some point. I think you bring up a good point about enjoying it more with increased proficiency.

  53. I do both – I started knitting about three years ago when I was injured from running and needed a sedentary hobby! I wanted a creative outlet and I remembered knitting a little bit when I was small so I felt like I could try it again. Then after about a year and a couple of successful projects I started craving quicker completed makes. I did a bit of sewing in secondary school – elasticated waist trousers and a lined waistcoat – so I did some research (read lots of blogs!) and jumped in to sewing a dress. Now I tend to have a sewing project and a couple of knits on the go at all times, and I now struggle to make the time to run any more!!

  54. I knit and sew. I learned both from my mom when I was pretty young, and her mother sewed and knitted as well. I have stronger memories of my mom sewing and teaching me to sew than I do of knitting.
    As an adult I came back to knitting first, around 2007. I didn’t get back into sewing until around 2013. So I consider myself a knitter that then took up sewing. I think the two crafts fit together very well, and can see how someone skilled in one area would be interested in taking up the other.
    I think it’s funny how knitting feels so magical to a sewist, and vice versa. Knitting is old hat for me now that I can make complex and time consuming things without thinking too much about it, but I’m still learning new sewing techniques and I have to constantly stop and admire my sewing!

  55. So interesting to read about everybody’s experience and the connection they feel (or don’t) between the two skills. I sew and have bins and bins of fabric, much of it salvaged from thrifted garments that I cut up because I liked the fabric. I actually taught myself how to sew after working for several years with clay. I was a hand builder and found that fabric construction was similar to joining slabs of clay. But, my time and space in my house is very limited, so I haven’t done much sewing in the last three years. I also embroider and enjoyed doing that at the end of a day, watching a movie. I knew I would love to knit, but vowed I would not learn another skill until I made a serious dent in my fabric supplies. But………… a friend of mine came to visit in January. She is a master knitter and was here for several days and I finally broke down and said, “OK. Show me.” Instant addiction. And, like I dreaded, I’m now trolling eBay for dead people’s yarn… The stash is growing.

    Surprises: I didn’t realize how mathematical knitting was. That part hurts my brain, but I can see that with each project, testing different yarns and needles (got lots of dead people’s needles, too), familiarity starts making the math part easier. Learning how to read knitting patterns has been a big challenge. It’s like learning a new language and very different from sewing patterns. I diligently make swatches and have a bag of them growing, attached to the yarn label. I love the portability of knitting and now have a project with me whenever I go out and don’t have to dread waiting at the mechanics or other places that might be a time waster. My friend said she has friends that even knit at stop lights. :) I am delighted at having the ability to MAKE fabric. Everything else I’ve done used a base and now I can actually create yardage. It makes my brain percolate at the possibilities and I think sewing informs my potential of what may lay ahead. How to combine the two?

    I get your posts by email and although I am not ready to make a sweater yet, you have removed the fear of it. Your posts are clear and address questions that I find interesting. I’ve never been good at following directions, so I need to reach the point where I will be familiar enough with how things work so that I can take the general idea and then plan accordingly and you have helped a great deal in having things make sense.

    I run a textile organization online (www.tafalist.com) and have had a hard time bringing knitters on board into the membership. I’ve thought about that a lot and still haven’t figured out why knitters set themselves apart from the other textile arts. Our focus is on helping our members improve their presence on the web as a business and knitting is obviously a huge niche in the craft industry. We live in such an opportune time where so much is available and where there is the support and interest to bring back processes, techniques, and knowledge that had been dying out, from animal breeds, to spinning, dyeing, and all of the methods of using those fibers. I’m inspired daily by this community and love thinking about all of the work that is going into making what we do more sustainable and earth friendly. My friend who taught me how to knit has gone on many knitting tours (Iceland, Scotland, Ireland and many in the US) and even though she already knows so much, she is always learning something new. So, the possibilities are endless of what we can do with what we know and whether it’s a hobby or a business, there is nothing like having the skills to control what we wear or use in daily life.

