Tuesday, June 19, 2007

chicken or the egg?

So when you embark on a project, or conceive of a design, fabric or yarn, sewing or knitting/crochet the $64,000 question is:
Do you start with a pattern then go looking for materials?
or Do you start with your fabric/yarn and go looking for pattern?

You all know the dilemma, you have a stash that would provide start up inventory for a small store, you have a pattern collection that will stock a library...yet...when you decide it's time for a new project, inevitably, one or the other seems to be missing, and you find yourself
a. shopping
b. internet browsing, fingers hovering over the buy-it-now icon with credit card at the elbow.
c. dishing up the ice cream

I have 4 designs below, any one of which I'd be happy to start on today. I have a yarn stash that is quite out-of-control. So why is it that when I started looking this afternoon I could not find ONE stinking yarn that met all the requirements of any one of those patterns??? I ask you: WHY? wrong gauge, wrong weight, not enough yardage, not solid color...it's enough to make a girl go shopping. And that is just not likely.

I guess that because I'm a much more accomplished sewist than I am a knitter, I am much more likely to be able to go internet snoop shopping to find a design I want to sew, then to my stash where I usually can find something that I'll be able and happy to use, and if I don't have a pattern I can easily adapt one or draft one from what I do have.

And I'm ready to take on the world right now.
Had a follow up test today on a physical that I had lately and got the news that indeed, I am going to live another year to be able to go through it all again... :) So what am I going to knit with?


Nancy (nanflan) said...

Let's face it, we're magpies.

Mardel said...

I like the magpie answer. And I bet that, more accomplished sewist or not, you occasionally conceive of a project you don't have the fabric or pattern you can adapt. We all do it. I think I have done it lately.

Elizabeth said...

Sometimes the project idea springs fully formed in my mind, then I after I search the stash, I find nothing quite fits the project.

Sometimes I decide to use a particular yarn and I play with swatches until I decide what it can and can't do.

Carrie K said...


And you're going to knit with something new. It can't be helped.

Lorraine said...

Marji- I find it's better to start with the pattern rather than the other way around.
I don't think fabric stash is much different from yarn. Sometimes the joy is in the owning.

Gaylen said...

Marji - I don't have a big yarn stash. With yarn, I almost always start with the pattern then get the yarn. Unfortunately, with sewing, I generally start with the fabric and that doesn't always work for me. g

jae said...

Yay! for good news!! Hmmm, I find that I do both, it just depends. Sometimes I adapt the pattern to the existing yarn, sometimes I have to find new yarn. I suppose new pattern AND new yarn isn't an option you are willing to explore? ;)

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I don't know about the knitting thing *because I don't knit!* *LOL* but as far as the sewing thing goes, my answer is "BOTH!" :) Yeap, I have started a project because of a pattern and then I have started a project because of the fabric...Yeah, both and that's my final answer!

Brigitte said...

I can never find what I want in my stash! I think that when I first buy it, I do know what I want to make with it, but that quickly gets forgotten!