I’m not perfect. I know that. But please… If I’m doing something wrong, don’t tell me!
I’d much rather hear, “Let me show / tell / explain how to do that better!” Do me the favor of telling me sometime early in the process rather than watch me do something the wrong way for hours before saying anything.
I recently finished weaving a scarf that is a prime example of what happens when advice isn’t given in a useful manner.
I started the scarf back in early June. I had spent most of the school year looking forward to some quality loom time. So when I prepared to head of to the Knitting Fairy’s summer retreat, I packed up my loom along with some yarn that I’d been lovingly stroking for months.
It took about ten minutes after warping the loom to realize that I shouldn’t have.
I was on about the third pass of weft when an experienced weaver walked by, looked critically at my loom, and said, “It’s crooked.” Then she walked off.
This repeated itself several times, with the first weaver coming by several times to repeat her criticism. Not a single one offered any advice on how to fix the problem. No one offered to show me their piece (to show me how they do it right).
By this time, I had taken out the crooked rows and restarted several times. No matter how hard I tried, the first rows were coming out crooked. The harder I tried to stop the criticism, the more crooked everything became. I finally stopped and pushed the loom away.
I went back to the loom again the next day, but again, the criticism continued. After another hour, I stopped weaving.
I didn’t go back to the loom for months. Every time I looked at the loom, I hated the piece on it. I just saw one massive failure. I contemplated cutting off the piece and selling the loom.
It wasn’t until I hurt my hand and couldn’t knit that I went back. I loved the yarn that I was using, so I didn’t want to just trash the project. I decided to continue on and just enjoy the process.
The edges are far from perfect, but the overall weave is beautiful. If I twist the fringe and wash it, I’ve little doubt that someone will think that it’s good enough to wear. Or maybe I’ll cut it into lots of pieces and make something from it.
I found that I enjoyed the process of weaving, but I will most likely never weave in a room full of critics again.
I can’t help but think how much more I would have enjoyed this project had I not been surrounded by critics.