Monday, June 4, 2007

The Problem With Perfectionism

Hey all - it's been a minute since I wrote. Let me update you...

I finished the dress from hell. I received a number of compliments on it, but me being me received them while thinking, "They don't mean this. It's hideous, but they can't say that." My mom (who I lovingly refer to as "Knittingmaster") even liked it. She made a point: that we are always most critical of our own work. I wonder why that is: I can see someone else's project and find all of the beauty and magic therein, but can only see the crap in mine (i.e., "what was I thinking when I let that woman talk me into this color?," "there's that mistake - should have ripped it out," and "why is this dress so shapeless anyway???"

Little Momma (my darling daughter) LOVES the dress. She hugs it and calls it her knitting or her lovey, interchangeably. And while that makes me feel good, I still think, "Eh, she's 20 months old...what the hell does she know?"

But maybe, just maybe, that's the point. Yes, we should all use our own voices as guidelines for what is right and wrong for us. But if that inner voice is too critical, too demanding, or just plain mean, maybe we should rely on the advice and counsel of others. I'm not talking about relying upon the guy who spray paints himself silver and performs at Venice Beach. No, I'm talking about turning to people who we know and respect...people who we love. I mean, if I made the dress for my daughter and she loves it, then shouldn't that be enough? now I am starting on a new dress for my daughter from a vintage pattern book. The dress is very Kennedy children attire at JFK funeral: it's regal, it's classic, it's elegant.

It is going to be a royal pain in the butt: teeny tiny needles with fingering weight yarn. I don't plan to give this to her until Christmas. I am a glutton for punishment.

I'm also working on the wrap sweater from Fitted Knits. I'll have pix soon, but my digital camera and I are fighting. Seems that it thinks that it doesn't have to take clear pix of my projects, while I maintain that it is an important part of its job description and I can fire it at any time.

I am also going to start a Log Cabin Blanket for my friend Gloria and her fiancee Smith. My friend Mary started hers on Saturday, and I loved the blanket from the moment I saw it. I wanted to give them an interesting shower gift.

And then there are the various and sundry incomplete projects that I may finish one day: the instarsia poncho for my daughter, the alpaca sweater for me (which I am thinking of ripping out to make a Rowena Cardigan), the cable sweater from Vogue Knitting, and the sweater on the cover of Interweave Knits summer edition.

I am doing all this to keep me busy/sane in the midst of my divorce, unemployment, and rearing of my 3 year old and 20 month old. More on that in another post.


Mary said...

Yea! I'm so glad you're going to start the Moderne Log Cabin blanket too. Can't wait to see which colors you choose. And brava! on finishing the Little Dress From Hell. Well done, you.

Sandy said...

For all the readers in the blogosphere, I have seen *the dress* with my own eyes and I swear, under penalty of perjury, that it is gorgeous! Andrea, you're much too hard on yourself. Also, you need to repeat after me: "Mary and Sandy are always right. Mary and Sandy are always right. Mary and Sandy are always right." Be prepared for a pop quiz on that subject next time I see you!

Andrea said...

My friends Mary and Sandy are my rocks, my anchors, and are wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.