Monday, June 15, 2020

Motivation Monday - Practice Makes Possible

If you've ever crocheted or knitted anything, you've probably had to frog it at some point.

Frogging is a term that means to undo or rip out your work because you made an error. It is called "frogging" because you're imitating a, rip-it sounds suspiciously like "ribbit ribbit".

When you're new to crochet, chances are, you will frog quite often. You miscounted, double stitched in the wrong place, misread your pattern or any other number of reasons that might make it so you have to rip some of it (or all of it) out. 

It's normal and actually sometimes preferable to frog a project. It doesn't mean you're a failure or that crochet is "just too hard for you." 

I wanted to make this beautiful wall hanging for one of my principals who is moving to another school. I got it almost done and realized I absolutely hated the way that it looked. The top lettering just did not look the way I wanted it to and I was not about to gift a project to someone that I wasn't 10000% happy with. So I frogged the entire thing. About 5 hours of work undone in under 5 minutes.

I didn't have time to start over to have it done in time to gift to her at her party, but it's okay. I had another couple of quick projects I could put together instead to give to her. 

My point is, even though I specifically bought yarn just to make that wall hanging for her, I knew I wouldn't feel good giving it to her so I frogged it all. And that's okay. I can always work it up over the summer and deliver it to her at some point because she'll still be in our district, just not at my school. I know myself well enough to know that I would not be okay gifting something to someone that I wasn't willing to have hanging on my wall at home. 

A couple of years ago I heard a phrase Practice Makes Possible to replace the phrase Practice Makes Perfect (because in reality unless you are practicing perfectly, it won't be perfect no matter how much you practice). I think the phrase Practice Makes Possible is incredibly applicable here. 

Even if you have to frog an entire project because you've made a mistake or you just aren't happy with one can take away the knowledge you gained from the work you did. Now you know you need to count better or whatever else was happening to make the stitches not quite right and that knowledge will go forward with you as you begin again or set it aside and pick up something new. (I often set it aside for a bit to cool my annoyance and then go back to that project with a clearer head. Not surprisingly, when I do this, I am often able to figure out what was going wrong before.) 

I have a friend who is reteaching herself to crochet after about 30 years of not doing it. My advice to her is the same -- practice, practice, practice. Do a row of chains, frog it and do it again, over and over until it is the way you like, then practice with stitches and do the same thing. There is no shame in frogging so that you can be as happy as possible with your finished project.

Now go forth and practice because your extended practice will make more things possible. 


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