Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Taking A Compliment

One of the many things I love about events likes Stitches is seeing what other knitters do with their yarn.

There were an abundance of knitters and crocheters wearing their handmade garments throughout the weekend. I am amazed at how well done some of the designs are and its wonderful to see many of the patterns that I've coveted come alive. I saw the Kaffe Fassett Floral Jacket and the February Lady Sweater executed impeccably (the fit of the FLS across the shoulders was perfect!). I also saw someone wearing the Belvedere sweater I'm working on and it renewed my excitement about the sweater. It also made me glad I was taking classes so I too could produce a fantastic piece of work.

This is important to me because, before I packed, I chose what I would wear each of the four days carefully so I could show off my work among people who will appreciate it.

However, when I was dressing each day, I hesitated. One sweater looked too short, one of the top-down raglans has horrific batwings and my beautiful cotton Katydid sweater is suddenly short and shapeless and missing a button already. So I wore my Noro top-down raglan every day.

I love this sweater. It fits, or rather, it fits me the best of all my handknits. There is a batwing effect too, just not as pronounced as the other raglan. And I do not benefit from horizontal stripes.

But it's knit well, there are no hidden mistakes and it was warm, a significant attribute in the over-air-conditioned classrooms in October. If anyone noticed flaws, they didn't mention it. In fact, I got quite a few compliments.

Which is a fascinating dynamic. I was taken aback by the number of women who responded to compliments about their work by pointing out the flaws (obvious only to the knitter) or by belittling their work.

Ladies, it’s not necessary to draw attention to mistakes. And it is excruciating to hear you belittling a garment I know you labored over lovingly. I know we’ve been raised to be modest but when you’re among your knitting peers, I think it’s appropriate to be proud and to accept praise for your accomplishment. No one is going to think you’re boasting. After all, we’re Knitters.

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