So often in life, we try something, fail and feel like, well, failures. I, growing up, tried a number of things and gave up when it just didn’t work. Or I may not given up, but I’d feel miserable or lose confidence in myself.
Strangely, with knitting, I don’t get this feeling. To be fair, I haven’t tried anything extravagant yet. I’m sure I’d be quite upset if I made a mistake at the end of a cardigan or something, but I’ve been doing lots of small squares and mini projects (such as my cat ears for Halloween) to learn different techniques. If I forget to switch from purl to garter stitch, I figure out how to go backwards. If I realise two lines later that I accidentally dropped a stitch, I unravel everything and actually think to myself that it’s a chance to practice my casting on.
Let me repeat that with a little more emphasis in the right places.
When I make a mistake, in a way I’m happy, as it means a chance to learn and practice.
Looking back, I honestly believe that this is slowly wiggling its way into other areas of my life since I started knitting. I’m a little less hard on myself when something does go wrong. I tell myself it’s a learning opportunity, and I actually believe myself now. Of course, I still tend to feel disappointed, but I’m definitely starting to set more realistic expectations for myself, and I’m learning to not give up if I can’t get something straight away. And I’m betting that this has actually led to me learning things faster!
I’m curious to know if other knitters have experienced this. Or, alternatively, I’d like to see if knitting could help those who have a tendency to be hard on themselves learn to fix a situation or simply restart it. It could be that knitting is the ‘it’s ok to mess up’ activity for me, and that everyone has their own individual activity that they should discover, or knitting could really have some magical property to it that allows people to relax and laugh when they realise they’ve had a bit of a hiccup.
Potential mini OT research project, anyone?