As I have written before, my epiphany happened one day a few years ago when I remembered my mother’s stringent rules on purchasing fabric. When she made me formal clothes she bought the good stuff! I had lovely velvets, satins, brocades. When she made me play clothes it was out of calicos and poly/cotton blends. She CHOSE the appropriate fiber for the project.
The moment I remembered this, I literally smacked myself in the forehead and said ever so eloquently, “DUH!”
How could any sweater made out of a non-pliant, scratchy material, hang correctly, hold shape correctly or even feel good to wear!? It made me laugh…
That is when I began to design yarns that met my specific crochet needs. I got pooh-poohed by many spinners for my strange habits, because most of the judging standards of completely set for knitting needs.
I don’t knit (ok I can swatch), so why on earth would I create yarns that don’t suit my purposes? I began to label my yarns with their intended purposes, and make swatches to show how they worked up, to prove my point. It worked!
Then a few years ago I decided to try my hand at selling my yarn. I knew my yarn was good, and worked up great. ( I make plenty of yarn that works for both crochet and knit, but I try to have really interesting yarns for crocheters.) I found, and still do, that people would walk by, pet the yarn, ooh and ahh over the yarn, tell me how gorgeous my yarn is, how reasonably priced it is, and then walk on by.
Ok, if it is gorgeous, yummy,soft, beautiful, AND reasonably priced, what’s the hold up? So, I asked handworkers why they weren’t buying it.
Here are the stock and trade answers:
1) “Oh, I’m not good enough to use that kind of yarn.”
2) “I’m afraid I’ll ruin it.”
3) “It’s lovely but I don’t know what to do with it.”
4) “It’s out of my league.”
5) “I can’t wash it.” (myth)
6) “It’s to hard to use.”
So, I started to educate people as they walked by. Not that I didn’t have customers, there were a handfull of local knitters and crocheters who were so excited to take home my beaded, feathered, and elastic core creations. Not to mention a fair about of strange exotic fibers!
So, I had to think about it…back before I really KNEW I was good what kind of yarn did I buy?
Hmmm… same kind as the folks who walk by time and again looking longingly at the skeins, balls and hanks of hand crafted loveliness.
Why was that?
My husband doesn’t go buy inferior wood for his projects, and he’s a good furniture builder, BUT he’s still learning. So, why did I short myself?
I think it is a complex answer, but I’ll try to sum it up quickly. I think it’s the same reason women tend to short themselves on a lot of things.
We give, we don’t take (enough).
We share, we don’t request (enough).
We support, but don’t require the SAME kind of support in return.
We also so often think if something doesn’t work it MUST be us.
You know, sometimes the flaw is not your skill, sometimes it’s the yarn, sometimes it is the pattern, and yes, sometimes it is your skill level.
I’m not saying to run out and buy cashmere today (unless you always wanted to!), I’m saying take a giant step and treat yourself. You deserve it.
Maybe not even yarn, or a crochet hook, or a pair of really nice glass knitting needles (which are the coolest things I’ve seen!), maybe it’s getting your hair done, or buying a new pair of shoes, or taking an afternoon to yourself.
I think a lot of times we short ourselves, our skills, our abilities, and knowledge, because we were trained to give to others first. Not all of us, but many women I have taught fit this bill.
So do me a favor, please, take out your latest project, or a finished object, and tell yourself just how talented you are! Because you ARE!
You are good enough to buy that pretty yarn you yearn for each time you go to your LYS. You are more than good enough…
I said so.