Proverb – Vancouver, Canada

“A stitch in time saves nine”

Joanne told me that she learned this proverb from her mom who likes to saw and knit a lot. The first time she heard this proverb was when she was about eleven years of age and at that time she was living in Vancouver, Canada. She said that it is used to express that it is better to plan ahead and start early if there are signs of trouble instead of waiting for disaster to happen. She told me that her mom used to say this proverb to her to give her advice that some early work can go the extra mile. She also said that it is used to tell people that they should take care of a problem now instead of later when it might be too late. One example she gave me was when her mother’s friend had a small problem with her car. She heard her mother told the friend to have the car checked before it was too late. The friend did not reacted and she ended up paying a much higher price because of that.

This proverb has a special meaning for me as I always end up procrastinating and have to pay a higher price as a consequence. I have to agree with her meaning of the proverb as well. If one does not take care of problem in an early stage, when they are easier, they might have to work double or triple the amount to solve the same problem. For every one stitch that you not complete, you will have to do nine later on. This is a perfect proverb to be given to procrastinators; they have to see that putting minimal effort can help them a lot in the future. It can be said to many taxpayers that wait until the night of April 15 to do their taxes. If they had planned ahead and done some work earlier, they would not be in the whole they are now.

Annotation: this proverb can also be found in the online book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Sewing.

Wills, Lydia. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Sewing. Lynda Stephenson, Inc NetLibrary. Page 93