Sunday, March 1, 2015

On Self-Doubt

I hesitated to share this here today because who doesn't prefer light-hearted knitting photos (raises hand)? But this is real life, so here it is. I had a real struggle with self-doubt this weekend. Self-doubt is the worst kind of doubt because as much as you push it aside, it creeps in, whispers what you're not good at, and keeps at the whispering until you start to buy in too. 

I know I've alluded to a large design related project I've been working on lately. Well, it's coming to a rapid close. And yet here I am, at the eleventh hour ripping out button bands and deconstructing a sweater I paid a sample knitter to knit because I am so overwhelmed with this project/my job/being a mom/simply not feeding my family cereal every night. Not because there was an error. Oh no. I've had the pleasure of working with some amazing sample knitters recently. They've asked questions, checked numbers, ripped and reknit when needed and turned out full size men's sweaters in less than 4 weeks. Amazing. No. I'm ripping and deconstructing because at the second photo shoot for this project, the model tried on the sweater and it looked awful. Not like bad knitting awful, like I couldn't put my finger on just why it looked so ugly. 

Those buttons were attached to that pile of yarn about 10 minutes prior. 

After talking with the photographer about why it was so ugly I decided there were a couple of problems. The buttons didn't look quite right with the overall vision of the sweater, and there were also too many and they were too small. This meant button bands needed to be reworked. That's not too big of a problem in the overall picture. I also decided that the sleeve cap didn't fit quite right into the armhole and it was too tight near the cuff, so you know what that means, rip rip rip. 

This used to be a sleeve.

After the final decisions (the shoulders just sucked) I said if worst came to worst it would need to be a different color. But hopefully that's not the case. 

So I spent yesterday asking why on Earth I thought I could manage taking on a huge project like this?! Who did I think I was? Will all my other projects fail now? I can't design this kind of sweater (even though I have), I'm just not good enough yet. I'm going to fail at this project. I countered by telling myself I had to trust the process (what all graduate students need to tell themselves so, you know, I know all about that) and that I absolutely could do this. I knew it would be hard. So here's the hard. 

And it sucked. I'm mostly a pretty confident person. But from time to time, the self-doubt pops up and I buy in. I let myself kind of wallow in it yesterday. I called my mom who had a great answer to each of those "why did I think I could do this" questions. And then today I got to it. I have washed the yarn, and will reskein in the morning. I've pulled out my designing resources and reworked the sleeve cap shaping. And tomorrow I'll get back to knitting.

By the way - the winner of the giveaway is comment #2.

Congratulations! I've contacted the winner via Ravelry so check your inboxes!


  1. We all go through it. What's important is that we get past it & move on. Looking forward to seeing all of your hard work pay off!

  2. Definitely have those moments, and they're tough to get through. It's great that your mom is so supportive!

  3. Great post! These moments happen in all parts of our lives and it is inspiring when people like you show how they dealt with them.

  4. Hang in there Andrea! You have been working so hard at this and I truly believe in your talent! It's just a bump in the road for you.

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  5. Sorry this was such a roller coaster for you lately. I think you are entitled to go through the emotions to get it all out. That way, you'll find the light at the end of the tunnel and emerge victorious and smiling!


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