Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Don't let perfect Knitting be the enemy of good Knitting (with apologies to Voltaire)

It's not uncommon to admire a piece of knitting only to have the maker immediately point out its flaws. Usually their flaw is completely insignificant and obvious only to their eyes. I find this a little sad that often Knitters don't experience total enjoyment at the completion of their project.  I think that sometimes we have to learn to be perfectly imperfect! The sentiment expressed in the title of this post is one that I've tried to take to heart.  Doing so has freed me to experiment much more often with my knitting.  I think that it's also because I see others wasting a lot of  energy aiming for a perfection that does not exist.  Some Knitters completely give up knitting because can't they can't be perfect instead of persisting and improving. They torture themselves with unreal standards of perfection. I also think a second factor is coming into play here, that of body image.

I'm going to recommend that  you change your expectations rather than trying to reach an impossible goal or standard.  When I took tailoring classes I watched all the fitting that the instructor did on others, often the student would be unhappy with the results and sometimes appeared angry with the instructor when she was done with the adjustments. I eventually identified that the real problem wasn't one of fit it was because the individual was unhappy with their own body. 

Knitters who fight with perfectionism have a critical voice in their own minds telling them their knitting/body isn’t good enough and therefore they’re not good enough. They view a beautiful finished garment and don't like it on themselves. As Knitters we need to overcome this. This negative dialogue steals your enjoyment of your knitting and can wreak havoc on your self esteem. It's important to stop this so that you can enjoy life more and gain an appreciation for yourself and your work. And yes... I catch myself doing this as well. I do it when my slim friend Mary Pat models my garments at our guild's fashion show and I just did it recently when I first saw the vest pictured above on my skinner mannequin.

I'd like you to go easy on yourselves and set reasonable goals as well as enjoying the process. I hear so many Knitters say they don't knit garments for themselves and I know this has a lot to do with their body image. I'll be writing more on this topic in upcoming posts.


  1. I couldn't agree more. I would just love articles on how to overcome the belly and big butt issue, long waist, short arms, big bust issues. There are lots of fantastic knits that flatter the knitter, but it is damn difficult to find them.

  2. Thanks, now I will remember it´s my way of knitting:I must be "perfectly imperfect"