Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Yarnapalooza Winner #25

Photo: baby sweater in progress. The sleeves are in the other room and I'm too lazy to go get them.

We're in the home stretch now. Congratulations to Donna Arney, Yarnapalooza Winner #25.

I don't know what I'm going to do with myself with July is over . . .

Progress continues on the baby sweater. The sleeves are almost finished and after that comes (gulp) the finishing. I may end up swatching a seed stitch selvedge piece and a garter stitch bind off and playing around with ways to join them up. Even though I'm a slow knitter it's probably well worth the time and effort in order to get it right. I'm not too picky about my knitting (most likely because I'm way too picky about my writing) (book writing; I give myself inordinate slack on the blogs) mainly because the point of it is to free myself from judgment, not impose judgment of a different kind on myself. A certain amount of sharp critiquing seems to go with the knitting territory but for the most part I'm pretty easy on myself. (Except when it's a gift for someone else. Perfection isn't attainable for me so I try instead for durable and easy on the eyes!)
I find it strange that a woman (me) who can be so brutally hard on herself in every other aspect of her life (writing, hair, appearance, foot-in-mouth tendency, etc., etc.) can harbor such a laissez-faire attitude about knitting and painting. Let me be the first to say it: I'm no Van Gogh. I'm also no Elizabeth Zimmerman and unlikely to become one. But nobody, and I mean nobody, loves painting and knitting as much as I do and nobody (at least nobody with eyes) could possibly love the end results more. I am delighted when I finish a drawing or painting or knitted object. I am thrilled with my accomplishment, flaws and all. Some benevolent goddess of delusion pops a pair of slightly skewed rose-colored glasses over my eyes and I ooh and ahh at even the most pedestrian accomplishment as if I'd reinvented the wheel. It's as close to pure happiness as I'm likely to get. It's not that I can't see what's wrong--I can--but I just plain don't care. I created it, it's mine, and I love it.

Unfortunately other people can also see what's wrong and, hindsight being what it is, I kind of regret blithely sending off gifts that I now know were (kinda) (maybe) embarrassingly amateurish but in my defense I did it with a full heart and lots of love. Not a whole lotta skill but lots of love. The thing is, do you hold back on the gift-giving impulse until your skills are where you'd love them to be or do you just let your needles fly and follow your heart and hope that one day your skills will catch up with you?

That, dear knitters, is my question of the day!


Anonymous Linda said...

You are too hard on yourself. The photograph of the baby sweater is wonderful. The stitches are even, the color is beautiful, the whole sweater will be much appreciated, I'm sure.
I used to obsess about the knitted gifts I gave as well. But, I have also seen my gifts worn and loved because they came from the heart. are terrific!

-Linda in Ohio-

10:54 AM  
Blogger kshotz said...

First, I concure with Linda. Give yourself a break!

I guess I'm unusually optimistic and sentimental so that I tend to see every gift to me through the eyes of much so that I assume others will too. I've given away things which were early attempts and not nearly as "good" as I might be able to do them at this point in my life, now. But I still produced them with love and the hope the person would enjoy, and I think that THAT is the point of gift giving. It's about both recipient and giver and the relationship they share. It's why mom's love dandelions and muddy handprints. So too do sisters like less than perfect scarves or hats or mittens. Because they know someone they love was thinking of them with love and wanting to give a part of herself to the recipient.

ok, I'll get off my soap box now.


3:29 PM  
Blogger georg said...

One year, for Kissmoose when my finances were tight- I painted something for everyone. Danny has a huge goldfish, swimming in yellow. It's a multi-toned/textured yellow, but very very blah compared to where that fish could really be swimming. Just this big bug-eyed goldfish swimming through yellow. And I cringe thinking about how cheesey it is now. But he loves that thing. All of those paintings are hung with pride. And I can't make them better now, because I am allergic to paint. No more will I hold the paintbrush and stare at a blank canvas. So my offerings may have been a bit amateurish- but I can't offer them that any more.

Homemade is a gift from the heart. I still like doing that when I can.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Carol said...

It's the thought and love that is behind each handmade gift whether they be perfect or have an imperfection or two. I feel that as long as there is a sleeve on one side and another on the other side, heck I'm good to go.

Your sweather looks beautiful. Very nice color.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Gail R said...

I'm impulsive and follow my heart. I've tried the other way and it takes forever and is so frustrating because I wanted everything to be perfect.

Your baby sweater looks like something one would love to cuddle in. For babies, that is the most important thing. The fact that it looks terrific is secondary.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Cindi Myers said...

The sweater is beautiful, Barbara. Such pretty yarn.

I'm of the 'let the needles fly' school myself. I get so much enjoyment from knitting I hope those who receive the gifts will feel that too. I see the imperfections, but they rarely do.


8:50 PM  

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