Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lessons of an Intrepid Knitter

Lesson: New or better knowledge, some useful or better knowledge that results from direct experience.

There comes a time when every artist must cut bait or fish. When one must look at a creation and make the decision to continue work or stop wasting time and materials. I ripped my Renaissance sock last night. I have learned over the years that even if it's turning out fine, if I don't love it, it won't get worn.

Perfectionism: Demand for perfection, rigorous rejection of anything less than perfect.

I have been accused of perfectionism by myself and others. Again I refute this. I learned embroidery from my grandmother. I didn't realize until much later, too late to say thank you, that I learned much much more. My grandmother was not a perfectionist, she excelled at what she did.

Excellence: Superiority, the quality or state of being outstanding and superior.

I have several pieces of my grandmother's embroidery and without exception each piece of art is as beautiful on the back as it is on the front. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. From start to finish I strive to emulate my grandmother in my art. Weaving in the ends and proper blocking are just as important as the initial cast on.

And so, I ripped my socks. Why? It wasn't because my workmanship was poor, quite the opposite. The sock was gorgeous, yummy and warm. I ripped it because I knew I would not be happy with the finished product. It was a bunch of little things, but I knew I wouldn't wear them.

This lesson I share with everyone: Be excellent at what you do. If it doesn't make you happy, then it's not worth your time and energy.

On the other hand it stopped raining. I am going to play in my garden today. Yay!


PS The lady with whom I'm exchanging sock yarn put my purple yarn in the mail yesterday. I should have it by the end of the week. Whoohoo!

"I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau.

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