Tuesday, February 14, 2012

FMB: Frustration and Learning

This past year, I have been teaching myself to knit.  I am now on the level of your average third-grader.  I just knit my first-ever non-hat item (a baby vest, picture forthcoming), and I am almost embarrassed to admit how many rows I had to rip out.  The thing's only 11 inches tall, for pete's sake!  Why am I so bad at this?

Then I remind myself that I've been sewing for 24 years.  I would expect a sewer of one year's equivalent highly intermittent experience (I'd say, someone who's sewed five tote bags) to produce a competent apron.  Somehow, I can apply realistic expectations to my children, but not myself.

The last time I learned a complex physical skill was probably a really long time ago.  Perhaps fifteen years ago, the first time I worked in a lab?  Intellectual things you can, sometimes, just think harder about. 

At the same time- much like being a small child again!- it is very frustrating to have to work so hard, and to know that I need many more years' experience to actually be GOOD.


  1. I'm at a similar place with my knitting expertise. I've been doing it for about 3 years now, but I don't do it nearly often enough to really improve all that much.

    I also find it hard to push myself to try something more complicated...which is kind of ridiculous, because who cares if I fail at knitting a sock?

  2. Lisa C.8:49 PM

    with knitting, i think once you get really comfortable with the basics, you can totally tackle things that seem harder (like socks!) or that really are challenging- its just hard once you feel comfortable to tackle a hard pattern & have to rip so much out again!

    Sometimes I start a complicated project but stop it for something simpler bc of the amount of concentration the complicated stuff takes. After a day of work/ life I dont have the energy :)

  3. I've been working on socks! I had to rip one out and start over (also kind of depressing)...

  4. I just read this post (a little behind on my blog feed) but I wanted to say: Awesome! I hope that you're still enjoying it! I started knitting a little while ago to take out the frustration of grad school. It's so nice to just relax and make something at night after a long day of thinking nonstop. If you want to make something besides hats and scarves, there's a book of cute little knittables called "Knitting Mochimochi." My favorite, favorite knitting book because it's just fun and funky. Plus, you will never have to buy a present for anyone again - just knit it!


Comments are moderated, so it may take a day or two to show up. Anonymous comments will be deleted.