    I do have to say, too, that now that I have made a bunch of hats and cowls (and ONE sock), I don’t see how knitters can sell their work for so little. I see lot of knit hats and scarves on Etsy for around $40 and even if they are made with chunky yarn, that isn’t enough to cover labor and materials. I’ve gotten pretty fast and it takes me about 10 hours to make a hat. If I want to make $15/hour plus supplies, that hat should be worth at least $150. But, who would buy it? My mother is of Icelandic heritage and when they graduated from high school, that would get one sweater that was supposed to last a lifetime. There was value associated to what was made back then and although there are some knitwear on the higher end, most is devalued on the market. I can already see that knitting will be addictive to me and that I will probably prefer to give away what I make than sell it for nothing. Or, I hope I will get to the place where I can have the extra projects pay for yarn… Or, I suppose that once you get into the big projects (sweaters and such), this becomes less of an issue.

    Sorry this is so long, but you DID ask! :)

  56. I knit and sew. I learned how to sew and draft patterns in high school because I wanted to make clothes that fit and recreate things I could never afford to actually buy. I can’t remember when I learned to knit, but now that I am loving in a college dorm room, I have taken to knitting as a creative outlet. For me, sewing experience is an asset for knitting and tends to drive me towards more structured knitted garments. I definitely prefer sewing and by now about a third of my wardrobe is items I made. I can envision more creative ways to use sewing, and from a more practical standpoint I need and use more sewn than knitted items. I prefer to use all natural fibers, so even on a per item basis, it is usually much cheaper for me to buy even wool or silk fabric than it is to buy nice yarn.

  57. My mum sews and knits a lot, and I was knitting and sewing on a machine by age 7. I find the two very complimentary: knitting is very meditative but finishing a project is painfully slow, so I’ll often take a break from knitting to sew, which requires more attention and is not relaxing but I have something new to wear completed within an evening.

  58. I sew, knit, crochet, macramé, make jewelry, quilt, smock, scrapbook, & I can tat if I put my mind to it! I’m a cross crafter from the word go! Mostly now, I knit. My sweet cousin Linda taught me how to sew when I was in the 4th grade! I never looked back. I’ve made clothes for myself & my children, curtains, & pillow covers. I even took curtains & re-upholstered a sofa once! I was just out of school, poor, & needed to cover it. I’m very stubborn & always believed it was worth a try!

  59. I sew, knit and crochet. Though my mom also sews, it was really my grandmother who taught me the most. She had an entire room devoted to crafting supplies and a full wall of it was fabrics. She was an amazing craftswoman. I would spend weekends with her, just learning and making. It was pure heaven.
    The knitting and crocheting kind of fell by the wayside until I discovered Rav a few years ago. Now, I am never without a yarn project. I love all of it and go through cycles as to which is taking more of my free time. I definitely believe my sewing background makes me a better garment knitter. I could write an entire essay on why I think this is so, but I’ve reached my newly imposed word limit, so I won’t. ;-)

  60. Yes! I learned to sew first as a kid too, and later also knitting, and I think it was easier for me to see all the possibilities for sewing than knitting. I got into sewing my own clothes seriously in high school when my mom went back to work and she couldn’t do it for me any more! And then I took up knitting more seriously again when I met my now-husband and started to travel a lot with him, since I could take it with me.

    I remember that stage of not liking the process but liking the outcome, and I suspect you’ll come to like the act of sewing too. Use good fabric, just like knitting, the materials make a huge difference. And once you start to get a feel for fabric then it’s fun to touch it and work with it.

    I’m surprised that some people don’t see much cross-over. I feel like I come at my knitting with a sewist’s brain, trying to figure out the shapes of things the same way I would if I was making a sewing pattern. Knitting and hand-sewing are so similar too; repetitive, soothing little motions, great for traveling or while talking to friends, etc. I do find that I’m happy by myself drafting/cutting patterns or sewing on the machine (that’s my quiet me-time), but I don’t like to sit and knit by myself for any length of time at all, unless I really need to concentrate and figure something out!

