Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Risk of Cables

I'm a non-risk taker by nature. I'm not a fan of failing so I tend to be slow to try things. And I often overthink things, meaning that more often than not I won't even try things because I'll decide that they are too difficult before I even start. It's a flaw that I keep working to overcome. My hobbies are no exception. I'm slowly learning a lesson about knitting. For years I've been overcautious in my knitting. I work on projects where I know most of what I'm doing. I like projects that are mostly mindless knitting. I've learned a lot over the years but I tend to stay mostly within my comfort zone.

In October I taught a friend how to knit. He was visiting and had been interested in trying so on the day before he left, I taught him the basic knit stitch. He went home and worked on his first scarf. Then he got bored and knit a little hat for his niece. Then some mittens. Then a belt. Then a cowl. Then...you get the idea. He taught himself how to bind off, how to purl, how to yarn over. In six months he's tried techniques that I hadn't tried within the the first three years of knitting. I'm a bit in awe of how willing he is to take risks and how good of a knitter he's become.

And I'm learning that nothing in knitting is as hard as I make it out to be. I learned how to make tiny fingers for a sackboy doll I made. I learned how to pick up stitches for mittens. I learned that I can read some pretty scary looking patterns. And this week I learned my holy grail of knitting, cabling. I had been terrified to cable for years. I just didn't think I would understand it so I didn't try it. This week I started this cowl which happens to have some cabling. It took me a bit of coaxing from Jeff but now I can say I know how to cable. And it's way easier than I thought it would be. Everything in knitting is easier than it sounds. That's my lesson. It may take me a few times to get things, but everything is learnable. It's a good lesson for knitting...and really for life. Everything is learnable.


bleufleur said...

What a nice post, and a good moral to the story :-)

Many of us avoid trying things because we are afraid to fail. But you're right, everything really IS learnable, at least to some extent.

I find that if I can get the nerve to just start doing something, the anxiety of the event (which is usually larger than the event itself) eases away and then all of a sudden YOU'RE DOING SOMETHNG NEW! :-)

Josh said...

The nice thing about mistakes in knitting is that they either give the piece "character" or you can rip 'em out and try again!

Cat B said...

You are so right. It's the starting that's the hardest part (and the part I normally talk myself out of). But once you start you move from anxious to doing, and that makes all the difference.

Josh, As you know I'm much more a fan of "character". It's how you can tell something is handmade. Of course I say that mostly because I'm not as comfortable ripping back, but that's just another thing I need to learn.