Sunday, 3 September 2017

Knitting Separates the Wheat From the Chaff

knitters are great problem solvers

In my post about the 5 reasons why knitting makes you smarter, I mentioned that problem solving is one of the skills required to be a successful knitter. I believe that the way we deal with problems we face with any project determines what kind of a knitter we are, how far we will be able to develop our craft, and ultimately separates the wheat from the chaff.

Are you a knitter?

Honestly, not everyone is cut out to be a knitter and that's okay. Not every knitter is the same either and we vary in our skill levels and preferences.

All knitters, in my opinion, need patience, the ability to recognise a problem and find a way to solve it. Youtube will only get you this far, so sometimes you will be on your own. Of course we don't have all the answers from the start and we develop our skills over time with every problem we encounter. We read books, we ask fellow knitters for help, and we search the web for information.

Easy peasy?  Not always.

The problem may be as simple as picking up a dropped stitch, but even this can be harder than expected. Losing a stitch in a simple stocking stitch piece is easy enough to fix, but I remember the first few times I dropped a stitch in an intricate lace shawl or across decreases. It's still a challenge now and I have to be able to carefully read my knitting in order to sort things out.

How tenacious are you?

Such moments are when we find out if we are really cut out to be knitters. Do we sink our teeth into the problem and don't give up until we've found a solution or do we give up at this point? Ripping back is always an option and part of solving problems you encounter, so don't feel like you have given up or failed! You've seen that something went wrong somewhere, nothing else seems to work, so all that's left to do is to rip back and start over.

Even if you rip back straight away without first trying to find another solution, this can be a good thing. It may be less challenging, but it can potentially save you a lot of time. Especially knitters who are more interested in the finished project rather than the process will most likely opt for the faster method.

Do you give up?

It's whether you give up completely or not that matters. If you are a beginner and early mistakes completely throw you to the point that you go off knitting altogether, that's okay. Knitting may not be for you or maybe it just isn't the right time for this hobby yet. (I tried three times over many years till I got the hang of it.) 

Knitters persevere. They want to finish what they've started, even though it may not be entirely free from mistakes. Those can be ironed out over along the way as we gain more confidence and learn more skills. You won't even realise you're doing it and, one day, you'll look at what you've just accomplished and think of how you'd never have managed it just a few months or even years ago. 

Liam Neeson a particular set of skills meme

If in doubt, be a badass.

Of course, even tenacious knitters will sometimes take short cuts. I can't tell you how often I simply decided a wrong stitch in a lace shawl would just have to stay as it was because I couldn't be bothered to fix it. You can't always have perfection (says the perfectionist who undid her entire jumper and is still trying to adjust it to fit her body type).

As knitters we need patience, endurance, and a very particular set of skills. 

In the world of knitting, be a badass Liam Neeson. - Tweet that!

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