Life Lessons and Knitting…

Remember that time many moons and leap years ago (aka earlier this year in February) when I took an introductory course to knitting at the local high school?  Remember that time I made owls and slippers and dish cloths and hats and pin cushions and all manner of knitting gloriousness?  Remember how I was going to become a professional knitter in my dreams and sit around all day making tea cozies?  Remember!?!?!?!?!?!?!?


Good… because neither did I!  It’s been a couple of months since I picked up the needles.  I did pretty well in the winter months… I guess it’s easier to have a pound of lamb wool sitting on your lap when it’s cold outside.  I decided to try to pick it up again this past week.  I had a project in mind and a deadline to meet.  It’s been 5 days and it took me those 5 days to relearn how to start a slip knot.  The HUMANITY!!  It’s sad how fast something leaves my noggin when I’m not doing it on a regular basis.  Once I got the slip knot relearned and then relearned how to cast on yet again, the basic knitting stitches came back to me pretty easily… I said the BASIC stitches.  I’m still staring at the pattern trying to figure out how the dagnabbed alien I’m supposed to read this chart thing she provides.  My teacher just told me what to do in her patterns… this chick has diagrams and things written in Gaelic.

I learn a lot about myself through knitting… the biggest thing?  I’m a perfectionist and I can’t deal with having a mistake sitting willy nilly in my project.  I unravel it and start all over… which is totally stupid and frustrating.  I’d get hours into a project, only to start from scratch when I accidentally purled instead of knitted.  The smart way would be just to learn how to fix that one mistake, but that never feels right to me… I just start over and throw away all that hard work.

And so it is with every other aspect of my life.  Weight loss… nothing is ever ever EVER going to go perfectly there.  It’s a dagnabbed given.  So, why am I so hard on myself when it doesn’t go perfectly and why can’t I just brush that one mistake off and move ahead instead of saying things like, Well… this day is a wash… might as well eat what I want and start again tomorrow…  The weekend is coming up and I have this and this and this… no way to get in sensible eating… I’ll start again Monday.  Madness!!  The smarter idea would be to just move on with the day as if it was going to be a perfect day.  There is never going to be a perfect time to start something… nothing will ever fall into that perfect place.  Figure out how to make it fit into the imperfectness and revel in your imperfection.  That’s life… and I’d go into that song by Frank Sinatra here, but I vowed to be 10% less cheesy and this is where that 10% is going to pay off… big time.  You are welcome.

Question of the Day:  Do you consider yourself a perfectionist?  Any tips on how to reign that in? 



Filed under Calorizing, Inspiration

16 responses to “Life Lessons and Knitting…

  1. cl2

    Yes–and no. That is why some of our work can be so frustrating to me. If I paint, all the edges have to be straight. If I clean, all the dirt has to be missing. Seeing my house, you wouldn’t know that!!! Every weed needs to be out of my yard. I have learned to rein in with the yard work. When I mow, I do the weeding and then i don’t do it again until I mow again. But I become paralyzed by my need to do everything perfect. I do the same with weight loss and I was actually just thinking about that this morning. My ex decided to get licorice and M^Ms at the movie the other day and I had been doing so good. Eat a few pieces of that stuff and I had ‘failed”–so I treated myself all weekend.

  2. Avster

    We’ll just call ya Helen of Troy.

    In the mean time…. T3 TR2 P1 T3 C2 T2 TR2 P3

    Perfectionist? Me? Never! Don’t ask me how to curb it…

  3. Karen

    I would love to be a pefectionist and tried for years to get there. As I have gotten older I realized it is not possible for me. With the hundreds of quilts I have made I don’t think even one is “perfect.” With time I forget the mistake and enjoy the journey. Life is hard enough without going there. (All sounds very philosophical.)

  4. Diana Davidson

    Big time perfectionist here. I just have to constantly remind myself to enjoy the imperfections along lifes’ journey.

