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View Full Version : Having a freak out...


picklesandpb
04-17-2008, 08:57 PM
Okay all...
I have a confession to make...
I am a novice knitter, but an avid learner, and am desperate to just pick up my needles and knit... I have two kits I got as gifts for my bday two months ago... and I haven't touched them. Bags of yarn given to me for free... unopened.
Sad, isn't it?
And I think I have figured out why.
Perfectionism. I am a new mom, and am frequently 'supermom' as my husband works long hours... and everything must be just [I]so.[U] And it is clearly seeping into my free time... my possible knitting time...

I am sooo afraid of screwing up. I don't want to mess up a project. I will cast on to practice, and knit a few rows of a pattern... then pull it all off. And then do it again.

Please tell me that I am not the only one who feels like this... I don't want this to be something I have started, and will never finish. I want to knit for my daughter... and me. And hubby...
How do I get over this???
Please help me!!!

Thanks for listening...
:)Becky

merryknitter
04-17-2008, 09:03 PM
Hi Becky,
Just calm down and take a deep breath!

I have been knitting just a little over 16 months and just want you to know that it's ok to make mistakes...everyone does...even the most experienced knitter does. Once you have that settled, you can just relax and enjoy your knitting!

You have a lot on your plate right now, for sure. I don't know if I could have fit knitting in when my sons were little...now that they are grown, I'm having sooooo much fun and you will too!

What are you going to knit first?

Becky Morgan
04-17-2008, 09:04 PM
Like the Nike commercials: Just do it. Eventually, you have to say "Close enough is good enough and I am not giving up any more." I know there are people who insist every stitch be perfect. I am not and will never be one of them. Pick some small project--ANYTHING--the booties that go with the Five-Hour Baby Sweater come to mind. They only take an hour or two to make if you don't knit fast. Make one. That ought to break the ice and nothing will be that difficult afterward.

--Also-Becky :D

picklesandpb
04-17-2008, 09:12 PM
Thanks so much for your quick replies and support, Merry and Becky!
It just seems so overwhelming, to even pick up the kit and read the instructions.... and one is just dishcloths, for pity's sake!
I think you're right, though... I just need to do it.... and just keep on going instead of second guessing....

I just so need it to be a relaxing fun-for-me thing to be doing after work and my little love is in bed... not a stressful, oh-god-what-if-I-screw-this-up kinda of hobby, ya know?
A first project just seems so daunting...

But I must... I just have to....! I am tired of finding excuses not to...

:)Becky

fireflyknitter
04-17-2008, 09:17 PM
A dishcloth would be a great first project! They're small and usually pretty easy, and if you make a mistake it's no big deal, because it's going to get used a lot. And a lot of mistakes that we make are virtually invisible to non-knitters anyway!

gotta knit
04-17-2008, 09:17 PM
Hi Becky,

....... just want you to know that it's ok to make mistakes...everyone does...even the most experienced knitter does. Once you have that settled, you can just relax and enjoy your knitting!


Lots of good advice already.
Pick something simple that you love, and just go for it. I've been knitting for 25+ years, I still frog if it's not perfect in my eyes. Just try, try again and you will get there!

Your two unopened kits might not be the best place to start. Yes they're there and were free, but if the patterns are too advanced or you don't love them, it'll be that much harder. Do something only a little challenging to build up your confidence, instead of getting frustrated with something too advanced.

Happy knitting!:knitting:

knitttina
04-17-2008, 09:19 PM
I was the SAME WAY. I have two or three thing that I abandoned because they weren't perfect. However I have learned from them. Watching the vidoes on here I've learned how to fix things so I might go back and fix them. Thats some of the fun.
I put off learning for a long time for the same reasons. I really wish I hadn't.

cheley
04-17-2008, 09:42 PM
I was the SAME WAY. I have two or three thing that I abandoned because they weren't perfect. However I have learned from them. Watching the vidoes on here I've learned how to fix things so I might go back and fix them. Thats some of the fun.
I put off learning for a long time for the same reasons. I really wish I hadn't. I have been knitting for about 3 years (taught myself crochet first, needless to say that was challenging)....I was fortunate to have an experienced crafter( knitter, crocheter, quilter and I might mention she was 93 years old) at my dispense...after losing her, the questions still come up (that's why I love KH) anyway, don't attempt any kits/patterns until you are confident that you can do them...Shaping a garment (inc and dec) can be tricky... as well as following patterns...Take your time, learn the basics, then jump into you "kits" step by step...and most of all have tons of patience :hug: .....

