Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Should you Change the Yarn or the Pattern?

I recently wrote about a garment that was in the fail category and some of the lessons I learned from that project. That got me thinking about how knitters don't give up when they should. Usually I argue from the opposite perspective that you should not give up so today I'll stand on a different soapbox.

We knit something and just keep on going even when that little niggling of a voice in our brain is saying stop, reevaluate, there is something wrong here! Sometimes we commit so strongly to a project that we insist on moving forward no matter what. We lie to ourselves that it will work out in the end and keep on knitting. At the end the result is a project that gets hidden away unused and quickly forgotten.

On the other hand UFO's often are a result of listening to the voice and putting the project aside because we know something is wrong but just don't know what or we don't want to deal with it. Ripping knitting out can seem like a failure. But it can be one that sets us up for future successes. We are a society that rejects failure but most very successful individuals view failure as part of the journey.

Here is one of my favourite quotes:
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."
                                                          Sir Winston Churchill
Now back to knitting...
I think that failed projects can be due to a mismatch between yarn and pattern. We hesitate to change one or the other because we have invested both time and money. We try to force our materials to bend to our will instead of focusing on their very nature and searching for a match between the two. My suggestion is next time you hear the voice consider changing either the yarn or the pattern and see where that takes you. After all one of the best things about knitting is that usually you can rip back and reuse the yarn.

1 comment:

  1. Robin, I love your cartoon - is that the right word - figures. And I also love Winston Churchill quotes so this post was a winner for me. Thanks.