I don’t know about you but when It comes to actually getting some knitting projects completed, It really comes down to one single thing. I just need to get out of my own way.
Usually what keeps me from moving forward with my creative work is the fear of making a mistake or just making something really ugly.
I find myself in the place of analysis paralysis and never just do the work, because I am busy overthinking all that could go wrong rather than just doing the work and seeing what evolves (emphasis on evolve).
Yesterday while shooting yarn for this week’s listing, I had set aside several skeins that we not congruent with their dyelot. I usually just list these separately under a new color way name, so I had set them aside to label separately. As I finished up shooting, I looked at the pile of yarns that I have compiled, and noticed how awesome they looked together. These are 4 yarns I would’ve never thought to combine have they not been laying side-by-side.
For the rest of the afternoon my mind was racing various ideas of what I could make this yarn. I had six skeins of 425 yards each in fingering weight. Plenty to knit up something significant. I was thinking a sweater…no wait …a sweater DRESS…maybe a duster….
I began to swatch and brainstorm. Trying to decide how I would combine stripes, what colors I would put where, how wide would the stripes be. So. Many. Options. So many I could feel the overwhelm creep in.
I started to freeze. I was in full on analysis paralysis mode.
My swatch was getting longer and longer with each new idea. Maybe I should add other colors…. if I add two more colors… I really need to add 10. But wait…the original color combination was losing its charm.
Do you feel me? We have all been there right? Even if you are knitting from a pattern using the prescribed yarn, sometimes the monkey mind will just shut all that creative energy down with overwhelm.
For me it all boils down to this: I was afraid that the actual sweater wouldn’t be as awesome as the idea.
And as I was working the idea grew and grew and grew and so many different directions. Several of those directions were worth exploring. But in order to complete a project I really need to just pick a direction. WTH!?! I’ve written so many articles hear about right brain creativity and not over thinking your work. Damn it the monkey mind was doing EXACTLY THAT. Time to take my own advice. Today I am sharing with you what I learned about how I tend to not get the work done.
Here are my 4 steps to complete WIP Domination…
Step 1: Sometimes it’s best to stick with your original plan. That’s not to say discount any new ideas that might bubble up…
Step 2: As new ideas bubble up record them in your journal. Take notes, make sketches, add snippets of yarn. These ideas are worth exploring later. Promise yourself you’ll explore those ideas later.
Step 3: Don’t be afraid of making mediocre of art. In fact, just go ahead and decide that this sweater is going to be just okay. Like an athlete that trains at 100% but performs at 80%, do that with your art. Plan your idea with all you’ve got, but let go of perfection in the execution. Sometimes good enough is good enough. Within a body of work you have a favorite pieces and some that are just “meh”.
Step 4: Keep moving forward. Journal how you will do it differently next time.
So for now I’m sticking with these four colors. I always have the option of making another sweater, trying a different design, different ways to combine these colors.
So what did I decide to make out of this fabulous combination of yarn? I’m thinking a pretty basic hoodie. Sweater dresses also in the sketchbook. As is some weaving… a mixed-media piece… a jumper…
PS. I have to say for the first time I actually machine washed and tumble dried my South American sock yarn base. Oh Em Gee! Who knew how smooshy this yarn would get when it is actually machine wash AND tumbled dry?! The bloom and hand becomes something wonderful, without losing any of the color intensity. Absolutely perfect for baby items.
You can find my South American sock yarns here(I’ll be adding some new stuff to the shop on Friday)