I hate making mistakes. I know I’m in good company with that feeling. I just want to get everything right the first time. Unrealistic much? But since I am a logical, thinking person I know, I know that mistakes WILL happen and the only way forward in a meaningful way is not to avoid all mistakes (impossible) but learn how to deal with them. How many of the great artists and other creative souls would have left us without their unique and beautiful creations if they had given up under the weight of their own fear of mistakes?
I may not join the admired artists of the world but I still would like to create well-made socks for myself and others. Or a personally designed baby blanket or any number of other expressions, just because it brings me joy. So, with determination and frustration in equal measures at times I have continued learning and asking questions. And making mistakes. Ripping out and starting again. Sometimes I did this with grace, other times, well,…there might have been swearing involved.
BUT I’m starting to see the light begin to glimmer. Last week, in Creating my own Recipe I talked about finally being able to make a pair of socks. Without a pattern. That fit perfectly!. The delight of this still has me buzzing. Along with this breakthrough I have recognized how my fear of making mistakes is shrinking. Once almost any mistakes would have had me stumped and starting over (or giving up). These days I know any number of ways to fix the common knitting problems. I still get in a bad spot occasionally but those moments are fewer and are less intimidating when they do occur.
My almost completed pair of two-at-a-time socks are a testament to this progress.
But there is progress still to be made. A few months ago, I think it was just before the Christmas holidays, I was having problems with every project I was working on. I felt that the Fiber gods were angry at me or there was some sort of grand conspiracy to unravel my sanity. My worst problem child was a double-knitting square I was working on. Double-knitting is a recently acquired skill but I was enjoying it. The process itself wasn’t difficult, however, I found fixing mistakes in double knitting far more difficult than in regular knitting.
On this particular square, I had made some mistakes, I couldn’t even identify where, and just couldn’t get it fixed. This week, after letting this project sit dejectedly in the corner for months, I finally came to this conclusion: Sometimes You just have to Go Back. So after the writing of this blog, with a mixture of pain and courage, I’m ripping out that square and starting over. Again. Sometimes going backward (temporarily) is the way forward.
One of the benefits of some of my growing confidence and also looking at this double knitting project again is some fresh ideas for new projects. There is a young couple I know who will be welcoming their first child this fall. I have some really good ideas circulating in my head for a double knit baby blanket. I just need to get the pattern idea onto a chart. I’ll keep you posted.
The weather continues to be an issue, but there are more frequent opportunities to make some progress.
I currently have some nice heirloom tomato and tomatillo plants sitting on a sunny windowsill waiting for their spot in the garden. I will have to start the hardening off process to prepare them for going in the ground.
The chickens are delighted with the fresh spot of pasture we’ve put them on. I don’t know how to describe what an excited chicken looks like, but it’s unmistakable when you see it. My husband built a larger pen for the chicks since they were outgrowing their brooder box and a couple of them had managed to escape a time or two. Now they have more room and are more secure.
The next couple of days are supposed to be fair weather, so it is my fervent hope to get a lot of projects knocked out at last.
I’d love to hear about the projects you are working on, knitting, homesteading or whatever brings you joy. Leave me a comment and tell me about them.