Monday, January 21, 2008

My friend, Failure

Ever since Knitting Daily declared 2008 the year of fearless knitting, I've been thinking about failure. My favorite columnist, Jon Carroll, wrote a brilliant column about failure and why we need it in our lives. These thoughts weren't far from my mind when we went to see the Mythbusters, who were inspiring in their discussion of the value of failure.

When it comes to handwork, I consider failure before beginning. Especially with sewing; there is very little to salvage when the pieces are cut incorrectly. But with knitting, there are great opportunities to learn from failure. The garment can always be frogged and the yarn reused. Or, in the face of total despair, innumerable charities would welcome a durable, hand knit garment. There is nothing to lose, and so much to learn.

So why do I hesitate in the face of failure? What is there to fear? The uncertainty concerning my ability to learn. Before I embark on a project I have no fear of failure; I fear not understanding what I can learn from failure. I fear not learning from the mistakes I've made.

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