They say action precedes motivation. It sounds counter-intuitive, right? But after taking a couple of tiny actions, I’ve found it to be true. So much so, that I’ve decided to take a bigger action and restart this blog, which I’ve neglected for over three years.
I need to have at least one project on the go at any given time. Without that, I get a bit lost and waste any free time I have. So, when I saw that the Edinburgh Yarn Festival was coming up in March, I decided to take action and go along and see what it was all about. I enjoy knitting, teaching myself via the pearls of wisdom gleaned from the American ladies of YouTube. But when I arrived, I was rather blown away by the size of the event, convinced it was full of super knitters – this was no place for me, I was a mere beginner by comparison. My confidence felt knocked, but I decided to seek out the stall of one of my favourite designers, Kate Davies.
I eventually found the Kate Davies stand, and immediately saw my aspirational hoodie sweater on display from her Islay book of knitting patterns. I’d never knitted using more than one colour before, so as this one had two main ones and a third accent colour, it was simply a jumper for me to admire from afar. I plucked up the courage to ask about the sweater, and the woman on the stand advised me that I might be better trying my colour skills on a hat first. I bought two colours of yarn – not cheap but very nice wool, so I wanted to make sure I did a good job. In fact, I mentioned I was worried I would waste the wool. Her response – if it doesn’t work, just rip it up and start again. Of course! If at first you don’t succeed try again – and no harm done to the wool. So obvious, but sensible thoughts like that don’t always run through my brain.
Bolstered by my first buy, I hit the Ysolda Teague stall. I saw a five colour hat pattern and balls of wool in a handy package. I was feeling bolder now and up for the challenge, so I bought the pack on a whim.
I left the festival still feeling a little traumatised by the sheer amount of experienced knitters out there, but excited and keen to start the challenge of my two new projects.
Back in the house I realised I didn’t have the right size circular needles for the hat, so I ordered them online. As I was itching to get started, I decided to knit a test square to practice. After the first three rows of the colour pattern, I could see the pattern starting to emerge. This was amazing! I couldn’t believe I was making this happen. I continued to test knit the pattern until my needles arrived.
As soon as the needles arrived, I was off. The pattern emerged as per the photos and I kept on going until I had knitted the entire hat over the space of a couple of weeks. I was very proud of the results. Without hesitation I started the five colour hat pattern. This was much trickier than the two colour one. I felt pinned to my seat by all five balls of wool. It got off to a shaky start as I didn’t know how to change colours without leaving a hole in the seam area. I should have Googled this, but common sense had deserted me. I cracked on with a ‘twist the yarn’ tip ringing in my ears from a knitting ‘pro’ the year before. I experimented with twisting and the holes became less frequent. Before long I had the hat finished, again feeling rather amazed at my achievements.
I couldn’t believe I had put off knitting colour patterns for so long. There really wasn’t anything to be scared of. I gave myself a small goal of just a hat, parked my over thinking to one side, and just took action. I’m now feeling bold enough to scale up my experiment to a v-neck tank top. I won’t over think it next time, I’ll just ‘do’!