How To Spot An Obsessive Knitter
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Smitten with a Mitten

Perfection has long eluded me. Perhaps my fingers aren't as clever as they could be.  As a school grrl humiliation was mine while the teacher drug me around the room by the shoulder so that I could see how well, how perfectly, the other students colored.  Did she try to teach me a better way, try to discover the reason I was so inept?  Never.  (However, I did learn how NOT to teach from her and other poor teachers.) Maybe it's then and there I decided perfection just wasn't all it was cracked up to be...why add so much angst and pain to ones life?  Perfection is something I no longer strive towards, it takes away the joy of doing. Perfection is in the process, the enjoyment of creation, not in the worry that the end product will be below par.  That isn't to say one shouldn't strive to do the best one can, but striving for the unattainable can cause disappointment in the end and, oft times, stop the process of forward movement.  We learn from everything we do and move towards bettering the process by just doing. 

Flowerisalittlesquished

PicotcuffandbraidwithflowersThe mitten reminds me of Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree...not so attractive, yet perfect as it is. The stitches of the little flower are squished and the over all mitten is lumpy bumpy.  From the minute I saw the pattern, this mitten put a smile on my face.  Finding a blue yarn that fit my vision made the smile wider.  Starting the mitten and knitting the picot cuff, one of my favorite beginnings, added to the smile, too. Knitting the braid, something I've done many times as a follower of Nancy Bush, kept the smile there.  Struggling with the strands of blue and white, trying to make the stitches even while working with yarn in each hand, may have put a wrinkle in my forehead, but the smile remained.  This little mitten, with its bumpy stitches, some pulled to tightly, others floppy and loose, has been pure pleasure from the beginning.  For me, it bears the mantle of perfection.

Palmof_mittenwonkystitches Littlebirdietellsmethenextwillbebet Can a mitten that brings such delight, a mitten with many charming details, be anything but perfect?  Every step of the process was enjoyable; the pattern of flowers, vines, leaves and, last but certainly far from least, the little bird that came to stay.

Hopespringseternal As soon as the first mitten was finished, I cast on and started the second.  The smile on my face is a little addicting, as is the process of color work. Hope springs eternal with the knowledge that the second mitten can only be better...although the first mitten is as close to perfection as I'm likely to get. I will strive for better stitches, work to gain needed knowledge, and enjoy all steps of the process again. One warm, pretty mitten? Excellent! Two will be perfection.

Mittenintotalisverypretty

Comments

I LOVE it. And anything that puts a smile on your face is a great thing indeed.

Looks like you stayed inside the lines on this one, Margene! Very nice.

Such wisdom. And such beauty. The mitten, too.

Beautiful mitten, and the imperfections make it more so. Love your blue!

I think it looks great. My new mitten was a bit lumpy, too, but a bit of steam blocking smoothed those bumps right out.

Very nicely put! And I love your mitten. May mine look anything close to yours!

I agree with Kathy - anything that makes you smile has got to be a good thing. Your mittens make me smile too - they are such a beautiful blue!

Good post on perfectionism! Your mittens are so lovely!

Perfection is only as you define it -- the mitten is lovely. I saw your beginning last week and it reminded me to buy the pattern. Now your description of the knitting process makes me want to drop my other projects and cast on for a pair!

(agree 1)

I love your mitten!

I must make these mittens! In my mind, YOU are perfect!

PS - Thanks for the call last night - I'm off to make my PB&J sandwich!

I winced when I read your coloring story --- poor little Margene! lovely mittens!

What a sweet mitten. Think of all the push and pull the stitches on a mitten get. Everything will be cattywompus. It's perfect enough.

Your mitten is lovely, and I am SOOO excited to make these...I just made my first fair isle hat and I had a blast doing it! I love stranded knitting now (before it seemed a little scary to me)!

It's gorgeous and you're right - perfect as it is!

Your's inspired me. But one question - did you add the picot edge - cuz mine doesn't look like that?? I hope mine turns out as beautiful!

It's beautiful. Can't wait to see two.

I'm still in shock about the teacher that paraded you around the classroom to show you how to draw inside the lines. OMG! If she could only see you now. I love the mittens. Perfection in over rated. I'll take heart and soul poured into knitting anyday. That smile is what counts.

Oh, it IS perfection. Oy, what am I doing here? I should be packing....

I do love what you have written about perfectionism. Also, I have Charlie Brown Christmas music going on in my head now. Your mitten is lovely.

The mitten looks great! A warm relaxing bath will get rid of the lumps. Only lace benefits more from blocking than stranded work.

And thanks for sending Birdsong over to see my vest!

All the bumps will even out when you block them. And, as EZ once said, time makes all stranded knitting look perfect. (i.e., washing and wearing evens the stitches out even more)

You know, I had a teacher do a very similar thing to me in the 4th grade...humiliation is NOT teaching! I think we both learned a very valuable lesson. Perfection...well, my Granny always put mistakes in everything she made~~cause she said only God was perfect!
So, if I make a mistake in my knitting...so be it!
Personally, I think your mittens are beautiful!

Right on!! Too many times I have seen creativity stifled by the need for perfection. It can be paralizing. Forward movement and growth happen by taking chances and going beyond your comfort zone. Continue to be fearless and knit on!!

The mitten is lovely!

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