Fear in our Knitting.

We’ve all been there…hastily casting on to begin knitting the most coveted handmade item when one word sends your fingers nerveless. Or gazing upon the latest of Ravelry’s most popular patterns with sullen eyes, thinking “You’ll never be good enough to make THAT.”

We all have our knitting aversions. Even the best of them. From anything as simple as learning to cast on…to learning fair isle. The truth is, we’re all destined to encounter a spectrum of timidity in our knitting endeavors.

My question…what causes this creeping self doubt and how do we overcome the nagging sense of cowardice when it comes to certain aspects of knitting? How do we continue to, again and again step out of our comfort zones…past the place of security?

For about 3 years my biggest qualm was short rows. {Oh you petty tyrant, you}. My reoccurring living nightmare played out too many times. I’d see an infectious pattern somewhere and hastily purchase the yarn and collect my needles..cast on…start happily knitting and peruse the pattern. Then, like a funnel cloud the the word “Short Rows” would gloomily slide into my view and angst would take over each of my organs one by one. It wouldn’t be 5 seconds before I’d be gutless under this dastardly giant. Like a coward, i’d rip apart my work all sour and milksop. “I hate short rows.” {The truth is, I only tried them once. But ripping out 3 hours of work can leave quite the traumatic mark}. Eventually, I came across a design {involving short rows} too lovely to give up on…and I coupled it with a Madelinetosh yarn that seemed to want to knit itself, and I pushed through and figured it out. And oh the empowerment… oh the JOY.

We’ve all been there as knitters. And whether you’re beginning or advanced, I’m sure you have a growing list of qualms you’ve conquered.

How satisfying is it when we muster the grit to knit blindly into a pattern – learn if we must {Call the grandma down the street, YouTube tutorials, google forums, etc} and make it through?! Not only are we in one piece, but we are infused with brawn..wisdom…and self-trust!

So what causes this crippling sense of futility? Why, when it comes to certain things, do we just not believe in ourselves?

If you ask me, it’s fear of failure. Fear is such a B.

Let me reason with you…YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Dear friend, you may be so fear-stricken that you truly cannot see what you are capable of. You may have been so beat down by past failures that you are stuck in a rut of knitting similar versions of the same old comfortable pattern. You may be telling yourself that you’re still a “beginniner” when truly you are intermediate. You may be purchasing cheap, uninspiring yarn to “test the waters” on projects you are secretly telling yourself you’ll fail on.

I want you to do something for me…

Take a step back and gaze upon all you have created in the past. Surely even that took courage. Surely you are worth investing in. Surely, if you were to really look…you would see that you are undoubtedly brave. Think about what you have ACTUALLY done…you have transformed a mere thread into fabric! You have made something out of practically nothing!

Surely you have felt that pulse of energy as you grasp the needles and fiber…unabashed potential just resting at your fingertips, waiting for your next move..beckoning you to embrace whatever it is that you’ve been avoiding in your knitting endeavors and GROW…LEARN…BE VICTORIOUS.

Knitting is an adventure. Be brave, dear friends.

I am rooting for you,

Gina Zahn

What pattern have you had your eye on that you just haven’t found the courage to attempt? Do you have a certain “knitting aversions” that steer you away from certain projects? I want to hear about it!!


12 thoughts on “Fear in our Knitting.

  1. I remember learning this as a kid back in Chile, my teacher wanted to prepare everyone for all of life’s needs all the way from sewing to knitting and I remember quite enjoying it 🙂

    • How amazing to learn in such a rich culture! I think everyone who was ever taught even once, remembers their very first knitting experience. Fingers cramping, stitches so tight they won’t slide off the needle. Good times.

      • Yups! I remember that! which is why she had us also learn needle threading or whatever that’s called, you know. When you create art by threading from the bottom? it was a good way to relax the fingers for a bit lol

  2. This is funny. I have my aversions, and it goes all the way back to — purl. I HATE to purl. I will go out of my way to avoid purling. I do it, and I do it well, but if I can avoid it by knitting in the round I will do so. I am not a fan of garter stitch, but if it looks okay garter, I will do that instead of stockinette stitch.

    As for the short rows, I did not know I was supposed to be afraid. I taught myself how to knit using the book (I think it is called toe up socks?). I don’t do the short rows by wrapping the stitch. Rather, I give the needle an extra wrap. It seemed to make better sense and I can make it work well. I do my socks from the toe up with the short row heels. Looks much better than the gussetted heel, in my humble opinion.

    I also do not like colour work. I did learn how to knit with two colours, and did a fair approximation of fair isle mittens — which a mouse chewed up and I had to frog it. But they weren’t bad. It is just not a put-down-and-pick-up-again project.

    BTW, I posted some yarnstuff on my blog about the trials and tribulations of working with silk.

    • purling is not my fav either. I especially love seed stitch though, so i have to figure out a new way to interchange K and P in order for it to not take me forever. Let me know if you have any tips on this front.

      I am impressed that short rows never intimidated you. Once i finally figured them out, i thought “oh this is cake” but it took me a looooooong time to attempt.

      I will check out your post!! Thanks for linking it!

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