Posts Tagged ‘Arts’

I’m a huge proponent of always being on the lookout for something new to learn, so when I start to get to the point where I feel like I’m not learning enough, I look around for something new to learn, or even just something to break up the “monotony” of my life. (I used the work monotony, not because everything stays the same in my life, but because I tend not to break out of my comfort zone unless I have to.)  This has led me to more Bible Study, learning new leadership concepts or ideas, rekindling my love playing my clarinet, and most recently, I’m learning to knit.  By recently, I mean since Saturday morning.  Yes, that’s right, 3 days ago.

It all started with a thought, “I think I want to learn how to knit.”  See, I am one of those people who has to always have something to do with her hands.  So even when I watch TV, I have to be doing something.  This generally means, I sit on my laptop a lot because I can do mindless things on it that don’t keep me from paying attention to what I’m watching.  Well, I don’t like that I am spending so much time on my laptop doing non-productive things.  So, I got to thinking about what I could do at the same time as watching TV or movies with my kids.  The only thing that kept coming to mind was different people in my life knitting while listening to a sermon, or sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, or pretty much anywhere.  And that was an aha! moment for me.  So, that’s when I first thought about knitting.

I’d love to say that I jumped right into it.  But, alas, it is now about 6 months since I had that first thought, and I just bought the supplies on Saturday.  6 months!!  (Did I mention, I don’t jump out of my comfort zone much?)  There were a few times I almost bought a “learn how to knit” book or kit, but every time, I just put it back.  I kept telling myself that it just wasn’t worth the money, or I didn’t have the coordination, or some other excuse.  Yes, I’m great at excuses.  I think I might have even shared that before!! Haha!

It might have gone on forever, except that my friend had recently learned to knit and told me about a book, Teach Yourself Visually: Knitting by Sharon Turner.  Then she told me it wasn’t really that hard to learn.  We talked about it a few times over the past several weeks.  And finally, on Saturday, I remembered, “I have a Michael’s gift card that still has a balance!”  So, without further ado (or much thought), I went to Michaels.  I picked out 3 balls of yarn (well actually I think only one is technically considered a ball…the others are skeins or something like that, but I digress) and one set of needles.  I got everything for $3.71 because of that gift card.  Just think how much sooner I could have begun “enjoying” a new hobby if I had just gone and gotten the materials.

In any event, I was excited to start, so after a few more errands, I rushed home and into my bedroom to start learning my new craft.  After what seemed an hour of frustration (but was really only a few minutes), I ‘cast on’ and got pretty good at that.  I soon learned that it’s the easiest part – well at least the version I was doing.  After a few mishaps and unravellings, I got one row knitted.  And then I met my Waterloo – the second row.  Who knew following pictures could be so difficult!?  I could not figure out how to get my second row to look like the picture, and top of everything, I kept knocking the entire row off the needles and unravelling everything.  After three times and an hour of trying, I threw in the towel.  I was practically in tears of frustration.

Yesterday, I thought maybe I’d try again, so I went back to the beginning, cast on, and knitted my first row in less than 15 minutes.  I was ecstatic!  But, alas, I still couldn’t figure out that second row.  I had to leave for choir practice, so I set it aside yet again – but this time without accidentally unravelling it.  (See?  Progress!)

This evening, I picked up that knitting again, determined to knit a second row.  And I did!! I got a second row completed, and have even started a third row!  I’m so excited!  Now, granted, I haven’t gotten very far, but I feel like I have accomplished this huge task!

Which brings me back to my purpose for writing this.  Oftentimes, I tell myself I can’t do something, or I make excuses to not try something new before I have even given myself an opportunity to give it a shot.  I sell myself short and belittle myself, making me feel small and frustrated.  But I noticed that when I finally decided to just try, I actually could do it.  Maybe I can’t do it well, but I can do it.  The quality comes with practice.  I think maybe I need to stop looking at the “reasons” for why I can’t do something and look for the reasons that I should try.  Maybe I should stop thinking about all the bad things that might happen and think about all the great things that are more likely to happen.  If I never try, I might miss out on some pretty great experiences.

My adventure in knitting has taught me that I need to try before I say “I can’t.”  I knew that intellectually, but now I know that in reality.  I have said this to my kids for as long as I can remember, but  never realized I wasn’t following my own advice.  I think after this, I might be more willing to try other new things.  But first, I have to get past the third row of knitting!!

Have you ever fallen prey to your own excuses?  Do you sell yourself short?  Or do you try new things without issue, knowing that the rewards most likely will outweigh the risks?  Maybe you’ve got an idea for how to combat fear and insecurity.  I want to hear from you.

~Until Next Time!

Karen Signature