Plantgoddess+
04-17-2008, 09:48 PM
The nice thing is that if you do make a mistake you haven't wasted materials. Yarn is reusable. I agree with the others start with something simple, dishcloths are great. You won't get close to perfect until you make the mistakes and learn to fix them.
From dishcloths maybe some simple felted items. Once felted minor mistakes disappear and even you won't see them.
Knitting is fun just maybe not as much at first when everything seems so foreign, but as your stitches smooth out and knitting language becomes english and you turn out nicer and more intricate items it becomes an addiction.
Welcome to the world of knitters.:hug:

Limey
04-17-2008, 09:48 PM
Gotta Knit said:

Your two unopened kits might not be the best place to start. Yes they're there and were free, but if the patterns are too advanced or you don't love them, it'll be that much harder. Do something only a little challenging to build up your confidence, instead of getting frustrated with something too advanced.

**************************************

I think you've hit the nail on the head there. If you have to open anything like a kit, I think you automatically raise the bar on yourself. Doesn't matter if it's a model aeroplane, a building set or knitting .... it's a kit, so you've gotta get it right!!


Maybe hop to the local shop, buy a cheapo pair of needles and a ball of easy-going yarn and just knit and play. You'll enjoy it and it doesn't put that pressure on you to get it right.

Let us know how you make out.

Best Wishes
Ellie

Ambjer
04-17-2008, 10:17 PM
I may not be the best person to give advice, as I am a beginner.
But I am a perfectionist too--In every aspect of my life. So I know how you feel [the perfectionism gets in the way of everything, I get upset easily too].
I'm a cake decorator, and it REALLY gets in the way of that.
But I learned how to knit about two months ago. It took me a little while to get the basics down, but I'm having a lot of fun with it, and realizing that not EVERY stitch has to be perfect. And if I don't like a row or two, I just take them out and re-do them--not ditch the whole project.
I have finished two projects already [one by sort of accident--my first one was supposed to be a scarf, but I got mad at it and made it a clutch purse, and the second was a cupcake scarf].
Everyone here is very helpful and kind. I was actually purling wrong--I couldn't figure out how my stocking stitch was being weird--they figured it out, and now, awesome stocking stitch.
I'm working on two more projects now--an illusion scarf [which is about half-way done], and a quick little cell-phone cozy [got a new cell, have a habit of dropping it...].
So basically, anyone can knit. Just calm down, and just do it. Don't worry about the mistakes. Odds are you are the only one who will know where those mistakes are [that's how it usually is with my cakes and cupcakes].
Good luck. And most of all, HAVE FUN!!!

Knit4Fun
04-17-2008, 10:24 PM
Thank you for your honesty...it's tough to put yourself out there and I respect that.

Maybe you just aren't inspired with the kits you have. What if you went out and found one or two skeins of yarn (cheap stuff to start), the needles to match and just did something super simple like a garter stitch scarf or potholder or whatever...but that will look nice and give you a feeling of accomplishment afterward? Start really simple and just enjoy the process...think about the connection you have to so many other women and even men out there that enjoy knitting and the connection you have with generations of knitters...that always inspires and soothes me. And you know what...here's a truth you need to know: you WILL invariably screw up and make a wrong stitch or mis-count or do things sometimes that aren't perfect. Okay, so then you either go back and figure it out like a puzzle or march forward and say so what, I'm learning. With many mistakes...no one will know except you and it might even be good practice to leave one or two in a project that just you know about to remind yourself that imperfection is okay. That's what I did with my first project since I tend to be a perfectionist too. But I am still proud of that first project because it took me a full YEAR to master knitting and to be brave enough to take yarn and needles and just go for it. You can do it! :muah:

suzeeq
04-17-2008, 10:30 PM
It's only yarn and no one - NO ONE - is perfect the first time or even the 6th or 10th time of trying it out. The only way you get better is practice, practice practice. You also don't need to feel guilty about not starting anything. You can try a dishcloth or burpcloth or bib, but why don't you just sit down and CO about 20-30 sts. Then knit a few rows. Don't think of it as `making' something; just play with the yarn and get used to the feel of it and the needles and the motions you need to do to get the yarn around it. Practice the knit st for a while, then do a row of purl. Then another row of knits and another row of purl. Alternate, then look at some of the videos for increases and decreases. Do a few of them. Pretty soon you've got a sampler. Very important - don't rip it out when you think you've made a mistake! Just keep going. New knitters tend to frustrate themselves to no end by continually ripping out. They never got beyond the first few rows, if that far. Remember, you're not making anything, it's just a practice piece.

Start it when you want to, but don't beat yourself up over it.

Cynamar
04-17-2008, 10:33 PM
I hear ya! I'm a new knitter, too. I'm so intimidated by patterns that I haven't tried making anything from one yet--only socks from a video. I keep telling myself that I need more experience. Whatever. To be honest, the directions in patterns really confuse me. I think you need to just jump in and make something simple with cheap yarn and grow some confidence.

knitttina
04-17-2008, 10:35 PM
I've made 4 1/2 scarfs not really following a pattern. I was just practicing knitting and purling and counting and just having fun. Ignore the patterns for now, just practice the steps....

tina

missmom31
04-17-2008, 10:35 PM
relax and remember, it's jusk knitting...you can un-knit anytime you make an error or you aren't satified with your stitches. enjoy the journey with your yarn and needles! we've all made mistakes, learn by them, that's what they are for!! ;)

jdee
04-17-2008, 10:56 PM
You've gotten some great advice here, and I just want to stress again the importance of realizing that it's ok to make mistakes. And you'll learn from them. My first sweater attempt was for my husband, and it was waaaayyy too big for him. I was so disappointed, and came whining to my knittinghelp friends, and they encouraged me so much, that I attempted another one for him. Well, it's too short in the sleeves, but it's a better fit than the last one, and one day, I'll make one that fits him....But I had start somewhere, or I'd have never made a sweater at all.
Anyway, you'll be fine. Just don't be discouraged with mistakes.

Cynamar
04-17-2008, 10:57 PM
And if your husband ever gains weight he has a wonderful sweater waiting for him.

cheley
04-17-2008, 11:17 PM
Oh yea, one more thing to add...the "first" "perfect" piece (scarf, hat, or practice project) is soooo gratifying......you'll pat yourself on the backcloud9

jdee
04-17-2008, 11:33 PM
And if your husband ever gains weight he has a wonderful sweater waiting for him.
:roflhard:

Knitting_Guy
04-17-2008, 11:58 PM
:rofl:

I just have to say here that I truly laughed out loud when I read your post.

Knitting isn't about perfection or getting everything just right, it's about stress relief, spending a little time just relaxing while doing something you enjoy, and creating something that is truly your own.

When I first started knitting I stressed over the fact that my knitting wasn't perfect but a very wise man told me that knitting is meant to relieve stress, not cause it. Relax and enjoy it.

That made all the difference in the world to me. Maybe it will to you as well. Best advice I ever got.

sue in canada
04-18-2008, 07:48 AM
I agree with most of the posts. Don't worry about mistakes, everyone makes them. Just take your time and enjoy what you are doing. I agree with the idea of not using the kits to start, just buy some relatively cheap yarn and needles and practice the basics to gain confidence. I don't know where you are in Ontario, but there are some very helpful people in LYS who will advise you where to start or you can use Michaels coupons to buy practice yarn or needles. Do you have a knitting friend or family member who could knit along with you? Good luck and happy knitting. Look forward to seeing you around KH and to hear about your progress.

