I’ve had a bunch of knitting fails lately. I find admitting these fails is key to my finding the lesson in each. I really never have anyone to blame but myself for these failures; these have all been the result of working without doing a gauge swatch, or planning. Lately when I share I’ve gotten encouraging comments, but the best one was from someone who said my knitting fails gave her encouragement because I am an expert. Do you have any idea how many times one fails on their way to becoming an expert on anything?
Knitting Fails Are Part of the Process
I have not always been so sanguine about knitting fails and I understand their value only after years of experience with failing. I used to find them terribly discouraging, and they seemed to be telling me I just wasn’t good enough at what I was trying to do. While that is, sometimes the case–I need to spend more time thinking or trying things to get the result I want–it really is just a step in the process, not a damning of my skills and abilities.
The knitting fails I’ve been sharing are things that I have unraveled and redone, but mistakes don’t always need that kind of drastic action. Sometimes there really isn’t a need for a complete redo, and I am not at all above cheating to make something work. The important part is acknowledging, internalizing what the lesson is, and then moving on. If it does require ripping out, take gauge, photos, anything to help you figure out how to do better on the next go.
Because of the nature of knitting, we are creating the fabric and shape at the same time. Wrong fabric will not ever get us to the shape we want. Likewise, the wrong shape will not work even if the fabric is beautiful. This is why I am such a fan of swatching. I fail plenty in swatch form and that means my knitting fails usually happen on a small scale not in the big project.
Knitting Fails Buoyed by Drawing Challenge
I’ve moved into the second half of the 29-day drawing challenge I’m participating in. I do a drawing-a-day and post it to Instagram (and Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr). Creativebug is sponsoring it, and daily drawing prompts have been given. Because I am not good at following a calendar/schedule, I’ve done the wrong drawing a couple of times–yesterday I did the flower called out for the 25th, not the calculator for the 18th. I’ll remedy that before the weekend ends.
I have no idea whether the failure to follow the prompts will disqualify me. I am having such a good time doing this I don’t care. There are days that I have time to really focus and try to turn out a good drawing, other days where the prompt may be just beyond my capabilities. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. This is reminding me that my knitting is, at least in part, just to be enjoyed. I can stop if I’m tired or lose interest; not every day is going to be a stellar knitting day. But if I knit, it is far from a knitting fail.
The first drawing above is a princess dress similar to those I drew when I was a girl. I don’t think we did strapless dresses then, but I was thinking about how engaged I would get in those princess drawings, so I tried my hand.