I love this piece on Storytelling by Ira Glass. I’ve seen it many times in a few different versions, but Babes and I love this one by frohlocke the best (thank to Felicity Snyder for reminding me of it recently) .
Even if you have good taste and some skill, in the beginning, you will make terrible, ugly things. The good news is: you’ll know it’s bad, but you have within your reach the ability to make something better.
Ira, I feel ya.
E commissioned me to make a bingo magnet for her grandpa, “Bingo Bob”: a hilarious, kind, veteran who loved him a bingo hall. At that point, I didn’t really knew what I was doing. I mean, I knew basic stitches and how to follow simple patterns, but that was about it. In the back of my mind, I had a vision for what the card should look like and what I wanted the style to be. And instead, I got this:
It was not at all what I had in mind. The stitches are sloppy and the shape is ridiculous. I wanted the letters and numbers to look solid and uniform, and instead they looked thin and scribbled. Luckily, E and Bingo Bob could look past those details and see something handmade and funny. Bob never got rid of it, and now E keeps it on her fridge.
Fast forward to a few years after that debacle: I was hanging out with E and Alexander, who was then a wee little thing. I wanted to crochet him a personalized book of letters, but I couldn’t find a letter pattern. I realized I would have to make the pattern myself.
Now between the embroidered nightmare above and the sidewalk letters below, I made everyone I knew a crochet doll, I started following crochet blogs, I joined Ravelry, I read patterns, and I learned about how to create shapes. My “taste” level was always there and developing, but now I had the skills and knowledge to back it up.
I started my shop in March 2011 with the pattern above (version 1), and I haven’t looked back since. Although there are still a variety of challenges in my business, I know that with the right amount of time, research, and practice, I can overcome them. Ira Glass told me so.