  61. My mom taught me to sew when I was 7, and I’ve been a fairly serious sewer my whole life (though there were some breaks for college, grad school, etc.) I learned to knit during a break from employment 3 years ago. Sewing definitely made me a better knitter — I feel I understand sweater construction so well as a result of my experience constructing garments with cloth. And, knitting has made be a better sewer, more attuned to quality fabrics and more capable of slowing down and taking my time.

  62. I learned to sew when I was 12. My first project was a shift dress and I wore it with pride. I sewed as a young mother but let it go when life got too busy and it was difficult to get good quality fabric. Knowing how to set in sleeves really helped when I knit my first sweater in pieces. The two skills intersect so much! I’m sewing again since I inherited my mother’s machine. First project? A knitting project bag, of course!

  63. I knit and sew, but the need for immediate gratification has me on a sewing kick. My grandmother taught me to sew – I was probably around 10. I learned to knit in my late twenties. As a shepherdess, I am surrounded by beautiful wool, but I find that I have little time to sit and knit. Thank goodness I can knock out a tunic or dress in an afternoon!

  64. I do both. My relationship with sewing has always been tumultuous, at best. I get easily frustrated and find my body gets very tense while sewing. However, I recently tried a simple pattern that didn’t require much fit but produced a dress that was exactly what I prefer to wear (the dottie angel dress, simplicity 1080). And now I’ve made 3! But not because I enjoy sewing – I make them because I love to wear them and I’m willing to risk any stress or frustration just so I can have another lovely dress that fits seamlessly in my wardrobe. Knitting is where my passion lies, but I cannot yet produce a finished garment in a day. So until then, I will practice my sewing.

  65. I agree–it’s odd how you don’t see tons of blogs that do BOTH, but count me in as another person who sews and knits too! You’ll find both on my blog, depending on my mood and whatever phase I’m in at the time.

  66. I do both weekly: sewing and knitting. I have been sewing for>50 years, and knitting daily for the last 15. I found sweater construction classes brought back good memories of pattern construction classes taken in high school and college. I thoroughly enjoy making blouses to wear with sweaters I’ve knit, or vise versa. A Verb for Keeping Warm, in Oakland, is my idea of heaven: high quality fabrics and lots of beautiful yarn.

  67. I’ve sewn a little, but I don’t enjoy it as much as knitting. In fact, I gave it up for a while after another weekend day making a blouse when my husband innocently commented “Why do you have a hobby that makes you angry?” I am a far more skilled knitter than sewer, and am deeply critical of my sewn work.

    Now that my budget has shrunk, so that it no longer accommodates clothing beyond the basics, I am a bit tempted to borrow a neighbor’s sewing machine for a bit. I can’t afford clothing in luxury fabrics, but I can afford the fabric to make clothing in really nice fabrics, so… it’s tempting.

  68. I’m a knitter and a wannabe sewer. I love the idea of sewing and designing my own wardrobe, but I find it harder to get started in sewing as compared to knitting. There’s just so much more equipment to buy … Also, it’s impossible to see while travelling (which is what I’m doing right now). I can’t wait to settle down in a nice little house with my very own studio/sewing/craft room!

