I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent person. In terms of academics, I’ve always done well in school – I graduated high school bilingual, I got my degree in Psychology and English, and I got honors in college when I studied computer programming. I also have proven myself adept at problem solving and picking up new skills. Take my first car, for instance. My first car was a manual transmission car, and when I got it I had never driven a manual transmission car. My father actually had to drive it home from the dealership. A day and a half later I had learned how to drive stick after just a couple lessons from my dad, and I drove home to a city filled with very steep hills. Granted, I had a sign in my back window that read “WARNING! I just learned how to drive a manual transmission! Do not stop to close!” for the first month or two (which, holy crap other drivers respected, ha ha ha) but I’d still stay I picked that up pretty damned quickly.
Knitting is one skill I have picked up very quickly and it has been a pretty big source of pride for me. Whenever people ask me how long I have been knitting they are always very surprised when I say it has only been just over a year. For only having learned to knit 14 months ago I have managed to nail down a lot of techniques and skills, and I have completed projects that are a lot more complex that I ever would have thought I could have done so soon after learning. Cables, stranded knitting, double knitting, knitting Continental as well as English, chart reading,… it all came to me pretty easily. Basically, knitting has come to me pretty naturally, and this has led me to feel a bit invincible in my knitting ability. It all smacked of Wile E. Coyote, thinking he was a genius and always being so overly confident that he could triumph over rabbits and roadrunners, feeling it was laughable that they could ever survive his attempts. I definitely was channeling his cockiness, basically expecting every knitting skill to just hop into my cooking pot because it was inevitable that I was going to capture them anyway so why not just save us all the hassle.
Then I set my sights on lacework…
Oh, how humbling lacework is. I feel like an Olympic diver drowning in a kiddie pool. All this time I have been feeling so brilliant and naturally oh so fantastic at knitting, “Nothing is hard to me!”, I’d think to myself, but now I feel like part of my brain must be missing. I can NOT get this stupid lacework to work, and it is making me feel incredibly humbled and stupid. Mostly stupid.
The source of my angst is my Fellowship of the Shawl. This thing is KILLING me. It hasn’t been all terrible, it actually started out well enough. The first couple of sections (The One Ring, Boromir, and Legolas) were a snap and worked out perfectly. This, unfortunately, made me even more prideful. Then I started Gimli. For the love of mercy, this section is MURDERING ME! I have frogged it I think seven times now if I include all the times I frogged this section when I attempted this shawl back last May. I follow that stupid pattern SO CAREFULLY and every time something screws up. I either end up with too many stitches or not enough. Thank god for lifelines or else this would have been a total frog a few times over by now.
I just don’t understand why I seem to be utterly incapable of correctly completing this section. I knit this section yet again yesterday only to find it was effed up yet again. A big part of me wants to just keep the incorrectly knit Gimli section and move on to Gandalf, but I know I’ll regret it, especially since Gandalf builds upon Gimli’s pattern. So I guess I have to frog this yet again and start it over again. I swear I have this stupid section’s chart memorized after having had to do it so many effing times.
For real, though, I am absolutely hell bent on successfully completing this stupid shawl. Lacework is the single biggest gap in my knitting skills repertoire and I am NOT going to let this beat me. I am going to finish this stupid lacework, I am going to have it be PERFECT, and I am going to be an awesome lace knitter.