If you can meet with Triumph and DisasterThis was to have been a post of triumph, that I had finished my Dad's Fair Isle sweater, that it fitted, that he loved it, a photo or two of the jumper, if not of him wearing it - he wants to get his hair cut first! But... it is finished, it is photographed, it does not fit. I have not blocked it properly (meaning that it is still a little tight all round) and the top of the arms is all wrong, big and puffy.
And treat those two impostors just the same
After four months of working more or less solidly on nothing else my first reaction was devastation. That set back set off my tendency to catastrophize, triggering all of my worst, blackest thoughts of myself and my fear of failure and fear that I am a failure. Inside my head has not been a pretty place this afternoon Everything felt overwhelming and hopeless and I simply could not see how I could ever sort it out or face trying to sort the jumper out. I felt angry with the jumper and with myself, angry that I had wasted four months, that I had not been able to knit anything for me in that time (what a horrible selfish thought that one is), angry with the world. At one point I even considered taking the scissors to the thing: not in a cutting a steek manner either.
It took most of the afternoon, good friends, some good Christian music, a nap and a particularly good edition of Just a Minute on radio 4 to help me to climb out of that particular sink-hole. All of this came on a day that was not a particularly good day anyhow, I felt tired and headachy, the weather was vile again and life seemed dull again. Now that I have calmed down I can see a way forward. There is not actually that much that needs re-doing, just the two sleeve caps, which in the light of an entire jumper's worth of Fair Isle is fairly minor. I think, upon reflection, that I am going to unpick the sleeve caps, having put life-lines into the arm stitches, knit down from the armholes in the traditional manner and then graft the sleeves back on again. I have plenty of yarn left to do this with and hopefully it will not take too long.
And if that fails? I'm going to dust myself off, pick myself up, take off the sleeves and knit ribbing around the armholes and he can have a tank top and lump it!
Meanwhile I will try to learn from my mistakes and try to be less afraid, sometimes this fear of failure leaves me completely frozen unable to try new things in case they go wrong. Rational self knows that this is nonsense and that my first attempts to walk or talk or write did not always go right and needed lots of tries to get right, so why do I not see that this needs to be the case with learning new things as an adult? Designing a Fair Isle jumper from scratch is a big undertaking, I could not expect to achieve it without making mistakes and wool is a fairly forgiving medium. I have dealt with other things going wrong with it such as getting the v-neck in the wrong place, so why the melt-down today? Mental health recovery seems to be a process of two steps forward, one step back, probably best to see today as a one step back and a learning experience. One day I will be able to keep my head.