WandaT
04-18-2008, 08:18 AM
I'll put my .02 in too, although you've gotten some wonderful feedback here already. Girl, my entire first year of knitting was practice stuff (dishcloths and scarves mainly). It took me forEVER to get the hang of knitting. I had been a crocheter all my life and I wanted desperately to learn to knit. I had nightmares over trying to control TWO needles instead of one crochet hook. I watched Knitty Gritty over and over and over again. I had a good friend and my MIL help me. I still struggled. One day while watching Knitty Gritty (and I had seen that episode several times already) I realized I was wrapping my yarn in the opposite direction which made my stitches sit backwards on my needle. Talk about an "aha moment!" Life got much easier after that. And while I was learning (man I must really be a slow learner!) it was very stressful to me. I would be so tense from trying so hard that my muscles would ache afterwards. I did eventually get it and it is now very relaxing and therapeutic for me. After my first year of scarves and dishcloths I decided to tackle something other than garter and stockinette stitches ... I LOVE trying new things now. And have to confess: I don't think I have every completed any project that I didn't have to frog something on. I've only been knitting for about 2-1/2 years but it has replaced my other obssessions (beading, stamping, scrapbooking) most of the time.

Oh and my "baby" is 18 and getting ready to graduate in less than two months ... so I have way more time to knit than I'm sure you do. Although I sure wish I had discovered knitting when my kids were little. It would've been so much fun to knit for them! Oh well, I'll just wait for grandbabies. :D

Natrasha
04-18-2008, 12:37 PM
... why don't you just sit down and CO about 20-30 sts. Then knit a few rows. Don't think of it as `making' something; just play with the yarn and get used to the feel of it and the needles and the motions you need to do to get the yarn around it. Practice the knit st for a while, then do a row of purl. Then another row of knits and another row of purl. Alternate, then look at some of the videos for increases and decreases. Do a few of them. Pretty soon you've got a sampler. Very important - don't rip it out when you think you've made a mistake! Just keep going.

I totally agree. I am a new, self-taught knitter with a perfectionistic streak, too. Outright fear of hating the end result. Have spent way too much time thinking about how to knit rather than actually trying it. There recently was a day that I was playing with yarn and needles (for the eleventeenth time) and I realized, 'Hey, this is looking pretty good, and it feels good...I'm gonna keep going.' Ended up with a perfectly decent warshrag that was quickly claimed by someone at church who was watching me play. Don't be hard on yourself, and never give up on yourself.

picklesandpb
04-18-2008, 07:43 PM
:grphug:
Seriously. That is what your replies have felt like to me tonight!
I am soooo glad I finally posted on here - to have talked to other people who can totally relate, and completely talk me down. No one else seemed to care half a whit about how I was feeling about the whole situation, or understand my desire to knit!
THANK YOU ALL SOOOO MUCH!!
Every single reply means so much to me... I no longer feel alone. In fact, I feel inspired! I am going to break out my needles again this weekend, and I am NOT going to rip my stitches off this time... I am just going to keep going!
And yes, new friends, I will keep you posted on my progress!

:muah: My thanks again!
Becky

Plantgoddess+
04-18-2008, 07:55 PM
:thumbsup: :hug: Go for it!

cheley
04-18-2008, 08:06 PM
:woot: That's the spirit:cheering: Also, always always have a book on hand especially with illustrations....any beginner book is fine...I like" How to Knit by Debbie Bliss (she walks you thru patterns for practice) and for some comedy check out Stitch -n- Bitch (her first one) :muah:Hey and if you get a chance, check out the Toddler Shrug I made (LOOK WHAT I DID PART II) on Whatcha Knitting...I rec'd the yarn thru the "swap" and many knitters here walked me thru my difficulties!!!!!!

suzeeq
04-18-2008, 10:24 PM
Yay!! You'll be knitting in no time!

jdee
04-18-2008, 11:20 PM
:thumbsup: Good for you! You'll be knitting in no time.