  5. Perfectionist here too 🙂 But not with everything. My house is far from being perfectly clean or organized or decorated. Crochet and knit projects are totally different though. I’ve taken apart many a thing before and started completely over. I’ve redone other people’s work lots of times too.

    So we have to talk about this knitting thing. I’m much more of a crocheter than a knitter – but I do knit some, and use plenty of knitting machines. That being the case, I’ve learned how you ‘fix’ things without undoing the whole piece. Totally worth it! Please let me help you next time! Or take it down to knit unique – they can help you down there too for sure. Crochet goes faster – but if you make a mistake, you DO have to undo it at least back to the mistake to fix it. In knitting – you can generally fix it without undoing the whole thing – and have it look perfect! Knitting takes way longer to do than crochet – so if I have to undo the whole piece, I usually quit and put it away for awhile where I can’t see it anymore.

    I’m a perfectionist when it comes to cooking too. I love to bake – cookies, pies, bread, cakes – I love making them all! Definitely a perfectionist. When I have a spare minute – I’m looking through cookbooks or looking up recipes online. Even when I don’t have time – and I’m avoiding what I really should be doing – I’m looking at recipes. Doesn’t help on the calorizing front though…

    • You and I have a lot in common on the searching for recipe front! It’s sad how much I want to make when I see all those delectable pictures of perfectly made food! Mine usually doesn’t turn out anything like the picture! Thanks for the knitting offer, Taralee. You are definitely the crocheting expert and I will pop you a note if I get stuck sometime. I finally learned how to start crocheting last week (when I was procrastinating learning the knitting) and it was easier to learn… though my stitches are much more tight in the knitting department.

  6. Louisa

    Question of the Day: Do you consider yourself a perfectionist? Any tips on how to reign that in?

    A perfectionist I am NOT. I am married to one though…lol. Seriously!

    We have been married 16 yrs so we have both had to adjust.
    He has had to learn to be more relaxed if it is something I am doing.
    If he gets too tense about it…then he just has to do whatever it is himself and I have to step out of it. It works for us.
    I have learned to raise my standards too so we are closer to meeting halfway. I am not even close to a slob but I am not as clean/organized as he is. He likes it ‘hospital clean’ and ‘hospital neat’. I have worked in hospitals and KNOW they aren’t all that clean…so I clean and disinfect and call it good. It doesn’t drive me crazy to have something sitting out for a day before it gets put away. It sends him over the edge…lol. I think having the kids helped him settle down the most. With kids you can’t have everything perfect all the time and you have to give them the room to grow and learn on their own as well as take your guidance. They don’t respond well to Drill Sgt Parent and there is always something you have to clean or put away or share. He found tending to a couple of sick kids shed some light on his neurosis and he didn’t like what he saw. When my husband had to put aside his neurosis and actually comfort our crying, feverish, kids ( the mess had to stay there for the few minutes ) it really brought home what was and was not important.
    Our kids are more like me. They like things clean and neat but aren’t neurotic about it.

    • Wow… I would have never guessed that it was your husband with the perfectionist problem… and it’s great he’s been able to tone that down some with kids on board. It’s true, you can’t be so picky! I have really toned down my germ-a-phobeness and my overall perfectionism since I started this journey… but it always crops up here and there!

  7. Susan

    Not only am I a perfectionist, but I also have an anxiety disorder. That’s like twelve kinds of crazy in one person. My one year anniversary on MFP is coming up – and I’ve been stressing over some silly made-up goal. I wanted to hit a nice, round number by 1 year. But guess what? It doesn’t matter. I’m better off than I was a year ago, and this time next year, I’ll be even better. I just have to take a few deep breaths and let it go. It’s tough and I don’t always get it right.

    • We are soooo on the same page. I have the anxiety thing as well. You are so right though. You are better off than you were a year ago and that is ALL that matters in the long run. PERIOD!

  8. jen

    Being a perfectionist is one of my weaknesses. I feel like I worry too much about unimportant things. I haven’t crocheted in such a long time that I will have to relearn again too.

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