Many years ago, I was involved in child-rearing. I don't know if it was the particular child, or if this applies to all children, but nonetheless, I quickly learned that I had to eliminate the word, perfect, from my vocabulary.
It was a hard lesson for me. I had heard that praise is advisable in child-rearing. Since I had habitually used the forbidden word, in my inexperience I began using it as an exclamation of praise. When something the child had done, or made, was praise-worthy, I often exclaimed, "Perfect!"
This exclamation, frequently voiced in excited tones, worked very well for months. It wasn't until I began to absent-mindedly began to say "That's good." or "Very nice!" that I was met with the question, "Not perfect?" And then, tears. Not that I hadn't been using those other terms all along. It's just that the child had figured out the difference. Oh, no.
Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien. Voltaire
(Often translated as "Perfect is the enemy of good.", but the meaning is disputable.)
The realization came, unfortunately for my peace of mind, and the child's developing standards, too late. As I said, I tried to stop saying the word, but I don't think it made any difference. The damage had been done. Even as I tried to explain that not everything can be perfect, that good and nice have merit, I knew it was a lost cause. We all learn that there are degrees of success and, as much as we would like our works to be perfect, sometimes our efforts just don't measure up.
Of course, the ideal is to have perfect be attainable, not to set a standard so high that it can never be achieved, thereby producing tears of frustration.
Therefore, this year, I'd like to explore the term, "perfect knitting."
This year, I'd like to be able to finish a project, pat it, and think, "Perfect!" That would mean not only a change in the way I knit, but also a change in how I think of my knitting. Not to view perfect as an enemy, but to make perfect my friend. To meet perfect, recognize it and become familiar with it.
I am ready. (I promise that not all of those are sock yarn.)
Along with that word, perfect, the other word that comes to my mind in thinking of the new year is promise. A bright new year, filled with promise. If it's half as good as the last one, it will be fantastical.
Which bring me to that queue I mentioned in my last post. I, like many other Ravelry users, bounce around the patterns, happily queuing away. I'm relieved when my queue is less than 4 pages long. I have prioritized my queue, making a sub-set of a dozen or so projects that are at least possibilities for 2011.
Sweaters, 7 -- Equinox, Inversion Gansey, Anney, Fair Isle Tunic, Cabled Cardigan, Snowbird, Peplum Cardigan
2 pairs of fingerless mitts -- Susie's Reading and Lusekofte-sque
Shawls -- Dottie, Whippoorwill and Prairie Rose
One hat, with yarn for a matching shawl, wrap or scarf, pattern undecided
In addition to these, I'd like to work on a couple of hibernated projects, plus the two shawls currently on my needles, Domovoi Shawl and Andrea's Shawl--the last one is showing its edging in the photo below.
And a lot of socks!