The first zip-up red sweater with two fun elephants on front and back for my oldest son --then age 3 -- is still in the family. For that kit, I faithfully matched every detail of yarn thickness, color batch, needle size and stitch counts per inch. Knit one, purl two, knit one, purl two. The end result? Perfect -- voted outstanding and still cherished.
But as I gained confidence I improvised more with yarns, thicknesses and needle sizes. Socks, mittens, slippers, head bands turned out great. Some were even from raw wool I carded and spun myself, experimenting with natural dyes. But younger son's orange and yellow fifth birthday sweater drooped around him. To make amends, I next tried a complicated orange and brown Fair Isle pattern that didn't fit him either. Through that process, I learned to choose and plan patterns well and stick closer to them.
Those lessons learned fit other pursuits, including writing.
- Establish a clear overall picture of the final product desired. Develop your pattern and stick to it.
- Assemble needed materials. Include interesting elements and pleasing colors.
- Follow design and faithfully count rows. Unravel mistakes and take time to redo steps correctly. Fill in missed stitches.
- Complete final details before showing off your quality piece.
- Present your personalized gifts to loved ones -- or your reading public.
- Enjoy basking in the joy of a job well-done.
- After resting briefly, plan your next project, assemble new materials, set fresh goals -- and repeat the process with joy!