  69. It’s spooky that this topic is coming up for me–I’ve been knitting since I was eight (taught by Grandma) and learned to sew in 4H. I received a Singer portable (ha!) sewing machine for college graduation in 1977 and used it to make a few wardrobe items when I first started working as a trainee in a bank training program. I never did anything more ambitious than simple dresses or skirts, and only for a little while. I can’t remember the last time I sewed. I’ve knit off an on lo these many years but have become addicted, and much more expert at it, in the last few years. Just lately, I started following your blog, the Purl Soho blog and other knitting blogs, and met a friend who is a sewer (or is it seamstress?). The combination of those things, especially your blog, has renewed my interest in sewing. I’m considering having the old machine overhauled and starting with something simple, most likely a tote. Back to the spooky–read the most recent Mason & Dixon Knitting post:http://www.masondixonknitting.com/creative-odysseys/maiden-voyage-of-the-1967-singer-style-mate/ The universe is converging to turn us all into knitter/seamstresses!

  70. Yes! I make quilts and knit and do needlepoint (cross-stitch) and I do all those things in fits and starts. Right now I can’t even look at my knitting-I’m not sure what my problem is, but I’m sure the knitting bug will come back eventually :).

  71. I would love to be more of a sewer, but right now I mostly stick to embroidery, curtains, or pillows. I’m a much more prolific knitter.

    My mother is an amazing sewer, so I think I always left the harder stuff to her.

    I would love, love, LOVE to read blog posts about how to use and adjust (or make) patterns and piece together garments in detail. These are the things that intimidate me the most!

  72. Mom was such a fabulous seamstress that I didn’t learn how to sew until I left home at 19 and won a Necchi in a drawing at a department store. I sewed a lot of the kids’ clothes when they were small, made everyone in the family swimsuits when we had a pool, and still sew a lot of “rectangular” things. My latest triumph is a dining chair slipcover that’s a play kitchen for our 2-year-old granddaughter. There are clear vinyl pockets all down the back side for her play food, so that’s her grocery. On the front side of the chair back is a appliqué microwave with numbers and buttons, around the sides and front of the skirt are more clear vinyl pockets for plates, etc. and the single-burner stove is a placemat that lays on the seat or she can use on its own. Last week she told me, “Meemaw, I need a sink.” Guess what I’m figuring out this weekend since it all needs to fold flat for storage in our tiny duplex. (Sorry to go on but I’m tickled with how it turned out.) I want to get back to sewing garments for myself. I’m thinking Grainline’s new cardigan pattern will be a good starting place.

    Mom tried to teach me to knit when she taught my Girl Scout troop when I was 10 but my stitches were too tight. I crocheted for years until my daughter learned to knit socks about 8 years ago. I was envious and stopped at a yarn shop for an impromptu lesson. Now I knit a lot, belong to a Guild, and even teach a few techniques now and again. I don’t understand the disregard that many knitters have for crochet; it’s still fiber-y but with only one weapon instead of two. They each have their purpose in my eyes.

    I do love your blog, Karen. You inspire me to challenge myself. Thanks.

  73. I started off sewing, and made many of my clothes in high school. Knit a little back then but not much. Now I mostly knit because it’s more portable. Still dabble with sewing and embroidery, but love knitting

  74. I started sewing when I was 11 and got a sewing machine for my birthday. I don’t enjoy or do it as much as knitting but I do love it.

  75. I do both. I learned to sew before I taught myself to knit several years ago. I hand stitch clothing as well as sit down at a machine every now and then. I have to say that i enjoy knitting more. It’s more portable, easier to fix mistakes and easier to make adjustments as you go. I can say that i enjoy hand stitching over sitting at the machine. It is a very relaxing process and more portable (obviously something that i think is a bonus). And I would like to state that I hand stitch clothing and only use the machine for non-garment sewing.

  76. My Mom taught me to sew and knit as a child. I think my first sewing garment project was for a girl scout badge in elementary school. I sewed all through junior high and high school and only knit sporadically those years. I really started knitting more when my oldest child was a baby and he got his finger caught in my machine pedal which resulted in a new Mom panicked trip to the emergency room and 2 stitches. After that, the sewing machine got packed up and the knitting needles came out. It was much more portable and could be stored away from little people. I still did sew but much less frequently. Fast forward 25 years later and my youngest child asked me to teach her to sew. I thought it would be fun to take lessons together rather than give her the hack lesson her older sister got, so we found a professional nearby and it’s been great! I knit during the week at and for 3 hours on Saturday morning I sew in a group classroom with a fabulous teacher to help me make sure it all fits when done. The best of both worlds!

