"Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification."
I am a middle child.
Middle children are commonly known as the peacemakers in the family. They are also often "pleasers" by nature, seeking a sense of their own worth through the approval of others.
I spent the first forty-odd years (and some were odder than others) of my life with no sense of who I was or what I did. I mirrored back to others what I thought they wanted to see in me. I tried my darndest.
And, of course, I failed, as indeed we all do when trying to assume the identity of another, rather than the self.
Until I found myself sitting on the psychologists couch, in full blown depressive mode, completely out of touch with my soul and psyche.
When I stand before the gates of heaven, St. Peter will not ask me, "Why weren't you Annie Modisett? Or Stephanie Pearl McPhee?" but rather, "Why weren't you Susan Pandorf?"
Yet most of us consider it a good thing to please others. Even the bible tells us so.
This time of year, especially, we seek to please the recipients of the fruits of our hard earned labor - whether that be a hand knit scarf or a scarce, but dearly desired toy. We want the smile of recognition, the squeal of delight, the heartfelt "thank you" that makes it all worthwhile.
We aim to please.
This thought is on my mind today because of an email I received last night. One of my readers forwarded an email "warning" they had received, which said,
OUCH!!!I hope you don't order before looking at the few projects for each one on Ravelry. In the pattern section, type in Sunflower Designs. Then look each one up. Not many people have attempted them, and even less have finished them.
One person notes that there were far to many errors in the pattern to even attempt completing it
Like you I have wanted them for a long time, and thought it was a great deal, but after reading the comments from the people who attempted to make them I decided against them. That is why I didn't give you a "heads up"
Those of you who have been reading me for a while know that I try to be truthful at all times.
I once asked my friend Greg (a terrific psychologist and a truly wonderful human being) if he ever got bored, listening to different people day after day pour out the same old problems. His answer?
"Only if they aren't telling the truth, because then they are wasting my time, and more importantly, theirs."
I don't know about you, but I don't feel, at the ripe old age of 52, I have time to waste. My mother died at age 61. Life is too short and love too precious, to waste our days in lies.
I make mistakes. When I do, I do everything within my power to make things right. I give refunds. I post errata in four different places: here on the blog, in the Ravelry forums, on the Ravelry pattern page, and in downloadable files. This may give the appearance that there are more mistakes than there actually are, but I want to ensure that everyone knows the truth.
I immediately correct the error, update the pattern, notify all who may be affected, and always reissue the updated pattern out to any of those who have purchased it in the past. You only have to ask.
Again, our knitting time is limited; we don't have time to waste on lies. Even if they are unintentional and regrettable. I get that.
And it pains me when I have told you to SSK, when you need to SK2P. In my humble opinion, for what it's worth (which isn't much; my opinion and a quarter will buy you a soda pop...wait a minute...not anymore it won't...) it is the worst thing about being a designer.
My mistakes are mostly of the careless variety - a typo here, a brain fart there. None are intentional and none are, to bely their appelation, care-less. I care. I care very much. I just don't always see clearly.
Sometimes, I see what I want, or expect, to see. That is what test knitters are for. Having no previous expectation as to appearance or structure, they knit EXACTLY WHAT YOU TELL THEM TO.
Most of the time. I have learned during the past year, that even that is no guarantee, especially when it comes to written directions as opposed to charts.
My mistakes are many; I often ask your pardon. And I promise to do everything in my power to make things right. That is all I can do. Short of shutting down.
The second criticism is also of concern to me - the assertion that my patterns are too difficult to finish. I have noticed there are few FOs on Ravelry, and have wondered why. I had chalked it up to the endless fight for space in the Queue, with projects jostling each other for primacy and a spot at the front of the line. I think we all get a bad case of "start-itis" from time to time.
I know that my beaded lace patterns aren't a walk in the park. But I have seen much more difficult patterns. Hell, I have knit much more dificult patterns. And, to be honest, some are sitting in hibernation hell. (Anything with colorwork or intarsia - YIKES - LOVE the look; HATE the process.)
Even I get tired of intricate. By September, after four Garden Variety shawls, I thought if I lifted one more strand, knit two more together, or placed three more beads, I was going to run screaming into the arms of the men with the straightjackets. I realized I needed a break.
So I refocused and knit up some nice quick and relatively simple aperitifs, before returning with Poinsettia.
I want to know what you think, even if it is hard to hear. I believe that knitting is a partnership:
- Between sheep and breeder
- Between spinner and dyer
- Between designer and knitter
- Between giver and recipient
On the other hand, I recognize the truth in the hoary maxim, "You can't please all the people all the time."
We are blessed with a plethora of knitting choices. There is room in our craft:
- For those who knit Neibling and those who knit dishcloths.
- For those who design free patterns and those who try to eke out enough to pay the water bill.
- For those who are beginners and those who have done this all their lives.
- For those who knit from their stash and those who surf the web looking for the newest fiber.
- For those who want "easy" and those who relish a challenge.
And one is no better than the other.
If you put yourself out there on a limb, there will always be someone with a chainsaw waiting to cut you down to size. I guarantee it.
I also depend upon it.
To make myself better. To make my patterns better. To move forward together in partnership.
I have pictures to share. I even uploaded them. But I think I have blathered on enough for today. I will save the actual knitting for tomorrow.
Thanks for reading.
With humble heart and grateful soul, I wish you...
Blessings and happy knitting always.