The 6th BIGGEST mistakes fiber artists make
I do not pretend to have this whole knitting thing together. I mess up. I use the wrong needle, the wrong color, or the wrong yarn. I miscount and end up with a cat size sweater when I wanted an Evie-size sweater! So I have decided to tell you the six biggest mistakes I have made in the past ten years. Ready for some serious truth bombs?
- I got super angry when a project wouldn't work out. Looking back, I just want to hold that girl who threw her first sweater away because my pattern didn't work out. It happens, we get frustrated. I want you to know, lovely, it happens to everyone. It doesn't matter if you have been knitting for a day or a decade, we screw up and it is such a huge part of the process. So don't throw your mistakes away, frog them out and start over. I promise it will be worth it.
- I compared my process and victories to those around me. It is so hard not to compare you beginning to someone else's middle. I would look on Instagram and say "my scarves aren't anything like hers." Then I would go to knit group and say "I don't knit as quickly as she does." Beloved, love your victories even if they are not like someone else's. Love your process even if it is different than your social media feed.
- I undervalued my work. How many times do we get a compliment and then say "oh that old thing?" or "no, my hair is a mess and doesn't look good."? I did the same thing with my knit garments. I would wear them out, feel self conscious and then when someone would compliment me, I would shut them down and belittle my work. Hello, sounds like self-deprecating behavior to me. Although in that moment, I couldn't feel proud of my garment so why in the hell would I let anyone else do that for me? So after all this time, I have learned to say "thank you," instead of excuses.
- I undervalued my worth. It is uncomfortable to talk money when we are talking about craft therapy, but here's the deal: I needed to be compensated for my work. If a friend would ask for a scarf, I would charge them just cost on the materials. Then it would take me way too long to finish it and by the time I did, they had forgotten that they asked me for it. Why was I toddling? Because I wasn't valuing my time and, thus, I didn't feel motivated to continue. And at the end of the day, it was never about the money. In denying that my time was worth money, I was unconsciously saying "I do not feel like my time is valuable, thus, my talent isn't valuable." Honey, your time is soooo valuable. Money is a renewable resource and you can ALWAYS make more, but you cannot renew time. So charge that $10 an hour for your hand knits, or $200 if that is what you feel is you're worth. I cannot tell you what that number is, but it should make you feel somewhat uncomfortable asking for it.
- I didn't listen to my pain and discomfort. Anyone else keep knitting until your hands hurt too intensely to continue knitting? That was totally me in college. I would have an order that needed to get done and I knitted until it was done. It didn't matter if it was an hour project or 14 hour project. Needless to say, fatigue sets in fast if you let it, so now I knit a max of 45 minutes at one single sitting. Listen to your body and when you start to feel off, stop and take a few stretches! (Coming soon, yoga for knitters video)
- I was afraid to share my craft. Look back at not valuing my worth above. Seriously, I still have a complex about teaching others because I think I am not worthy. It is a similar feeling to if I ever meet Oprah. I would fall to my knees and scream I am not worthy until she eventually called the police. So this is how I viewed my knitting, like a cute little hobby that I am not worthy to teach and there are so many more talented knitters than I that SHOULD be teaching. Not me. But I heard the best quote ever a few weeks ago: "There are so many people doing what you are doing but no one could ever do it like you do"
No one is going to teach like I do, write f*ck plastic on a knit market bag, or make terrible jokes like I do so why do I expect them to? I set myself up for failure because I did not see my unique worth. I saw what others were doing and I wasn't doing that exact thing, so I must be doing it wrong. I never stopped to think "what do I do differently" and celebrate the hell out of that answer. So what is your unique gift to share with the world?