  77. Yes, I sew! I developed my sewing and knitting skills around the same time, at age 13/14 (at the height of the ‘Stitch’n’Bitch’ movement-come-knitting revival). I dabbled in designing knitting patterns, but took sewing professionally, and did my bachelors degree in costume making. I returned to knitting after graduating, and found that the skills I’d developed, particularly in fitting but also finishing, were really applicable to knitting. Fitting is definitely a grey area in knitting, whereas in sewing, it’s really one of the first things you learn. In fact, I cringe when I see the way that many armholes are fitted in knitted garments :( Most of them are way too wide!

  78. For awhile there I was really resistant to picking up sewing again, but I was motivated by the fact that you really can’t have an entirely handmade wardrobe without both crafts under your belt, and that’s always been my main goal. Now I’m totally hooked on both, but knitting is more of my relaxation hobby, while sewing is more of a means to an end. It’s really fascinating how each side of the coin informs the other – garment constructions is so fascinating, and sometimes I find that my knitting knowledge helps in understanding sewing garments, and vice versa, particularly when it comes to fit.

  79. I learned to sew and to knit at an early age. My mother and great grandmother were both amazing seamstress. My mom learned to knit when I was 7 because I had received a knitting kit for my birthday and pestered her so much she learned so she could teach me. What an amazing mom! I have done a lot of both over the years.

  80. Both! I learned both when I was about twelve. Have sewn off and on since then, but have only recently come back to knitting.

  81. I love to sew, but unlike many people here I didn’t learn until a few years ago. A friend gave us a sewing machine so that my daughter could take lessons. I had to help her in the class and during that time, I was bit by the sewing bug. I went on from there learning from books and the internet. Knitting came a couple years later. Again, I took my daughter to a class and it was then that I was bit by the knitting bug. And again, I continued learning through books and the internet.

    I see them both as creative outlets with their own special strengths. I appreciate the way sewing allows my spirit to release in risk-taking adventure. For me, it is so much easier to be free to experiment in sewing. Knitting (and might I add crochet) is more of an investment to me and is always there to pick up when my spirit needs to rest and release in a rhythmic, steady motion.

  82. I started with sewing in 8th grade home ec and made several dresses. However, I threw away just as many ill-fitting ones as I kept those that fit well. Taught myself to knit in college. I now find myself much more of a knitter as it is so portable – and so therapeutic. one contributing factor to not sewing is that I now have a computerized sewing machine, having passed my trusty Bernina to my daughter. Hate to think that I would be in the demographic to be intimidated by the new machine. I have sworn to conquer it. In the meantime, I love to knit. Though I have been knitting so intensely over the winter holiday making gifts that I have now injured my arms and cannot knit at all. Going to physical therapy and hoping to return to knitting in a more ergonomic way. Wish I could find a knitting group in my area.

  83. I learned to knit and to sew when I was 10 years old (thanks, Mom). I noodled around with the knitting, making scarves and practicing cables, but didn’t knit a garment until college/grad school. But I sewed all through junior high and high school, making lots and lots of my own clothes, including a prom gown. I continued sewing through college, and had a part-time job at a fabric store as I was finishing college and working my way through grad school. My sewing got substantially better: I made model garments for the store, and the experience of people critiquing my seam finishes really inspired me to up my game. I made my “interview suit,” a black wool Chanel-style short jacket and pencil skirt, a hand-smocked night gown with spaghetti straps as an engagement gift for my best friend (all with beautiful seams). I made lots and lots of my own clothes, mostly Vogue designer patterns, and some things for my sister (she bought fabric, I made the blouse, or the skirt). I eventually made my own wedding dress several years later, using a pattern I had used before for a model garment. But about 20 years ago I stopped sewing–work was busy. Knitting is portable and it became my go-to craft of choice

