Monday, August 20, 2012

Life List

The other day our librarian brought Gwen W. Steege's Knitter's Life List to Old Lady Stitching. You know I love a list, so I started flipping through the book. Just to start, I hate that there is not one big list, but rather several lists, spread out over the book which is divided into chapters like "Bags," "Socks," "Home Dec," and "Kid Knits." Couldn't they have put it in an appendix as one list? Eleven lists just seem so messy. But still, lists!

Each chapter starts with a list that is then illuminated in that chapter. So in "Bags," not only should you try to knit a bag from plastic bags and a dressy beaded bag, but you should teach someone else to knit, and pick a knitting travel adventure that takes you to a continent or country you've never visited. There are also designers to "meet" and techniques to learn "look for stitch patterns that don't stretch and use them for bags or bag straps" and "explore each of the five main types of beaded knitting techniques."

The general categories are designers to meet (and I'm not sure if you need to shake their hands or just have a passing knowledge of who they are and what their designs are like), different styles of knitting to try, different projects to try (there are 16 different types of hats, for instance), different techniques to learn, different places to go (including museums, shops, cities, farms, and mills), books to read (how-tos, novels that feature textiles, children's books, nonfiction), and things to discover (ranging from websites to color experiments to history).

It's a great book, and I've already discovered some books I want to read. There's a little section on Mill Girls, and like most people of French Canadian descent from New England, my ancestors worked in the mills. I've read Loom and Spindle (quite a while ago now) but I never heard of Lyddie (YA book) or some of the other books she lists. I've even decided to try cables. I know, I know, not that hard. But for me they've always seemed like the pinnacle of my knitting career (and remember, it's just a sideline for me).

The biggest thing this book inspires in me, though, is to come up with the stitcher's life list. I'm not sure I could come up with 1001 things to do, and I am sure we're not popular enough to get a publisher. Still, I love a list.

What should be on it?


Susan said...

Definitely stitching something that is "reversible." It wouldn't necessarily have to be the Loara Standish sampler, though. Maybe just a smaller piece of blackwork. (BTW, I am on Band 2 or 3 of Loara and have decided that life is too short to stitch it so that it's reversible. I'm just hoping that life's not too short to get it finished.)

Lee said...

This is an awesome idea! I'm glad you've started us thinking about it. I'll be back after I've thunk some more.

C in DC said...

Oh, what a great idea. Start with the "33 Fibers"!

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Love the idea of a stitchers list. Let's see, here are a few ideas off the top of my head to include on a list: stitch something about or from your birth state, stitch a sampler (or anything) from each of your heritage countries, Stitch something using only primary colors (this would not appeal to me), stitch something using wool fibers (I've not done this but want to give it a try), I could go on but there's a little input. I'll buy your book, even if it's crappy! ;-)

Marisa B. said... For your birthday?

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Stitch on every count of fabric from 11 count binca to 40 count linen (or higher for S&M enthusiasts!

Change all the colours on a stock design to suit your decor/tastes.

Stitch a "Rite of Passage" piece, TW's Dragon & Castle is one, Ink Circles Cirque des Cercles (sp) another.

lewmew said...

Try a bunch of techniques, including one you are sure you will hate (hardanger comes to mind....)

Stitch something that features your least favorite color - to make you see it in a new way

Teach someone else to stitch.

Stitch something with silk threads!

Oh gosh, I could go on and on and on

jhm said...

1. Take classes
2. try new things once a (month, qtr, year)
3. join a stitching group (unorganized,casual, local)
4. join a national stitching group (EGA, ANG)
5. Stitch in public on a set basis
6. travel to new (to you) shops
7. attend a stitching retreat
8. do a stitching road trip or shop hop (like the quilters do)
9. Stitch something for another stitcher
10. Have fun stitching


Lee said...

In addition to the ideas above (love them!)

Enter something you've stitched in a competition or exhibit.

Learn to frame your own stitching. You'll either learn to appreciate your framer, or you'll become quite good at it yourself!

Learn several new finishing techniques.

Take a class.

Teach a class.

Put some stitching in every room of your house.

Have a stitching email or pen pal.

Design your own sampler.

Coral said...

Stitch all the Teresa Wentzler patterns you own! Ha ha, that alone would take me 5 years, full time.

Stitch a friend a needle case - I'm desparate for someone to do this for me, the one I made myself is such a disappointment. More giggles!

Stitch those shoes you admired right here! (I know most didn't fancy the idea, but I liked them; Quirky, like me)!