I thought that I had thought the name through thoroughly. And I did, or I thought I did. But I’m musing on words right now, so I searched and …. [bear with me on the dictionary stuff, please]:
If I may, I’d like to start with definition one. One complete movement [of a threaded needle]. There are so many definitions of stitch, including a pain in your side. It can be a verb, or a noun. You can be “in stitches” (convulsed with laughter). The original Old English relates to a stab or a thrust – verging on violence. I’m finding myself captivated by the detail of it being a sense of a complete movement – although one stitch alone rarely suffices to mend or create anything.
The closing of wounds. Aside from the literal concept of wounds (as in skin breakage and all of that) – how interesting is it that we both stitch our fabrics and our skin together? There aren’t different words, in English, to separate the concepts of joining flesh and joining cloth. Suture tends to be the technical term, but going back to Latin, it means a seam, to sew.
When things rip, we mend them. When our hearts break, we also refer to the healing process as mending. Mending can repair, it can improve things [her health was on the mend], and for textiles it involves stitches.
If you haven’t already guessed, knitting, sewing … stitching…. for me tends to be a healing process. Something I do almost as a meditation, something that I focus on and that is a time for me to just sit and think. I tend to sew without music, I prefer to do it without distractions. It’s healing for me, and is often a time for me to work through my thoughts. Conversely, when I’m disturbed or upset, it’s very hard for me to concentrate and do work that I find pleasing. My recent struggles with creativity have something to do with that – not enough peace to go to the place where I need to be to mend things.
And yes, I was the kid who read the dictionary.