Perfectionism + Laziness = ProcrastinationPosted: February 27, 2013
If you want to learn a lot about your personality type without taking some sort of written test, take up knitting, seriously. It’s like the hobby feeds upon your weaknesses (and strengths), concentrates them, and projects them back to you with terrifying clarity.
I can be kind of a perfectionist. My parents will gladly tell anyone about how when I was a young kid coloring in coloring books, straying even the slightest bit outside the lines was enough for me to abandon that picture forever. (On a similar note, it should surprise no one that I’m also a fairly rigid rule-follower.) Unfortunately, I’m also lazy, so I’m not always willing to put in the amount of work needed to accomplish tasks to my satisfaction. The end result is, I’m a huge procrastinator sometimes.
How about that Tom Servo sweater I posted about a month ago? Well, I made it through the corrugated ribbing and the i-cord cast off, picked up my provisional cast-on, and was cruising along on miles and miles of stockinette stitch, when the first ball eventually ran out and I attached the second ball. I noticed that the new stitches seemed a bit lighter, but continued on anyway.
Once I got about two inches along with the new ball, I moved the sweater onto waste yarn so I could try it on. I was really happy with the fit, but once I got a good look at it in the mirror…the difference in color between the first ball and the second ball was super obvious. I told myself I didn’t care, I’d be starting the Servo chart in a few more inches anyway and it would barely be noticeable.
I put the sweater back on the needles, and about a week later…I had only knit a row or two more. I kept stopping, staring at that line between the old ball of yarn and the new one. I looked at the third ball of yarn I had, and it definitely looked darker to me than the second one. I tried to convince myself the color difference wasn’t bad enough for me to rip back the two inches I had knit and try the other ball instead, but instead the sweater just sat in time out for a few days.
Eventually I came to the realization that if I just bit the bullet, ripped out the 16 rows or so I had knit with the lighter ball, and did it over again with the darker ball, I’d probably finish the sweater faster than if I just left it sitting in time-out indefinitely. So yesterday, that’s what I did, and suddenly I’m happy with the project again, and making good progress. There’s still a bit of a color difference between the balls, but not NEARLY as obvious as it was.
Of course, since I only have the three balls, I’m going to need to use that lighter one at some point no matter what. I think I’ll switch to that one when I start the Servo charts; I’m sure that when the blue is broken up by Tom Servos, it won’t be quite as noticeable that it’s lighter than the rest of the blue on the sweater. Then, if I run out of the darker ball while knitting the sleeves, I’ll just finish up with the lighter ball. I can live with a slight color change near my wrists a lot more than I can live with it RIGHT ACROSS THE BOOBS. (Did I mention that’s exactly where the change was?) ;-P
The lesson is, either learn to live with things being less than perfect, or get off your lazy butt and work to make things fit your vision. (Ideally, try a little of both.)