Like all of us, I have both strengths and flaws. I am very self-critical, so I tend to inflate my flaws and downplay my strengths. I am also a perfectionist, a trait that I consider to be both a strength and a flaw.
For example, I recently knit up a chemo cap for a dear friend with lung cancer (I take comfort in the fact that her prognosis is very good). I am a process knitter, which means I am much more interested in the knitting itself and less focused on the finished object. It also means that I am willing to rip back and re-knit a project several times over until I get it right. I actually did fairly well on the chemo cap, I only had to unknit small sections. But, by the time I finished the cap, I had discovered several places where I thought the pattern could be improved. I seriously contemplated ripping the whole cap back and starting fresh using the pattern enhancements I designed. David convinced me to send it as-was, but I had to channel that dissatisfied energy somewhere. So, I knit up a cotton version of the cap using my own redesigned pattern. That version is pictured in the photo on the left.
The other downside to being a process crafter (I have the same approach regardless of whether it is knitting, sewing or embroidery) is that once a project is done, I psychologically move on. I rarely remember to take photos of my finished work, which is why I don’t have a photo of the original cap I knitted. I embroidered a pillow for my best friend and forgot to take a photo of it before I mailed it off. This is after I spent weeks working on it. And, it was undeniably my best embroidery to date. She has promised to send me a photo of it though.
This morning I woke up to an email from my friend thanking me for the cap and complementing me on my knitting skills. So, I guess David was right, it was just fine to send the cap off as it was. Nonetheless, I have no regrets for the time I spent working on the pattern improvement. Now that the second cap is done, all of the associated angst is out of my system. I have started on my next project. A poncho–yes, I know it is summer, but I am hoping I will finish it by late August when the evenings start cooling down. I am combining 2 patterns (which for me is par for the course) which generally means I will need to rip back at least a couple of time. But, I am working with a fuzzy yarn, which makes ripping back challenging. I will have to take it as an opportunity to challenge my perfectionism.