Be Persistent. I find it’s fairly easy to finish small projects. I’ve made a lot of hats over the years because I seem to ruin or lose my hats on a regular basis. That’s fine. It’s fun to make a new hat, but I don’t drool over hat patterns.
No, it’s the challenging ones that capture my imagination. You know the ones. An intricately patterned cable design, on a sweater, blanket or even an elaborate scarf. Beautiful colorwork sweaters, whether fair isle or scandinavian, even the colorwork socks seem like a stretch, honestly.
But if I’m going to get beyond being a “still beginning” knitter, I have to let my dreams & ambitions lure me into trying one of these beauties. I’m working on one now. It’s taken me months. How many more months will I have to work on it? I only know that if I persist, if I keep making one stitch after another, I will finish it. If I don’t, it will be another UFO. It’s my choice.
Be flexible. This one is unavoidable. Almost every pattern requires some modification.
I rarely buy kits, so I have to come up with the yarn, needles, etc. myself. It’s even more rare for me to choose to use the exact same yarn as the one specified in the pattern. Honestly, I’m puzzled that many knitters do use the same yarn, even if they choose a different color.
More often, you’ll have to use different needles because your gauge is different, or change the number of stitches to achieve a better fit. As in all things, change is the only constant.
There’s no such thing as a short cut! Another way of putting this: Small stitches lead to great achievements.
And why would you want a shortcut? The process of knitting is what brings us joy. Yes, the accomplishment of finishing a fine looking project, and sharing it with other via Ravelry, etc. is part of it But we spend hours and hours making one stitch after the other because the act of making them is it’s own reward.
Somehow, I need to learn and re-learn this lesson, over and over and over and over….
Laugh at yourself. Why do you think we call ripping out our work “frogging.”? Or call our unfinished objects “UFO’s”? We knitters make lots and lots of mistakes and we know the best way to deal with them is to laugh at ourselves. Such wisdom.
Be consistent. Our stitches aren’t identical, but they are consistent. The same size, the same tension, the same color. If we were to significantly change our tension midway through a project or run out of yarn and have to buy a different dye lot, well, either one could ruin a project, lead to frogging or (another) UFO.
Successful knitters are consistent knitters.
I’d love to see your own “life lessons from knitting” in the comments!