Acceptance



Yesterday I cast-on for the Endpaper mitts and I am in love with colour stranding. It is just so much fun (almost as fun as knitting lace - gasp!). I’m using the method described by Theresa Vinson Stenersen in the most recent issue of Knitty - knitting with one colour in my left-hand continental-style and the other colour in my right-hand English style. I always think it is so exciting to learn a new technique and on this project I have already learnt how to use colour-stranding, how to knit continental-style and how to do a tubular cast-on. The tubular cast-on is wonderful, it is so much more stretchy than a normal cast-on (it almost feels as if there is elastic in the ribbing!) plus it is so neat and tidy looking.

The pattern called for an Italian tubular cast-on but I have a confession to make- I couldn’t do it! This is where the title of my post comes from, one of the great things I’ve found about getting older (I’m 27) is that it is easier to admit that I can’t do something. The other day I overheard some teenagers talking in a pub and one of them was showing-off about how great they were at something, then the other asked her to show her how to do it. It then became apparent the first didn’t really have a clue - I was cringing in my seat because I could remember that as a teenager never wanting to admit that I didn‘t know something, that I hadn‘t seen a particular episode of Friends on TV, that I didn‘t know the latest gossip… But now I know that part of what makes life fun is that everyone is good at different things, there are some things that you are naturally good at, there are some things that you can get good at through practice and there are some things which will always be a challenge but there is no shame in admitting if you don’t know how to do or can’t do something - in fact telling someone is the quickest way to finding out how.

Here is my list of things which I can’t do:
I can’t drive (I had some lessons when I was 17 but I was BAD).
I can’t sing - it doesn’t stop me trying ;-)
I am not a linguist - I struggle getting my words out correctly in English!
I can’t play any sports - I still remember the look of shame on my Dad’s face when he came to watch my brother and I at our Junior school sports day…
I could carry on but I think you get the picture.

19 comments:

dreamcatcher said...

The Endpaper mitts look great, I really like the colours you've chosen. I have some Silky Wool that I think would work for these, thanks for the inspiration!

It's interesting how we change as we grow older, it's great to be able to accept strengths *and* weaknesses and not worry about them.

keri said...

I couldn't get it either, and didn't want to hassle with it. The great thing about knitting is that we can cast-on anyway we want =)

The endpapers are looking great and I love the colors together.

nat said...

The mitts are beautiful! I love learning new things, too. If you want any help with the italian tubular, let me know. :) I always have to figure out how to do something, even if it takes me forever - I'm weird like that.

I hope you learn how to drive one day, it's really a lot of fun. :)

Seahorse said...

I want to go and start those Mitts now!

I can't do any of the things in your 'I can't...' list either!

Alice said...

It actually feels really good to shake off the chains and admit I can't do something - it's a bit like the feeling I get when I fully admit to something being my fault.

You are really inspiring me. Every time I read one of your posts, I think, oh I wish I could do that - maybe I can do that! I still haven't tried the stranding (it sound so fiddly). Thanks for the tips on how to do it. Your mitt looks so lovely - as usual you have chosen such great colours.

acrylik said...

The mitts are beautiful, I really like the colours you have chosen. It's always wonderful when we push ourselves to learn new techniques.

It's true, letting go and accepting things gets easier as we get older, and it also really unburdens us too.

Artis-Anne said...

Oh what lovely mitts. As you might have guessed from my blog I have re-found the joys of colour stranding and yes I think it can be as addictive as lace(I have finished the hat ) & I too use the same method unless I have more than one colour in a row then it gets a bit fiddlier with the weaving in.Must make notes on how I do it,; funny how you do things without thinking how !!.
Well I am never to old to learn any thing new and never too old too admit if I can't do any thing; which brings me around to the tubular cast on, never heard of it . I think its wonderful and grabed a pair of needles to try it out as soon as I read it . Will have a go at the Italian later :)

Brahdelt said...

Great colour choice for the mittens.
I completely agree with you - when you are a teenager you can do anything (at least you say so...), maybe it's a fear that you're not cool enough if you confess to some imperfections, but with age comes the ability to accept and talk about our weaknesses.

Francesca said...

Your mitts look lovely; who cares what kind of cast-on you use. :)
By the way, from someone older than you, it's better for the soul to make a list of the things you can do, rather than those you can't.

Anushka said...

An opinion FROM a teenager - I think the teenage thing comes from the fear and insecurity instated by teachers (and sometimes parents) of doing things wrong, which many people can work out with age - not always needing to prove oneself. Then again, some people never get over that.

I like the colours you've used for the gloves!

Anushka said...

Oh hoorah! it's letting me post comments to you again.

Sarah said...

Beautiful mitts, can't believe how perfect they look considering all the new things you are trying - you're inspiring me to have a go at these techniques. Once I've mastered the 243 other new things lined up first!

Debby said...

Your mitts are coming along so well. I do need to learn that one day!

I don't mind admitting I don't know how to do something, or don't do it well, but I find as I get older (I'll be 37 next month, which is too surreal for words) I want to try more things and push harder to learn and have new experiences. It's easy to get old mentally and not take on challenges you might have taken on when you were younger.

There's also the how-to-learn factor...sometimes we don't learn something because the person teaching us uses a different style that might not work for us. For some things, I can learn reading printed directions. For others, I learn best visually, watching someone else sit next to me and knit or draw or do something on a computer. I don't learn so well by hearing, so I have to write things down.

Math has been a struggle for me, but I'm finally conquering my tech fears!

José said...

The Endpaper Mits are amazing, at least you know your truley great at knitting!! Well i think you are :)

craftydramaqueen said...

Love the mitts, they look very complicated! too complicated for me. I love totally love your jaywalkers, they're cool!

Dawn said...

You look like you are coming along great with the stranding. Another string to your bow! I think it is interesing how many ways there are to cast on and off. At least you tried it, that is the important thing! Whether you feel comfortable doing it or not is not the point! I like that I can do something different then I was told to in the pattern, but it still works!

Frankie said...

I love the look of the mitts. Well done learning how to do two-handed knitting - I bet that will be really useful.
I agree about accepting yourself, but I'm also sure you'll continue to develop your skills and talents throughout your life. I started singing at 45, and knitting at 51 having seen myself since I was a small child as someone who was incapable of anything crafy or creative.

Jenny said...

You can't drive? What's that about? Did you ever take your test or did you just give up? I'm disappointed if you gave up before trying the test.

Gosia said...

Very wise for your 27 years :) I remember getting that it was OK not to be good at everything - very freeing!

Lick your elbow? I'm sure being able to do this makes you a super human!