Saturday, September 13, 2014

Lesson 3.5: Mistakes Are Inevitable, and That's Okay.

One of my favorite places in the world is Epcot (Or, as it's still called in my head, EPCOT Center,) at Walt Disney World. I have great memories of the place. My dad and I used to spend so much time wandering around there when I was a kid.

What does this have to do with knitting? Well, the Moroccan Pavilion. The back half of Epcot is the World Showcase. Little tastes of 11 different countries, with the architecture, food, fashion, and culture of that country represented in a little pavilion. Even the people working there are college students from those countries. The king of Morocco sent his own craftsmen to create the gorgeous tile mosaics that cover a large part of mini-Morocco. Mosaics like this one:

Wow, right?!

And each mosaic has a mistake in it. Seriously. Every single one. You see, the Moroccan artists who created these breathtaking works of art believe that only Allah can make perfection. So one tile will always be backward, or the wrong color, or in some other way, a mistake. Even if they have to make the mistake intentionally.

Now, I've never gotten to the point of making a mistake intentionally, and I suspect almost no one does. But, there will be a mistake in any knitting project you undertake. Most likely, in any kind of creative project you undertake. A twisted stitch here, a visible knot there. These things are okay. Think of it as proof that it's hand made, in the rare instance that anyone other than you even notices, which is really unlikely.

I bring this up now because as you follow lessons 2 and 3, you are going to make mistakes. If a stitch slips off your needle, don't panic. Just slip it right back on, and keep going. If you make a stitch backward or twisted, you can either slip it back where it came from and try again, or just keep going. One twisted stitch won't ruin the whole piece.

If a mistake is so bad that you would rather start over, that's also okay. But think of it as a learning experience, and don't beat yourself up. At this point, I can't even remember how long I've been knitting, and just last year, I made a lace sweater for my mother in law where one of the lace repeats was in the wrong place. I didn't notice it until I was finished, and she hasn't noticed yet as far as I know. She still wears it all the time either way. You will probably never be a perfect knitter. That's okay. Perfection is not the goal. The goal is to enjoy making beautiful and useful things that you will treasure for years to come. That doesn't require perfection. Embrace the imperfections. They make your piece yours.

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