Friday, 27 May 2016

Finished object file: Agate sweater | Quince & Co. Tern

Again, food was used to coerce the child to cooperate.

This one I finished a while back in March for my girl's birthday. Miss L turned 3 and this has been the perfect layering piece for her this season.

Agate is from Quince & Co.'s Lost Coast collection, a collection of children's patterns designed by Ashley Hurst. Inspired by California's Lost Coast the collection is made up of warm and cosy looking pieces that would keep the little ones snug.

I knit the pattern with the called for yarn, Tern from Q&C because I loved it when I used it from the Immie Tee that I knit for Miss L when she was a bub. The yarn is a wool and tussah silk blend and though it is a fingering weight (4ply) yarn it knits up pretty quickly. I love the muted tones that it dyes up in which gives in my opinion gives the kids' knits a bit of a sophistication. For this knit I used the terracotta colourway because I was so drawn to the sample pictures and I knew that it would be a colour that would go well with jeans and with the pinks and reds in Miss L's wardrobe.

It knit up so quickly and I had it done well before Miss L's birthday. The lace panel was easy to memorise and since the front was just stockinette stitch knit in the round I just buzzed through it. However, it was not until I finished did I realise that the lace panel didn't finish correctly. I analysed my knitting and I am pretty certain that I knit it exactly as the chart instructions but the eyelets don't line up properly. I was tempted to frog the bottom of the jumper and to reknit it. I thought about it over and over but in the end I told myself to embrace the mistake; also, I had some other knits that I was keen to get started on so I let that one go.

I tried to contact the designer and to point out my suspected errata but I have yet to hear back from her. Since I have moved on from this knit I haven't been too overly hung up about it. However, in case you decide to knit the pattern I would end knitting the main lace panel after rnd 4 and then continue knitting the panel end chart.

Ultimately, Miss L doesn't know any different and she loves it. Since her birthday I have put her in it a lot because it was a handy layer to throw on during the cooler Autumn mornings.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Making with bravery, not perfection

*This is a follow up to my previous post where I shared some thoughts on how mistakes are often a normal part of the making process. Thanks to those who read the last post and shared some encouraging thoughts in response.

A few months ago I came across Reshma Saujani's TED talk, "Teach girls bravery, not perfection" and I was blown away. From the title it would seem like a simple enough concept but as I listened to her talk, all the points she brought up had me nodding in agreement. She believes that girls are socialised to be perfect and the "fear of not getting it right, of not being perfect" is stopping girls and women from being brave and taking risks.

Reshma's talk spoke about this need for bravery in the context of careers and academic excellence which are of course areas where girls should be encouraged to exhibit bravery but I want to apply her ideas in the context of making.

So often, I struggle with the belief that I can make some thing beautiful let alone wearable. I look at some patterns and just put it into the too hard for me basket. When I make mistakes I mull over them and never hesitate to point them out rather than relishing in the joy of the finished object. I keep pinning sewing patterns and pining over a handmade wardrobe but I don't dare to make that first cut into the fabric because I am afraid since my sewing skills are at such a novice level.

I want to challenge myself to "undo the socialisation of perfection" in myself. If I took Reshma's ideas and applied them to my making I believe that I would ultimately learn more and grow more as a maker. If I were to make with bravery rather than seeking perfection I would be more motivated to try bigger challenges. If I were brave enough to cut into that cloth I would achieve my goal of having a handmade wardrobe one day.

Such yummy balls of The Fibre Company Canopy Worsted

Now, when I look at all the balls of frogged yarn from the Maeve shrug project I don't see my failure I see the potential that this yarn be something else great. I also loved frogging it. It was so much fun pulling all those stitches out and making these bright yellow balls with it. I actually took it on our road trip to Port Macquarie and during the night when the Hubs was driving I frogged away because I realised it was easier to frog in the dark than to knit. Feeling this yarn in my hands again made me fall in love with it again and I do want to wear something knitted in its dreamy softness one day.

So, let's see how I go with this. I hope that as I make with bravery I will ultimately learn more and become a better maker. Will you join with me in being a brave maker too?

**The "Teach girls bravery, not perfection" TED talk can be found here