I'm joining Ginny's Yarn Along this week.
I had an interesting experience over the weekend that has stayed with me ever since and will likely persist for a while. My mother, the master knitter, read my new knitting design and had a lot to say about it. When I say read, I don't mean that she looked at my pattern notes. No, she looked at the baby cardigan that I had knit up and within seconds found teeny, tiny flaws from the neckline to the hem that I suppose I knew were there all along.
I've blogged before about how my mother doesn't use patterns and, in fact, has created her own designs but has never written them down. Over the last few weeks, I have painstakingly knit and re-knit, written down and erased an original baby cardigan design that has been buzzing in my head. It's been an eye-opening process, one that I'm still excited about but one that I have so much more to learn.
I'll admit that when my mother read my knitting, I was both impressed and deflated. After all, I was so pleased with myself for designing and knitting up my first baby cardigan. I whipped it out of my knitting bag with such pride. Instantly, what I thought was a huge accomplishment began to feel like a failure -- okay, I'm being dramatic but you know what I mean. She spotted small but important corrections that I need to make for this pattern to work well and I'm eternally grateful to have such a master knitter in my life. Of course, my first reaction was "how does she do that?" and my second was "bummer."
That evening, I read the most recent issue of The New Yorker which profiled the visual artist Sarah Sze. She creates huge, multi-media installations and her career has been prolific even though she's only in her early 40s. A comment that she made helped me feel a whole lot better: not every installation that she creates is a success and she sees each configuration (even the ones that fall apart) as a draft. Like good writing, drafts are necessary and vital to the success of the final project.
I'm on draft #3, and I'm getting there. Stay tuned!