  84. I do both! I have been sewing since I was little, taught by my Grandma making dolls. My first doll was a stuffed skinny cow. I consider myself more of a sewer and a wannabe knitter. Even though I learned to knit in my early 20s I still feel like a newbie. I find sewing my own clothes so empowering. I enjoy both. I tend to sew more in spring and summer and knit more in fall and winter. I really like how portable knitting is. I just started knitting with friends in a pub. Sewing really confines me to my craft room with table and machine. Thanks for this post!

  85. I do both, but learned to sew first. I started to sew in elementary school, inspired by my grandmother who had made a lot of my clothes and who also knit items for both my brothers and me. I remember being a pretty adventurous sewer, even making myself a bathing suit one summer. I later fell hard for crochet and macrame – I think I made granny square afghans, puka shell necklaces and hanging planters for just about everyone I knew. (It was the ’70’s after all!)

    My parents gave me a sewing machine as a present when I graduated high school and that machine helped me make most of my clothes and alter thrifted garments all through college. My sewing slowed to a trickle after that, mostly due to a lack of time and space after my daughters were born and I got busy with work.

    I picked up knitting in the early 2000’s when I was looking for a more portable craft. I fell immediately in love with it and ironically, pulled my sewing machine back out of the closet only a couple of years ago when I was spurred on by indie bloggers and pattern makers like Jen Beeman whom I discovered through knitting blogs like yours. (So thanks!) It was like a whole new world opened up for me when I realized that I didn’t have to go to a fabric store to flip through pattern books to find something to make. I have been so inspired by the designers I’ve since discovered online and have now made almost a dozen tunic dresses that have become my uniform — that I wear with my knitted accessories and will wear, hopefully someday, with my own knitted sweaters! I’m starting to feel, happily, like I’ve come full-circle in my garment-making.

  86. I learned to sew at a Singer Sewing Center in a mall in Kansas when I was young; I made a striped seersucker skirt and (I think) a t-shirt. Over the years I dabbled a little here and there. I taught myself to knit when I was pregnant. It’s only been in the last, say, five or so years that I’ve upped my game and am making more and more of my own wardrobe via sewing and knitting.

  87. I do both. Well, I knit better than I sew. I’ve sewn a few skirts and a wrap, and my goal is to sew more.

  88. I learned both at a very early age from my grandmother who worked in the garment industry, sewing fine men’s suits by day and unwinding with her knitting at night. One didn’t lead to the other-I’ve always been drawn to all things art & craft related since I can remember. They were always my form of play. I remember taking a Singer sewing class when I was ten-everyone made a dress and then we had a fashion show in the middle of the mall-was also taught sewing in Home Ec class where I made a plum corduroy fitted blazer. Can’t say I prefer one over the other-both have waxed and waned in my life over the years. I love the immediacy of a sewing project but, oh my, the mess I make of the room. Knitting is just so tidy and compact-so easy to keep tucked near your chair and picked up here and there and also so portable when you need it to be. Finding blocks of time to commit to garment sewing is much more of a challenge, but one I hope to meet more of this summer.

  89. the opposite, Seamstress first, knitter second – started knitting last year as a way to have something crafty to do that wasn’t ‘work sewing’.. especially now with young children, I can knit while the baby sleeps on me, or pick up my knitting here and there while toddler plays.. rather than attempt to cut out a garment while she tries to ‘help’ by shoving the fabric around…
    ive been inspired by your Wardrobe Planning series, as I spend so much time sewing for my own children and for the children’s clothing business, that I neglect my own wardrobe. ive spent the past week trying to identify the holes in my wardrobe and focus myself for a spring of sewing for myself finally!

