A little bit of this and, a little bit of that, makes a little bit of me.

Fearless


sometimes I think I was born fearless…in everything my whole life. Pretty much I have. I got little depressed (hormone-driven) as a first-time mom while on maternity leave, but, I still felt as though I was superwoman and could do anything: carry a backpack, diaper bag, purse, and umbrella WHILE pushing a stroller! I wanted to make a heirloom blanket for my son (who will be 28 comes September!)

Yow! What was I thinking?  Shetland lace. Knit-on border edging. I had never even knit before then. No knitting group or online video for help. I don’t remember if there was even a knitting class I could have taken. I was clueless about gauge. Who cares, right? It’s only a blanket (a deep plum purple than periwinkle blue as pictured.) Not like I needed to worry about fitting. I figured out what I didn’t know from the pattern explanations and just trying it out until it looked right. Somehow, I made it through. I still have the blanket that needs a little fixing.  See.

Oh wow! It amazes me too that I actually made it way back then, vanishing most of my fears in the process :o) Okay, you may laugh. And NOPE, I am not going to correct all the unsightly spots or re-do the edging.  Nope.  I may block it though…or should I?

How about you, fearless knitters/crafters? What has helped or is helping to make you fearless? And, if you’re still on your way to becoming fearless, what would help move you closer?

Nowadays, it’s easy to become fearless. I may chat with some of the wonderful folks online or in person.  They are so encouraging and helpful. Anytime I want to know how to do something new, all I have to do is ask and the helpful tips come pouring in.

Local group, particularly, is exceptionally supportive and helpful.

Now I’m knitting/creating all sorts of things for babies to grandmas–from a simple dishcloth to a cable-intense sweater to a complex lace shawl–as requested or at random for charity. I’m learning new techniques because of it. The skies the limit, baby!

It’s important to treat it as a learning process and not get too worried if a project doesn’t turn out as I had thought it might. Knowing how to fix mistakes is a major part of fearlessness. I have taught a lot of beginners how to fix mistakes. It makes a huge difference. The Fixing Mistakes videos at Knitting Help may show you a few things. Also check out Techknitter’s blog for tons of helpful tips and exploring new skills. I really like Knit Fix: Problem Solving for Knitters by Lisa Kartus. The photographs are very helpful, particularly for newer knitters. Being able to fix my mistakes, to tink (knit spelled backward,) and to pick up a dropped stitch totally changed how I knit.

Being able to clearly visualize everything I did long before attempting it has helped me. I would fix mental images of cabling and knitting in a round, two-at-a-time sleeves/socks/gloves, before trying to do them with my fingers. Visualization before attempting a move is a martial arts technique to improve confidence and form.

Now there are some things I am afraid of.  Skydiving, jumping out of airplanes, or bungee-jumping…for example. Actually, any kind of heights will do it. I could have said mountain climbing or elevators that whisk me up to the 51st floor, Carnelian Room in Bank of America building (closed since 2009 after 40 years.)

Even more frightening would be glass elevators that let you see how high you are going. I’m such a chicken that a glass elevator at some mall that takes me from the first to second floor is enough to make me queasy.

But that little hank of yarn? Harmless?  Nope, not even close!  It’s all about perspective. Repeat after me…It’s just a ball of yarn!  Any mistakes can be unraveled and re-knit. Or used to knit something else. Hopefully a more satisfying something else.  Don’t let a mistake paralyze you–in crafting or in life!

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

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Comments on: "Fearless" (6)

  1. I always tell my students, “It’s not brain surgery; it’s not rocket science. No one dies if you make a mistake in knitting!” It makes them laugh and they relax. Perfect!

    You have a 28 year old son?!

    • Good one, Michele. Yes, we can all use a good laugh and relax. My first-born was from my first marriage. He chose to stay in the Bay Area, very laid-back kind of guy–very much like my first husband (high school sweetheart.)

  2. I like the above comment – it’s not brain surgery 🙂 So true, yet long ago when I was learning I found that I was afraid of making mistakes. NOT ANY MORE – embrace the mistake – if you are following a pattern, you now truly have a ONE OF A KIND as no one else would make the exact same mistake! Of course, if it’s a blatant mistake I will rip back, but if it’s one which most people would not even be able to pick up – I leave it as a sign that this was knit by me!

    • It’s so interesting how we all seemed to be hung up on being perfect or being right when we try something new in the beginning. Great points, Cheryl Marie. I will remember to pat myself on the back for making another one of a kind next time when I go astray.

  3. Sarah, again you wrote a very thought -provoking post! Fearless knitting is what one should retain as an attitude from the very start – after all there is no penalty for dropping a stitch and declaring it a pattern! The demands we put on ourselves – amazing! You know, I am glad that I am also working in my garden – whatever I do it is still up to many other events and influences whether my flowers will bloom, my trees will take root, my vegetables grow… and all the better for it! Watering alone does not help when the sun doesn’t shine, and when the spring storms whip the blossoms off the cherry tree we cannot but just take it as it is.

    • So eloquently put, my friend. So true. “Watering alone does not help when the sun doesn’t shine, and when the spring storms whip the blossoms off the cherry tree we cannot but just take it as it is.” We are “mold and gel” by circumstances and influences beyond our control. However, with a fearless attitude, we may face it head-on and strive…if we let it. Thanks for the wisdom, as always, Ms. Laura 😀

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