Thursday, April 18, 2013

the three realities of ripping

Recently, I made an horrendous mistake--by not reading my own pattern for which the back of a sweater is narrower than the front. Without reading my own pattern, I simply made the back the same as the front, and it was too big!!! Geesh!!

So what do we all do when this happens? We attempt to convince ourselves that it doesn't matter. We keep knitting past the error to the point where we can try it on. Then we spend hours in front of the mirror trying to argue ourselves out of the realization that this is not working!!!

We whine, we curse, we have our little hissy fit--all the while, not doing the one thing we need to do: rip it out and do it right.

While twirling in front of the mirror, I made the following realizations:
  • I had wasted a whole lotta time by knitting past the error so I could try it on and convince myself it didn't matter! Really!???
  • I am wasting time in front the mirror when I could be ripping;
  • I am wasting time trying to talk myself out of what time it would take to rip when the truth is that if I don't I will never wear the piece--which is a huge waste of time and money.
So I ripped--after probably 24 hours of avoidance. And guess what! I had that thing ripped out in fifteen minutes!!!!

Yes, of course, then I had to spend time re-knitting. But what was I going to do as soon as I finished this piece? Find more knitting?!?! I just found it.

  • The first reality of ripping is that we waste far more time avoiding it than it would take to do it.
  • The second reality of ripping is that we waste both time and yarn if we don't.
  • The third reality of ripping it that it gives us the one thing we want most in life--more knitting! (And we didn't have to spend any cash to get there.)

Bottom line: ripping saves both money and time, and this is a lesson I should have figured out a long time ago! What does it say about human nature that I did not?

And can I truly say I've learned the lesson even now . . . .

Friday, April 12, 2013

jumping the fence

There are fences we walk along. People tell us we should jump to the other side. But we hesitate. Doesn't yet feel like the right thing to do, no matter what others say: not ready, too much work, may mean a loss of control . . . whatever the reason and despite all the advice we are given, we're not goin' there.

What am I talking about? Here's an example. Get a cleaning service! People tell us that as working women, but we think
  • I can't spend the money,
  • I can do the work,
  • I'd have to do all that stuff before they take over!
This was me. But OMG, once you jump that fence you wonder what you were thinking that you waited so long! Major head smack!!! Once you cross over you are not goin' back. And you are now the one giving the advice to others: jump that fence!

There are other fences to be jumped that are kinda the opposite--where we don't give up the work to others but take on the task ourselves. Again, we think we're not ready, that it would be too much work, but this time the fear is that we don't have the skills. And so we walk the rut along the fence line, wearin' it down.

I was reminded of this yesterday when Nicole from Victoria (Hey there, Nicole!) wrote the following:

I just purchased the Kindle version of your new Knitting Pattern Essentials (and it’s nothing less than fabulous, as are all of your books), but I have a question about something that wasn’t addressed in the book.
I have a notebook full of design ideas, and I have several knitting design books, but I’m having a very hard time finding anything that specifically addresses large collars, particularly portrait-style collars. I used to do tailoring and dressmaking for a living, so I suppose I could buy a sewing pattern and use the pattern pieces as a template, but I would really like to have a resource from a knitting pattern designer who’s already worked out the bugs.
Any possibility you could point me in the right direction?
I answered. 
Nicole, I don’t know any more than I wrote in the book, which is the following.

  1. There’s a section on collars that includes the collar stand (or not) plus the increases that have to happen at the center front.
  2. There’s a small section at the beginning that explains that everything is simply horizontals and diagonals—number of stitches and numbers of rows.
My advice would be that YOU CAN DO IT. Find the model of one you like (on a blouse, in your head) and then work it out! Do understand that you WILL rip as you do this, but the good news is that this is JUST the collar, just part of the finishing, so ripping won’t be a big deal.
Remember that she said she had a book full of design ideas? So I continued.

When you have a book full of design ideas, it means you want to design. When you are ready to design, it means you are ready to explore a vision—definitely not always a vision someone else has written a template for! So this tells me that it’s time for you to have the confidence to do it. Don’t assume you must rely on others exclusively: get what you can from them, and then move forward yourself. You will be SO happy with yourself when you make that leap!!!!
And then, trust me, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to do this, and master it, and feel justifiably empowered!
She wrote back. (I was curious for this, not sure how she would react to my advice to jump that fence!)
I knew exactly what you meant – and boy, can you read me like a book!

I have totally been waiting for someone else to hand me all the answers, so I could just knit up my designs without a lot of trial and error. Sheesh.

I’ve literally looked at hundreds, if not thousands of designs, and not come across a single one that was exactly what I was looking for – that’s got to be a message, eh? There’s a whole design esthetic that I want that doesn’t really exist, or at least not my version of it.

You’ve convinced me…time to get off my butt and accept the challenge with passion and energy!

Thanks, Sally – you rock.
Sometimes jumping the fence means doing the work ourselves! And what a happy-dance day when we do! A whole world opens up, and we rock!

So what fence are you walking? Ready to jump?