When You Feel Like Giving Up

I am nothing close to the queen of positive thinking. I leave that honour to a few close friends of mine. I am easily frustrated, flustered, and cranky. However, in my life, I have realized that very few things comes easily to me, and I have to work hard to learn things, understand things, and excel at things. So, I generally handle struggles and failure okay.

Except when it comes to crochet…crochet has been easy for me for as long as I can remember. I learned it quickly, I learn, and develop, new techniques in a blink of an eye. I can create patterns from things I visualize. I can make substitutions, resize projects, and find shortcuts like nobody’s business.

So, when I find a project that I can’t do…something I get stuck on…something I struggle with…when it comes to crochet, I lose it. I get frustrated, angry, feel terribly about myself, and I cry. Oh man do I cry. I am ready to totally give up, the project, the style, and at times, even crochet. I am fortunate that this doesn’t happen often…otherwise I am quite sure that my husband would have left me years ago.

I very recently had a project like this. A couple of friends asked me to make them something (and no, I won’t tell you what it is until I am done and can show you!), and I took one look, said, psshhhh piece of cake, sure! I purchased the pattern and got to work. The first few items I made for it, too easy, boring…made me wonder why I paid for a pattern. Then…I hit an oil slick, fast, hard, and unbalanced. I hit a point where I understood nothing the pattern was saying. The stitches made sense, but my numbers were not working out, not to save my life. I must have “completed” the round and frogged it 15 times…at the very least. I spent two days staring at this thing, debating emailing the pattern writer to ask for help. I even put down the crochet for an entire day and said, forget this, I’ll tell them it is too hard and I can’t do it. I was so over it, the project, the pattern, the entire concept of yarn.

I mean, look at this mess! It looks terrible!


Then, after the 3rd day of trying to figure out this part of the pattern, I had decided to frog the entire thing, instead of just the one round. I had to have messed up in the beginning because there was no way I was screwing up a pattern that seemed this easy.

So, I started over…and actually got even more frustrated as I went. I realized that I had not made a mistake in the beginning, I was just really struggling and not understanding that round.

But, I actually thought of a friend of mine…who always says to me, “change your inner monologue.” Every time I am down and out, that is her response. “Tell me 3 things you love about yourself.” I knew that I couldn’t log onto Facebook and just cry about what I failure I am and how I was giving up…at least, not without a lecture and having to try to think of things I like about myself.

So…I looked at the pattern, the stitch count, and the arrangement…and all of sudden, it just made sense…click…I can’t even explain it. I now look at it and can’t even figure out how I was screwing it up…or why. It just seems so easy. and now, I am about 2/3 of the way done with it, and it is look fantastic. πŸ™‚


So, moral of the story,  don’t give up when something is hard. Change your inner monologue and look at it from a new angle. Because sometimes, it is the silliest things that trip you up, and once you realize that, everything falls into place.


Complete and Devastating Failure

As promised, a story of total failure. It actually happens a lot, I just get way too frustrated normally to talk about it.

I have been working on this owl blanket for about a week…and so far, I am not even as far done as I am in the below photo. I have taken this blanket apart (frogged) 4 separate times. No matter what I do, I cannot make it look like an owl. I have tried my own design, and after 1 total frogging, I switched to a pattern, that I know works. I have seen too many results to worry about the pattern being incorrect…and 3 froggings later…I am still here..just as angry and frustrated as the first time. For some reason, I keep dropping stitches, which is ridiculous considering I am using a simple double crochet in a round! Ugh!! Right now, I just discovered that somehow, in the last two rounds, I have dropped 3 stitches…so now I am taking those two rounds apart to figure out how in earth that happened! I am about 1 frogging away from giving up totally…and if this wasn’t for a customer, the profane side of me would have gotten the better of me and this yarn would be set on fire in the backyard.

On the plus side, I am using the newer version of Lion Brand’s Hometown USA. My ridiculous elephant was made using Hometown USA, but it was an older version, and not nearly this soft! I can hardly believe that this yarn is acrylic! It is really, really soft and supple, and a joy to hold and work with. It is just this owl that I despise. I knew there was a reason I have always hated birds.