Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Playing To Our Strengths

When you think about it, playing to your strength, or other people's strengths is a key part of life. Whether at home, or in your workplace, if you can determine what someone is good at, and maneuver them into a situation where that skill is a strength, you'll have a better result. This has been proven over and over to me in a work environment where I had to constantly be evaluating people's strengths and put those to use. I've never found that their weaknesses (or 'opportunities') are as optimal to know until you have built their confidence up by setting them up for success in life, whether or at home or work by letting them succeed using their strengths.

It's no surprise then, that in the fiber world, we also have strengths we can play on. And each time we set up our projects to use these strengths we improve by being positively reinforced by our great results. If we ignore these strengths, we are frustrated by our failures.

For example, my Mom, who is an amazing crocheter, and has been reteaching herself to knit. Her strength is hats. She can make a hat, any pattern, any style quickly, easily and effortlessly. (I on the other hand have only attempted one hat which ended up looking like a yarmulke because I decided to reduce it too early. It's a cute yarmulke, but I have yet to determine whether it's politically correct to wear a multicolored yarmulke, religion notwithstanding.) However, I have yet to see her finish a scarf. They make approximately six inches before she gets frustrated with the pattern she has tried, which is inevitably some difficult lacy thing that I can read but not do. I am now steering her toward lacy hat patterns, so she can succeed with them and end up with more confidence.

I, on the other hand am a great scarf and shawl knitter. I can whip out a scarf in a couple hours, and estimate by the time that I actually succeed in moving to a warmer climate, I will have a scarf or shawl for every day of the year. Maybe they'll make nice belts. I am successful with things where gauge and tiny needles don't exist. Why therefore, have I tried to make socks? Which are gauge worthy, and tiny needle heaven (or hell). I am hereby RELEASING MYSELF FROM MY SOCK DRAMA! I have blogged about this, matter of fact I started this blog because of socks. I WILL NO LONGER BE A PRISONER TO SOCKS! If I want handknit socks I will pay one of you to knit them for me (Or trade a nice scarf with you.. Quid pro quo?) No longer will I sheepishly say 'yeah, but I can't knit socks' I will display my 2 mismatched, air conditioned socks with pride - I may even frame them.

Instead I am moving on to projects that I will enjoy, and love. Never one to shirk from miles of garter stitch, I am now working on The Log Cabin blanket. By working I mean I have one square done. Wanna see a complete blanket? Go HERE. Of course mine is being made out of Noro Taiyo, will be bigger, and have a crocheted border and edging. Buy anyway, it's kind of the same. And, I got my first square done today. Yup. One down, who knows how many to go. I am assuming that upon the completion of this, I will be ready (read thin enough) to knit myself a sweater. On big needles, probably a pullover. I can feel the positive reinforcement of playing to my strengths already building my knitting mojo. Yes! I am a knitter! And who needs socks anyway?

Ahh rows and rows of garter and Noro....

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