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It’s All in the Attitude

November 26, 2015
Homemade 5 layer Ice Cream Cake for Bodhi's First Birthday

Homemade 5 layer Ice Cream Cake for Bodhi’s First Birthday

I promise you this story is related to knitting, just stay with me!
A few years ago I was ready to give up on cooking and baking. I had experienced too many fallen cakes, mushy risottos, and bland pastas. Too many undercooked and overcooked things in a row. I love cooking and baking for my friends and family and I take great satisfaction from feeding a room full of people, but I just couldn’t bear the thought of putting one more sub-par meal in front of them!

Then I had a moment. A moment where I realized I was doing it wrong. I was rushing, I was trying too many new things on a deadline, and it was all coming out wrong. I wasn’t measuring accurately, or taking the time necessary to perfect something. So I changed my tactics and more importantly I changed my outlook. Instead of looking at the, ahem, imperfect products of my labor, I started looking at them as practice. And from that small change came big ones. When something is practice you are only looking to learn from it. You are thinking about how to improve it in the future, not feeling badly that it came out wrong.

After 3 (rather delicious) trials, I have a cinnamon bun I love!

After 3 (rather delicious) trials, I have a cinnamon bun I love!

I stopped making new recipes for a party. Parties are not the time to be trying something new, they are time for something tried and true. I measured more carefully and stopped thinking I knew better than the recipes. I started reading the intros to cook books, a couple of food blogs, and really treating cooking and baking as skills. Things don’t just happen overnight, they take practice! I’m still not a master chef by any stretch but the things I have practiced I now do pretty well. I make awesome ice cream, some great perogies, and a cinnamon bun I can be proud of, to name a few.

Martha Stewarts mac and cheese (with my own personal modifications) ...yum!

Martha Stewarts mac and cheese (with my own personal modifications) …yum!

This brings me to knitting. Sometimes as knitters we have a slough of unsuccessful knits. Maybe the yarn and pattern weren’t a good match, your gauge was off, or the finished knit didn’t fit the way you thought it would. Fear not, for there is hope! Knitting, like cooking, takes practice. Even if you have been knitting for a long time, there are still things that are new and must be practiced. If you have a gift knit on the horizon, it may not be the moment to take on cables and double points for the first time. Don’t get me wrong, definitely try both of those things! Just pick your moment. It is a challenge not to become frustrated with perceived failure, but what if it wasn’t failure after all, but a little extra practice?

Darling cupcakes for a baby shower

Darling cupcakes for a baby shower

Knits to practice some new skills on:

7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 16, 2016 5:31 pm

    This is a great site. What do you all think of making simple hats for the kids in North Carolina who might not have any clothes right now. I might be able to find a place where we can send them if this is a good idea.

  2. November 30, 2015 11:08 am

    I said the same thing when I taught sewing and quilting! And I might add that knitting/sewing for little kids is great practice. They aren’t fussy and will still wear your “practice” pieces!

  3. Bren permalink
    November 29, 2015 11:03 am

    This is my first time visiting your blog and this is great advice. I am new to knitting and will keep this in mind. Thank you.
    Bren

  4. November 27, 2015 12:27 pm

    Exactly this. I’m back in school for computer science, and each day of programming is this. Sometimes it is super frustrating, but not every skill worth learning is completely natural.

  5. November 26, 2015 10:16 am

    great advice! And, um, I need that cinnamon bun recipe please. :)

  6. Chris permalink
    November 26, 2015 9:59 am

    You have to try new things in order to learn and grow. Not all of my knitting turns out well, so you rip and try again.

  7. Sara Wutzke permalink
    November 26, 2015 8:24 am

    I love this! I have learned so much patience from knitting. A group of our girlfriends wants to learn to knit so the friend that I’m opening the store with in the fall and I are going to use your simple collection to teach them this winter.

    Thanks!

    Sara

    SallyHP Knits http://www.SallyHP.etsy.com Sent from my iPhone

    >

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