Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Trepidation and Validation

As a knitter, as in the rest of my life, I like to play things relatively safe. I take calculated risks, like trying out a new restaurant or keeping my hair super short, but I don't tend to do things that are too risky or outside of my comfort zone. I like variegated sock yarn and solid yarn for sweaters. I like blues and browns. I like my sweaters bottom up and my socks top down.

This month's sock pattern from STR is a bit of a challenge for me. It starts with a crochet cast on. I don't crochet. I avoid toe ups because they usually involve some crazy cast on such as the crochet method. When I first read the pattern, I tried to think of another way of starting that didn't involve crochet. I could do a figure 8 cast on. Sometimes you can use a loop and knit into it a bunch of times until you have a circle of knit stitches and work down from there. Maybe I could rig up something with a paperclip and some gum a la MacGyver. Let us just say that I was desperate. Then I reminded myself that I joined this sock club to try new yarns and learn new things. (Not to mention the great yarns and the peer pressure. I digress.) Why not try the recommended toe in the pattern? The worst possible outcome would be ripping and starting again. That's not so bad, right?

I seem to balk at the thought to trying something really different or outside my level of comfort. Really, a crochet cast on is a minor example of my inate fear of screwing up and looking dumb. Of having my knitting look bad or having someone point out my mistakes. Of being not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not talented enough.

It's silly, really, because all I have to do for validation at any time is sign onto Ravelry. Other knitters have the same issues that I do making mistakes and starting again. I'm not the only person with a fear of the crochet. There are other people who squirm at the idea of toe up socks and socks patterns with 5 pages of charts before the instructions to cast on. And when I scroll through the things I've knit, I see little hearts that tell me that knitters that I know and knitters that I don't know think I've done a good job. They like what they see and they're telling me in their little way to keep up the good work.

I guess we're all looking for a place to fit in and this crazy online community of knitters seems to fit the bill for me. Non-knitters don't really understand why we read about the knitting and the lives of people we don't really know except by their blog names. It's not just about the craft, it's about feeling like we belong and that we're doing a good job.

I feel this uncertainty and fear about having another child. I'm not sure I'll be able to handle two kids at once. I don't know if my Princess will feel left out when the new baby comes or if she'll miss her Mom when I can't spend as much time with her as I'd like to.

I guess I'll just have to keep looking for the little hearts she gives me everyday, like when she tells me "Mama, I love you too much."

I love you too much, too, Sweetheart. Now that's validation.


T. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
T. said...

Trust in your abilities thus far and know they will take you down that road again.

You'll have 2 times the fun and 2 times the laughs...I assure you (and that's not even a little bit sarcastic). And I know that's why you had kids - comic relief.

(I realized that very few hrs of sleep makes me unable to spell. That' s why I deleted that other comment...)

Dawn said...

I know I had the same fears when I had my second son b/c the first was a handful to say the least. My second son is the exact opposite of his brother and they have so much fun together. I know there will be hard times but the little boy "love you too"s make it all worthwhile.

Emily said...

Hey, our princess might miss you a bi, but she'll get someone else to be on her side, to play with, and battle you with on occasion. Someone to learn how to share and squabble with.
I wouldn't be without my bro - 2 years younger than me, a real pest at times (when we were growing up) but the only person in the world who started off in the same family as me. Such a bond.

And thanks for the compliment on the do - that was 'as done by hairdresser' -my version is less cool, sadly!

Emily said...

And I meant Your princess might miss you a biT etc.

Like T - poor sleep, pour typing!

Jill said...

You are awesome.

Just remember that!

Amanda said...

Anyone who can write this thoughtfully will do a good job raising any number of children and of course be a great knitter at the same time.

andi said...

Well now you've gotten me back and made me cry. I can't believe that you are ever unsure of yourself - you always seem so confident to me. And can I just say, that I think you're like a knitting goddess (seriously).

And as we discussed today, having the second kiddo is going to be such a good thing for Ava - I know it's been good for Elliot. Both of your kids are going to be so lucky to have such a sweet, thoughtful mama.