The sweater knitting class that started last week was such a great reminder of why I loved working at the yarn store. We talked in our shared language. Magic loop, selvages, long-tail cast-on, seamed vs. seamless, schematics, and the all important gauge conversation - it was all there and we all knew at least a little about it. Then we ooo'd and aaah'd over the different yarns people were using for their sweaters. We had to feel and touch and ask questions. It was heaven.
The yarn dyeing class with Erika Molnar on Sunday reminded me why it's important to keep trying new things and experimenting and playing. I am hopeless when it comes to color theory and timid when it comes to experimentation. That white skein stared up at me like a blank sheet of paper daring me to start. I hemmed and hawed and wondered what to do. I copied one student, then another. I thought of my favorite color-way of a well-known indie dyer and tried to emulate that.
Meanwhile, across the table from me, another student was boldly laying out color. Each time she paused, I thought, oh, yes, that looks good, she's definitely done. And then she would add yet another color and I'd worry that she had gone too far and ruined the skein.
But no, when her skeins came out of the jars they were saturated and gorgeously balanced. She had been generous with color while I had been timid, the intensity of the colors proved the need to think more and fight our urge to make do with less. You would think I would remember that from block printing, but apparently I have to relearn this lesson every time I try something new.
We're not always good at things the first time we try them. Sure, there will occasionally be a natural like Lorrie and her yarn dyeing, but most of us will have to try it again. We'll see where we can improve and we'll keep working on it, because that's what life is about, trying new things, learning new skills, pushing out of our comfort zones. And when we need a shot of self-confidence, we'll return to the things we do well, which also might benefit from our experimentation.
Aren't we lucky?