  90. Pingback: Elsewhere | Fringe Association

  91. I’ve just picked up sewing end of last year and is desperately wanting to back to it as I haven’t sewn for a few months. I find knitting so easy to pick up but sewing requires a lot more motivation and willpower. I’ve got fabric waiting for me to use up so I need to up my game!


  92. I love to knit; I sewed when I was a girl. Mom taught me. I have definitely perfected my knitting by knowing the construction of garments from sewing. I can now “repurpose” theift store items. Not my size? No problem, pull out the construction steps from sewing. My absolute fav is to combine the two. A fabric front, back and knitted collar. The two complement each other.

  93. I do both because my two crafting spirit animals (my mum and my nana) do both as well. It was only natural then for me to be exposed to both when I was growing up, but I never really got to a confident level with knitting until I picked it back up again when I moved to London a few years back. I find them both soothing (and frustrating!) in different ways but I feel like I decide on which one I’ll do depending on what mood I’m in. If I’m more keen to relax, I’ll go for the kniting, but if I’m feeling like diving in and making something, I’ll hit the sewing machine

  94. Yes! They seem to complement one another so well–the slow, low-tech pleasure of two sticks and a string with the relatively instant gratification of turning out a shirt in an afternoon or two.

  95. Yes! While my mother was an experienced seamstress, she had mostly given it up by the time I was old enough to notice or develop my own interest because of severe rheumatoid arthritis. She made me amazing costumes and clothes, but I didn’t really connect my love of those things with the fact that she had made them. I learned to knit from a friend in college but only dabbled for many years. I took sewing classes at a community college and local studio in my mid-twenties, but at the time had an awful and very persnickety sewing machine and became frustrated by botched projects that had taken a lot of time and a lot of my minimal extra money for fabric and gave it up. I had my first child a couple years ago and was at loose ends at home with her early bed times and started playing with sewing again, which quickly blossomed into a major passion. Now, rarely a week goes by that I don’t spend as much time as possible at my machine. So, sewing (mostly garments for my daughter and myself) has become very important to me. I also took a knitting class at a local yarn shop in the past couple of years to help me break out of my rut of knitting rectangles and really enjoy it as well, and love how portable it is. I am very, very, very slow and still don’t really understand how to fix errors, so I get much more easily frustrated with knitting.

  96. My mother was very into quilting my who childhood and something about quilting just didn’t appeal to me.
    But sewing was definitely in my home! I learned to knit in high school and was obsessed for about 10 years. When I stopped because of hand pain I was so heartbroken. My mother bought me a used machine for my birthday and I started making my daughter’s clothing. I became quickly immersed in the world of sewing. Just this year I picked knitting back up and thankful that it has been mostly pain free. Both crafts are so important in my life!

  97. I sew, knit, needlepoint and embroider. I’d love to learn both shuttle and needle tatting. I recently learned the technique of English Paper Piecing for quilting.
    My mom had me sewing on buttons and hand mending hems and seams from the age of six. I learned machine sewing when I was thirteen and in 4-H. When I was twenty a friend taught me how to do a French hand-picked zipper insertion, French seams and hand rolled hems for silk and sheer fabrics. When I turned seven my mom taught me how to embroider stressing that the back always needed to be as neat as the front. I learned to knit from a friend when I was about eight. She knitted German (Continental) and my grandmother was appalled. She told me it was all wrong and insisted that I switch to English style. My hands and brain just couldn’t adjust so I stopped knitting and didn’t pick it up again until high school. Continental is the way for me. I picked up needlepoint on my own in my twenties. My mom also taught me how to darn but I never do that any more.

  98. Sewing was the first thing I learned. First, I learned very basic hand-stitching from my mother and grandmother. Then, sewing on a machine in 7th and 8th grade Home Ec (LOVED it!). A few years later I taught myself to crochet (that’s when those hats were “in” in the 60’s) and then, many years later, at 57 I learned to knit. I love all of the crafts but those are my 3 favorite.

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