Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Knitters - Stop the Perfectionist Judgement

I spent last Saturday at the Toronto Knitters Frolic in the Signature Yarns booth. It was a great day doing one of the things I enjoy most, talking to knitters. 

Take a look at the wrap in the photo above, what catches your eye first?

Here's another version:

I tend to take in the whole piece first. I see how it looks on the body, I look at the colour and then probably the stitches used. Next I would consider how it's been constructed and  perhaps the fibre of the yarn. Then I go for a touch, is it soft or silky, does the fabric drape or it is more substantial?  

I spent a little time chatting with a knitter who was interested in it but she was very concerned about her ability to produce nice edges while working the shaping. She was frowning while we chatted. We discussed doing a practice swatch and correct blocking techniques. Both of which will definitely improve your results. I pointed out that she is likely to be the only person who will ever study the edges this intently. We just don't go around looking at other knitter's work from that critical standpoint. 

We did end up talking mainly about trying to stop making negative judgements of our work. I found myself thinking about that conversation over the past few days because I believe it's a big problem for all creative types.  Perfectionism is an easy trap to fall into because we want to set high standards on the quality of our work. However perfectionism isn’t the same as setting realistic high standards. It’s about setting impossible goals which kill the fun of creativity. It's about speaking to ourselves in a mean spirited way in which we would never do to someone else. So let's be kind to ourselves, strive to improve but at the same time honour our craft and be realistic about what good work is. And if you aren't sure ask another knitter for their tips and opinions. We are typically a group who are happy to share.


  1. Nobody is perfect, no knitting is perfect, only God is perfect, let us just enjoy knitting, thanks for youre story Robin.
    Regards from Joke Blokland in The Netherlands

  2. You know, I've found that there are things I've made where people don't believe they actually are handmade because of how perfect they look (though I could point out every flaw). So, really, unless it's something blatant (like a miscrossed cable), no one is going to notice....and even when it's blatant, some people still won't notice :)