Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mistakes Happen

I've been thinking a lot about knitting mistakes.  They are an inevitable fact of every knitter's life.  No matter how hard we strive to knit to perfection, mistakes manage to creep in, but it's important to put them in perspective.

I teach classes for new knitters, and mistakes are abundant.  Some of the students work to achieve perfection with the very first row they knit.  They rip out repeatedly until they get it just right.  Others are more casual and knit on through all sorts of mistakes.  Eventually they get the hang of it.  Students have different learning styles.

From the very beginning I warn all my students that mistakes will happen.  They are part of the process.  But I also tell them that mistakes are the best teacher.  Learning how you made a knitting mistake teaches you how to do it correctly and reinforces your skills. Back tracking to figure out what went wrong leads you down a path to do it right.

Seasoned knitters also make plenty of mistakes, and some are easier to live with than others.  I can be as much of a perfectionist as the next knitter.  There's a certain satisfaction that comes with doing it just right.  But keep in mind that unless you point out your mistake, chances are no one else will notice it.  

Even more important, instead of focusing on that one little mistake, look at all the good knitting it's surrounded by.  So often we dwell on a few seconds and one little blip and ignore the hours and hours spent on perfect knitting.  Give yourself a pat on the back.

Recognize your mistake and fix it if you must, but don't be too hard on yourself.  And don't forget to give yourself credit for all your error-free knitting.  Focus on the positive and look forward to more knitting challenges ahead.

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