Things at Which I do Not Excel

This is a year of trying and learning: knitting patterns I’ve coveted, learning to pick instead of throwing, completing the Master Knitter coursework, spinning on a wheel, and learning to sew like a grownup.

Sometimes, I’m a little daunted by all I’ve taken on.  There’s really no reason it had to be done all at once, except that I decided to make it so.  Quite frequently, the learning process is much slower than I want it to be, and I get annoyed that everything is not all Done and Perfect right away.  Thankfully, there are things that I am happy to be terrible at.

Exhibit one:

Woman wearing a Hitchhiker shawl

Shawl Gothic

My selfies get one shot, and as you can see the struggle is real.  Move over, Nan Wood Graham.

Weeks of serious research (namely being the employee of a university) has empirically proven that the most effective way to take a selfie is to run through a variety of camera angles, poses, and facial expressions for several minutes, taking multiple photos before settling on a favorite.

Which is why I will never be good at selfies.  Just getting what I want in the frame takes forever, and then it’s not straight, and I feel like every single person in the surrounding area is staring at me as I spastically  try to take a simple picture.  Heaven forbid, they might think I’m an undergraduate (once was enough, don’t make me go back), or maybe they’re doubting that I can be a proper professional, I mean how long can it take a person to take a selfie?  I try to focus and straighten the frame faster so there will be nothing to gape at in horror, and end up with the daguerreotype face documented above.

Thankfully, knitting my Hitchhiker shawl was a much more pleasant experience.  I adore the yarn, which is Nerd Girl Yarns’ Quantum in the Oh Snap base.  As an avowed knitter of solids and semisolids, this colorway was a departure for me.  After the initial scandal of Three Distinct Colors in One Skein (gasp!), I got super into it, and named the shawl the My Little Pony shawl.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover the color is a good match for plum, as well as the more obvious navy and black, which means I can wear it with most of my work outfits.

The pattern is super simple: each repeat makes one little tooth, and it’s quickly memorized.  I took advantage of the abundance of garter stitch to practice knitting as a picker instead of a thrower.  I think it worked: 40 teeth and 464 yards later, my gauge had started to loosen slightly.  Several of those yards were knitted twice, because changing to a picker introduced problems I’d long since left behind as a thrower: split stitches and unknit stitches where the yarn is wrapped but never pulled through the needle.

Coveted pattern knitted, check, yarn out of stash, check, new skill learned, check.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go take a really terrible selfie.

4 thoughts on “Things at Which I do Not Excel

    • Allison says:

      Thanks Kathleen! I’ve heard that the first level is the hardest, and I hope that’s right. Knitting little squares of stockinette has been surprisingly difficult!

  1. Carlaannie says:

    I love the phrase “I decided that it should be so.” That little phrase sums up why I do so much of what I do very nicely. Clearly you have a full life that prevents you from blogging often, but I check periodically and always enjoy what you put out here for us. Also it is obvious you are a rather young woman who can be taught new skills. While I am not (very) old yet, I do envy your taking on the new skills. I am a thrower. I have tried picking….enough said….and I got very daring and tried knitting continental. Yikes! And if you can learn all that knitting certainly taking selfies should get easier…

    • Allison says:

      Thank you Carlaannie! I made sure that the Hitchhiker shawl was the only knitting I had with me on vacation. That definitely helped me stay focused 😉

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