A few days ago I came across two blog posts; How to Believe in yourself and Stripy Suit. The first one gives you tips on how to believe in yourself and in the second one she talks about how far she has come in learning Sewing. While they might seem like two very different topics they really aren’t. For many crafters/knitters/crocheters/whatever you like doing the biggest hurdle is believing in yourself and believing yourself. Second guessing your color choices, pattern choices, stitch count or whatever just hurts whatever you are doing.
Am I doing it right? Does it look good? Should I even be doing this? This is ugly! Should I frog it? It looks wrong. So many things that go through my mind while I am sitting in my favorite spot on the couch and knitting. It robs me of the happiness and peacefulness of knitting. Some days I just can’t seem to believe in myself, or trust myself to know what I am doing. It is also hard when you know that you are knitting a garment or a piece that will be worn in public and will be judged by others.
One of the things I struggle with in life and not just in my crafting, is how will it be judged? Will people laugh at me because I am wearing a rainbow scarf? I know that there are others out there with the self confidence to wear whatever they like and not care, I am not one of those people, even though I try to pretend I am. I come from a family that have no problem saying things like “Oh my God, you have gained so much weight you look so bad” or “those stripes make you look wide and big” I am not a super model, but having to hear things like that made me quite conscious of avoiding them.
I am not saying that I always feel this way about the things I make, sometimes I can see something take shape in my mind before I even buy the yarn and I am 100% happy while making it and even happier when it becomes a finished object. I have found that usually these are the things that I make because I really want to.
You have to remember why you craft, for me, I craft because it brings me peace. Then I should do it anyway, not because of the FO. I have also learned to frog as early as possible. There is nothing wrong with starting something and realizing you dislike it. Sometimes the yarn is wrong for the project or the colors just don’t work together as well as you thought they might. You don’t have to finish every project you start, but instead of leaving them as half finished or on the needles, just go ahead frog it and reclaim the yarn. It is always harder to frog the longer time you have invested in it.
Go ahead and try things you like, even if no one else will. Yes even that striped cardigan you have been dying to knit. The worst thing that you will hate it and you can then frog it and use the yarn for something else, which means more knitting time, which is what you actually like.
When people talk negatively about what you make, learn to filter out constructive criticism from plain old meanness. Sometimes and experienced knitter or crocheter can point out a mistake that you could really learn from and that is ok. Or even a non knitter might give you fashion pointers. But if someone is mean, just say “thank you for your input, but I spent a lot of time and money making this and I love it” or whatever it is that might make you feel more comfortable. Learn to stand up for yourself and your crafts. I never know if I should be offended or not when people tell me that something I made is just like a store brought one. I usually want to punch them and tell them, I spent all of my free time for weeks knitting this using hand painted yarn and you are comparing it to a cardigan made with acrylic yarn in a factory in China? But then I realize they don’t get it, and that I do it for myself.
We all love getting acknowledged for the things we do, but crafting is a personal thing, many people just won’t get it. And that’s ok, but that should never make you doubt yourself. Trust yourself for making the right decisions like knowing when to stop and when to keep going. If you are a beginner, accept that it will take time to build your skill-set and the ability to intrinsically know what you should do. It is ok, after all, you are amazing for being able to make something with your own hands.