As we near the fifth birthday celebrations of the CLF, I thought I would bring us back to our roots.
When I started blogging four years ago, almost all of my posts centered around our VALUE as people who crochet. We were so under appreciated by both society at large AND the fiber arts community, that I felt our first step to liberating our hooks and hearts was to KNOW our value. Well, we’ve made quite a few in roads in the past few years at least in the fiber arts world, though there are still those who would like to think of us as lesser mortals. (Whatever *rolls eyes*)
I listen to you a lot, I listen to your comments on your Facebook walls, your tweets, on your blog posts and on Hookey.org, here are ten things that I think might be holding you back.
1. Don’t want to waste money on good yarn. Why? Why do you believe this to be a valid statement? Do you feel you aren’t experienced enough? Do you not deserve nice things? So, $20 or $30 $100 to make yourself something lovely, if you can save up that amount (if you don’t come by $ easily or are unemployed) what would happen if you actually treated yourself to the rare experience of making yourself something wonderful JUST FOR YOU!? (Be a devil and try it)
2. I’m not good enough to do “X”. What is good enough? Crochet is a skill that has many skill subsets. Why are you afraid to try a new skill in this art/craft? What happens if you make a mistake? Ask yourself this question, “Will the world end if I screw up three rows of crochet?” Believe it or not, the world does not end, even if you make mistakes with mohair and you have to just cut the yarn off. Ask me how I know. You don’t get good at something by not practicing it.
3. Sweaters are hard to make. Ok, some sweaters ARE hard to make, but most of them aren’t. Try with a child’s sweater first, if you can work that small you can make something in adult size. If you have made baby sweaters, then what’s stopping you from making adult sweaters, they are actually easier to make because you’re not working in such tight spaces.
4. Feeling stupid for having to rip out rows/rounds. This attitude really bothers me. Look, I know it can be frustrating, but feeling stupid for catching your mistake and ripping it out to ensure that your project turns out the way you want it to is a self defeating belief. Let’s put it this way, if you are an expert enough at crochet to not only catch your mistake and then decide you need to rip it out to have your project turn out to your desired outcome, then you are a GREAT crocheter. You have to be smart to catch your mistakes.
5. Expecting to be perfect when you are a beginner. WTF!!?? Look here, missy or mister, if you are just learning to do something whether it’s crochet or baseball or web design, you cannot expect to be an expert or extremely skilled when you first learn how to do it. It takes time and effort to become good at a skill. Make swatches, doodle, make wash cloths in different stitch patterns until you have a gillion of them, but for heavens sake, you must practice to be an expert.
6. Giving your items away to people who don’t appreciate them. Why do this to yourself. I cover this in my giftgiving book, but here’s a short answer. Why on earth would you give your handwork, that you take time to make and make with love, to someone who not only doesn’t appreciate it, but may also be derisive of your work. Don’t do that to yourself, just buy them a gift card and be impersonal. Why? Because, if someone is going to be so rude as to not appreciate the fact that you took TIME and resources to make them a gift from the heart then JEEEEEZ they just don’t deserve the gift.
7. Not valuing the skills you possess. I think I will scream if I read or hear, “Oh I just crochet” one more time. JUST CROCHET? As if it takes no skill, time, talent, or artistic vision to do so? Are you pulling my leg? Are you yanking my chain? Seriously, STOP DISCOUNTING YOURSELF and your creative expression!
8. Lack of trust in yourself. I read a lot of commentary where I see between the lines a complete lack of self trust. That you hope to be a good crocheter someday, or you hope you can be as good as so and so, or you hope that you could do a certain stitch. In that I hear, “I don’t think I can, I don’t think I’m skilled, I don’t think I’m good enough, I don’t think I’m ever going to be good enough.” Stop it, stop harming yourself with your thoughts, just try something fun and new and practice. So what if it doesn’t turn out the way you envision, it’s never a waste of time, it’s all a learning experience.
9. Afraid to try a pattern because you might mess it up. Here’s a few tips. a) swatch b) don’t substitute yarn for a tricky pattern unless you know how to substitute yarn well. (We have several classes about yarn in the CLF member on-demand section or a la carte for non-clf members) c) If you think something looks super awesome, follow a & b and TRY IT!
10. Scared to try a new technique. Really, I do hear this a lot. “I’m afraid to try lace.” Why? Will it bite you? Will the steel hooks suddenly jump out of your project bag and impale your eyeballs? Nope, they will not. Laugh at yourself, not in a derisive way, but laugh to break away from the blocks. CROCHET IS FUN! CROCHET IS NOT SCARY.
CROCHET IS FUN!
CROCHET IS A FORM OF CREATIVITY!
CROCHET IS NOT A LIFE AND DEATH MATTER
but your attitudes are…
If you are worried about mistakes, being of value or worth (or not), of not being good enough, or are hard on yourself for making mistakes in your crafting, then by the Fuzz Gawds you’re doing that in all the other realms of your life as well. Crochet is a safe way to blow through those negative thought patterns and self limiting beliefs…