Practice Makes Perfect

My daughter is 9 years old and is so much like me that it scares me at times – and frustrates me to no end.

One of the things she loves to do is draw. She always has a sketch pad in hand and markers or colored pencils and is imagining up some distant land that she can make a book about.

Also, because she is my child, she gets frustrated…really easily.

Case in point: Saturday, I spent the afternoon with some girlfriends. On my drive home, I called my husband to see how everything was; in the background, I could hear my child having an epic hissy fit. What was wrong? Was the Earth ending? Were there bees invading our house? Did our favorite character die on TV? Nope…nothing that drastic. The fussiness was because she couldn’t figure out how to draw a dinosaur the way she wanted.

Because she is my child, she loves (selected) episodes of Supernatural, and she particularly loved the Scooby-Doo crossover episode. Because of that she wanted to draw a dinosaur that looked like the one from the episode and she couldn’t do it, and the ones her dad was drawing for her weren’t what she wanted either. It’s so tough to be nine. However, I shouldn’t make fun, I am the same.

Things don’t always come easily for me, but if they get too frustrating, i am more likely to pull the plug than to charge on (my latest battle with the yarn winding as a perfect car in point).

It still is in a tangled mess – probably will be until I decide to throw it away. Stupid yarn.

And since my child is so much like me, I tried to sit with her and explain one of the fundamental principles of life: Practice makes perfect. It would be brilliant if I could pick up any skill and immediately master it. I would love to look at every amigurumi pattern and be able to make it perfectly. Sadly, I do not possess that skill.

I tried to tell my mini-me exactly that…that when she sees me crocheting that is my own form of practice. And, yes, I get frustrated. And yes, there are times I swear I am never going to pick up a hook again because even though I thought I followed a pattern exactly, it just didn’t turn out…but, I keep going. And I do get better.

As I was getting the Lil’ Luvvies site ready to go live, I looked back at a lot of pictures and while I still don’t think some of my work is perfect (that’s the curse of a perfectionist), it is better…it has steadily improved. And that’s what I try to focus on, and that’s also why I share my failures as much as I do my successes here. I didn’t pick up a hook and from Day 1 have everything coming out sunshine and rainbows, but it is progress.

Take Lil’ Miss Elephant here. In my first take, I read the pattern wrong and her body is attached at a wacky angle. But, I learned from that mistake. I learned the way the pattern was supposed to line up – and I learned the importance of pinning my work together to make sure everything looks good before making my final stitches. With those lessons in mind, I made improvements and am super happy with how the second (bottom) version turned out. And, I have a feeling that the next version will turn out even better because I will have learned from the mistakes of my last attempt and improve.

One of the things I have been trying to do is to make notes on the patterns I’m using. When something doesn’t work, I will make a note of it, or it isn’t as organic feeling as I would like, I will make a note. The only difficult thing with this is the majority of my patterns are e-books or downloads, I don’t have printed copies, so I’m trying to electronically capture those notes. It’s a system in progress: But, again, that’s part of the practice.

Even though I first took up crochet when I was about six or seven, there were long gaps of time that I didn’t use those skills; so, it really only has been since about July 2017 that I’ve been active regularly. I am trying to learn to be gentle with myself. That it’s okay to make mistakes – that those mistakes are only learning experiences. It’s a hard concept to grasp at times. I want it to look like the picture…and I want it to look like that NOW. (Can’t imagine where my child gets that attitude from…it’s a mystery).

While I try new things, I have to remember the pearls of wisdom I tried to share with my daughter: practice makes perfect, in time and with enough practice, everything will look beautiful. Let’s hope that I can remember that and not throw yarn across the room like her paper ended up. No promises.

Hugs and cuddles to all,

Xoxo 😘

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