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Friday, March 17, 2017

Does fear hold you back?

A couple of days ago I posted a long pep talk on Instagram but I think the message is so important I thought I'd talk about it here too. One of the things I see the most in my workshops is that lack of confidence and fear of making mistakes hold people back. I'm sure this is true in other areas of our lives too and not just knitting and I know fear and lack of confidence has held me back in the past.

Does fear hold you back? Do you worry about knitting something in case you make a mistake? Have you asked yourself why you're worried? Do you avoid taking a workshop you want to take just in case you're not good enough? Do you worry that everyone else in the class will be a better knitter than you?

I have a very good friend who although she isn't a very experienced knitter, she's way more capable than she thinks. She doesn't worry about knitting something that looks challenging but any decisions regarding her knitting she asks me first. Almost every time we meet she asks me to remind her of techniques she'll need for her current knitting project. I know she can do it but she doesn't trust herself to do it or she doesn't think she can remember how to do it. Lack of confidence is holding her back in her knitting life but also in other parts of her life.

Don't let fear hold you back. What's the worst that can happen? You cast on for something that you struggle with or you make a big mistake. What's the worst thing that can happen? You just rip it out & re-knit it or knit something else.

If you love knitting, re-knitting something won't matter as you get to do something you enjoy.

If you want to knit something but feel you don't have the skills, try it. You may surprise yourself. Take a pattern one row at a time. Don't get overwhelmed by the task ahead. I know experts say that you should read the pattern and make sure you understand what you need to do and yes, there is some truth to that but sometimes reading the pattern before we cast on, makes us panic and worry we can't do it. There may be a technique coming up that you're unsure about. 

Often, a knitting technique or instruction that doesn't make sense on paper will become clearer if you just try it. Get your knitting out and just follow the pattern and see if it works. If it doesn't, rip it out, ask for advice or look up the technique online or in a reference book and try again.

Would you like to take a knitting workshop but you worry that it'll be too difficult for you? You worry that everyone else will be a better and faster knitter than you? They're probably not but if they are so what? You're all there to learn. 

Some of the feedback I get regularly from the knitters in my workshops is that I'm very good at catering to all abilities and I make sure everyone is working at their own pace and level and benefit from the workshop. My classes can be quite intense. I do pack them with lots of learning. I want you to go away feeling like you've learnt something but I also want to give you the confidence to knit what you want to knit. 

Carol came to my Shetland Lace Knitting class at Purlescence in January. I can't remember if she had done any lace knitting before. Everybody else in the class had done some lace knitting and some of them had done quite a bit of lace knitting. After the class Carol saidThank you for your workshop yesterday. I had a very enjoyable day after a scary start when I realised that not only did everyone else know what they were doing but most of them were wearing their previous projects! Thank you for your patience and I can now work out what some of the other patterns are going on about now, ( which had previously had me baffled by the second row!). 

Knitting should be fun and relaxing. You may want your knitting to challenge you at times so you feel you've really achieved something but you may just want your knitting to help you relax after a busy day at work or looking after the family. Whatever your reason for knitting is, you should enjoy it! I know there are always times when we get bored with a project but have to finish it because we're knitting it for someone else or we want to wear what we're knitting. Sometimes you just have to power through and get it done but if your knitting doesn't give you pleasure, re-evaluate what you knit.

A few of the ladies in my Top Down Raglan Sweater workshop at Spin A Yarn on Tuesday e-mailed me with some feedback. As it's a brand new class, I told them I'd like their feedback so I can improve the class or fine-tune it if needed. So far I've had lots of very positive feedback. You can read more about the Top Down Raglan Sweater workshop in this Workshop Focus blogpost.

One of the ladies in Tuesday's class, Sue, brought her teddy, Tinkerbell, who she's had since she was a little girl. Tinkerbell was once very fluffy but has lost her fur over the years so need a sweater to keep her warm. It turned out that the sample we made in class was a perfect fit for Tinkerbell. Sue finished the sweater when she got home and added a little knitted skirt to turn it into a dress. Doesn't Tinkerbell look cute? 

Karen, who's been to several of my classes and who travels from the Midlands to come to classes at Spin A Yarn, said: Thank you very much for all the skill and effort which you put into preparing your workshops. I enjoyed the top-down sweater day, and will certainly try to put it all into practice.  It's fun to think about these things from a completely different perspective, and I can understand the advantages to starting at the top.  Now i must go and work out all the numbers and start knitting!

Gail said: I really enjoyed the workshop on Tuesday and learnt a great deal. You explained things very clearly. Until I apply what I learnt including the formulas I don't know what I don't know. I am a confident knitter and I found the class a good pace for me and your explanations clear.

I'm teaching the Top Down Raglan Workshop at La Mercerie in Cowbridge, near Cardiff on Sunday and at Purlescence in April (I'm also teaching Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl the same weekend). After my last weekend of workshops at Purlescence in January, I got feedback from some of the ladies. A few of them came to my workshops on both the Saturday and Sunday.

Lucie said:  just wanted to say thank you for the workshops at Purlesence last weekend. I really enjoyed them, and learnt a lot - I've already started a pair of fair isle gloves!

Franziska has been to several of my workshops in Devon said: thank you for another great class. I always learn so much more than I expect going in. In particular your talking me through what the different increases and decreases are supposed to look like and learning to read the pattern I am knitting, rather than just the description and chart, was amazingly helpful.

Have you been thinking about taking a knitting workshop? All my workshops up to July are now on my website, I've got a fully booked autumn schedule too and I'll get that up soon.

New pattern coming on Monday together with a tutorial. Sign up to the Newsletter to get 30% discount next week.

1 comment:

Nia said...

I'd love to take one of your classes, but childcare and travel issues mean it's impossible for now, so I really appreciate the videos you post :)