process stitcher

I never quite understood the difference between a true process knitter and a product knitter until recently. I knew, deep down, that I am not a process knitter, but I couldn’t grasp what it would feel like to be one. I mean, I like the process of knitting! I like forming stitches–stockinette is satisfying, sure. A friend once tried to explain to me how the finished object is like some happy surprise “when it happens.” That got me closest to understanding; in fact it emphasized how much I am NOT a process knitter–I love the finished object! This is probably why I knit so many small things and can’t get through sweaters.

Anyway, I started a cross stitch project in the spring, and lately I’m obsessed with it. In working each stitch, I’ve realized that I’m a true process stitcher. I don’t really care about having the final project. This could go on forever, stitches upon stitches, and that would be fine. It took me a long time to find a project that I would be happy to have the finished picture, but I was close to buying something that just had a lot of stitching interest because I didn’t care what it would look like at the end.

Here it is with one color done:

one color done!

Pretty impossible to parse out, huh? It will eventually look like this, if I ever get that far. I’m taking a very disciplined approach to this, and I’m doing one color at a time, in its entirety. I’ll take a photo after each color. I meant to take a photo of the back at the same time, but forgot–maybe I’ll start when I finish the second color.

What’s amazing about it is that it takes a lot of time, you see lots of progress, and it is so entirely meditative. Requires no thought whatsoever–it’s perfect for me these days! But now that the weather is starting to turn to fall, my desire to knit is growing . . . Will start planning projects soon.

18 Responses to process stitcher

  1. Brill says:

    I am a total process stitcher and product crocheter. I had never heard those terms before, but they describe my approach to each craft perfectly!

    I cannot begin to imagine cross-stitching something like you’re doing now. I need more objects to work around and through. My current project is a wreath of vegetables, and the one after that is a wreath of fruit – both for my kitchen.

  2. Rachel says:

    It looks so cool already! You could almost frame that as a piece of abstract art. Well, that would be appealing to a product cross-stitcher, anyway — which we’ve established you’re not.

    I am 75 percent product and 25 percent process. I love me some FOs.

  3. Terri says:

    Oh my goodness, that is going to be beautiful! You must have young eyes and very good eyesight! I have a friend who does cross-stitch and I’m always amazed at all those tiny stitches and the patience it requires.

  4. ellebee says:

    Hi! First time commenter!

    I just wanted to say that that is looking beautiful! I have absolutely no patience for cross-stitching, and your ability to persist at something this complicated amazes me. Even the simplest cross-stitching was completely the opposite of mindless for me.

    Love your blog, and I can’t wait for more progress pics!

  5. Specs says:

    Scaaaarves. Knit scaaaaaaaaaaaarves.

    I am completely a product knitter. I tend to rush through projects and uh, ignore certain unintentional modifications just so I can get done and have the damn sweater/hat/shawl already!

  6. pamela wynne says:

    This is so interesting! My knitting is probably 50/50 process/product. Stitching, though? almost 100% product — which would shock you if you could see the dreadful super-detailed portraits of angels and fairies that I cranked out in the late 1990s. [shudder]

  7. Leah says:

    I feel like Pam does about this. There are moments where I never want the stitches to end and binding off is very bittersweet.

    I’ve only done a bit of stitching though so hte jury is out as to where I fall in that realm.

    Your choice of pattern is going to be beautiful when it’s all done!

  8. Heather says:

    I love needlepoint for that reason, it’s so low-stakes (which cross stitching isn’t because it requires waaay more concentration). It’s the perfect zone-out activity as there are ZERO design choices to make as they’ve all been made for you!!

  9. stacey says:

    that is beautiful. i haven’t cross-stitched in years, but used to love doing intricate designs on linen. that will be incredible when it is complete. i love seeing the phases in progress.

  10. May says:

    :) nice job on the stitching.
    I can never do one color at a time. would drive me crazy. I think I’m more of a process stitcher than a process knitter. I want to produce things knitting but am willing to just stitch forever on a big piece and not be too troubled.

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