Patting Myself on the Back
Somewhere around 9.5 months ago, I decided that I was not going to buy my daughter a scarf when I could perfectly well make one. And then faced the reality of that when I timidly tiptoed into In a Yarn Basket explaining to her that I didn’t know how to change colors yet, so she needed to pick just one color. And even moreso when we walked out with two balls of yarn after all, because one was not enough for a decent-length scarf.
I knew how to do a long-tail cast-on (though I didn’t know what it was called), how to knit in garter stitch, and… okay, that’s it. I had no idea how I was going to join that second ball of yarn, and no idea how to bind off when I got to the end. I figured it out, but then for a while I felt unequal to trying anything else.
Except you can only do so much with straight garter stitch—pretty much just squares and rectangles, really. And that’s kind of a bit boring. No, wait… It’s really freaking boring. So I slowly, very slowly, started picking up other techniques one at a time. I still examined each pattern closely to make sure that I wasn’t going to get too stuck on any particular thing, though. I was very much aware of being just a beginner, and I was afraid of getting halfway through a project only to discover that I couldn’t finish due to inexperience and ignorance.
Friday, I was just fed up with everything, and I was in a rather childishly sulky mood and wanted to do something for myself. I had been kind of wanting a pair of fingerless mitts for driving, and it’s starting to get colder out, so I figured that would make a nice small project. I took a spin through the free patterns at Ravelry, found one that I liked the look of, downloaded it to my iPad and cast on.
I didn’t even look at the pattern first. I just liked the way the finished product looked and happened to have the right yarn for it in my stash already. I wasn’t worried about it, though. I had confidence that I knew enough to complete this project. And I was right. Seed stitch? Knitting in the round on DPNs? Make-one increases? Putting stitches on waste yarn and picking them up later? Sewing on buttons? Dude, I’m all over that. No problem. I found myself accidentally increasing a few stitches before I was supposed to, but was watching for that and knew how to fix it, and it hasn’t actually been much of a problem anyway. I’m just starting the increases for the thumb gusset on the first mitt, and I’m pretty pleased with it so far.
I have trouble, sometimes, with self-image. But every once in a while, something happens to make me step back and see something I’ve done objectively, and understand that hey, that was pretty cool. This is one of those things.