Thursday, April 12, 2007

Dream bigger

I've been reminded lately of several times when I've wanted to do something, but believed that I couldn't do it, so I didn't try.

I remember when I got back into knitting, thinking that knitting socks was way beyond me. I'd look at a pattern and be completely intimidated by the tiny needles, the fine yarn, and all the fiddly bits -- the heel, obviously, is the big one. And knitting with doublepointed needles in the round . . . I just never even entertained the possibility. Every time I saw a pattern that I would have liked to make, I looked at the size needles required, and if they were really small, or doublepointed, I just didn't even consider it.

Then I went to the yarn store one day and saw self-patterning sock yarn for the first time, and was completely blown away by its wonderfulness. I wasn't convinced that I could do it, but I had to try. So I bought some needles and a ball of the yarn (Regia) and searched out instructions on the web. It was awkward trying to wrestle a handful of needles, and I wasn't used to using such tiny ones, or such fine yarn, but I kept at it and it wasn't long at all before I had a whole drawerful of beautiful socks, and one (or more) on the needles at all times.

I started out with No. 2 needles and quickly moved down to 1's, and now I'm using zeros to get a finer, smoother fabric. The heels are still the most problematic part -- I need to sit down in a quiet place with good light and no distractions to turn one -- but I can knit in the round practically with my eyes closed.

It was like that with jewelry making, too. I had always wanted to do it, I'd always loved beads, but I was intimidated by the thought of using tools to cut and turn wire, and I thought I probably couldn't do it. I looked longingly at handmade jewelry, and thought I'd love to make things myself, but just didn't think I could do it. When I wanted to make stitch markers for my knitting, I used either beads that were already attached to loops, or charms that could just be hung on rings without any other work.

I would look at other people's work and think how cool it was -- stitch markers with freshwater pearls or semi-precious stones were the ones that I loved, but in order to make those myself, I'd have to learn how to use tools and wire. I finally went to the craft store and bought an inexpensive jewelry kit and some inexpensive tools and sat down and figured it out.

I'm far from perfect -- I still struggle with turning a perfect loop, and I'm always dropping beads, but I'm getting there. I've sold 15 pieces--plus a wholesale order of 12 sets of stitch markers--so I'm beginning to believe that it is something that I can do, that I can be good at, and that I can do successfully. I originally typed "I'm beginning to think that it might be . . ." but I changed it. I'm trying to dream bigger.

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