Tension

I am a perfectionist. Absolutely a perfectionist. I acknowledge it, I own it, it’s part of who I am, as a person and as a crocheter. That’s okay. It’s what drives me on, what pushes me to stick with it, particularly when designing – the knowledge that I can achieve perfection, as long as I keep trying.

But sometimes it is a bloody nightmare. Sometimes it means I spend the entire afternoon working and reworking squares, comparing and recomparing them to each other to make sure they are exactly the same. A millimetre here or there doesn’t matter, right? Except sometimes my brain seizes on that millimetre or two and maginifies it and I end up getting tighter and tighter – mentally, physically, and with my hook! Checking one square against another, over and over and over…

P1000202

They’re all the same, right? They look the same. Any differences are so minute that it won’t make any difference in the finished blanket. And yet! Over and over, today, I’ve been checking and rechecking, over and over and over again, until I was so tense I was practically tearing my hair out and almost on the verge of tears. Oh yes. I got that stressed. About minute differences in size between squares.

I drive myself barmy, sometimes, I really do.

I do have a tendency to get tighter, particularly when I’m doing the same pattern over and over. A blanket composed of one square pattern makes me particularly susceptible to it. The first few are fine – a nice, even tension while I get to learn the pattern. Then once I know it, and can do it without thinking, that’s when I get faster and get tighter. I know I do it. That’s why I constantly check squares against each other to make sure they’re all coming out the same size. And usually, apart from the odd millimetre or two, it’s all fine. I’m aware of my tendency to get tighter, so I compensate for it.

It’s just sometimes that niggling doubt gets into my head, that terror that I’m getting too tight without noticing it, that desperation to make everything the same. Everything perfect. Being a perfectionist is great – until it’s not :S

In the end, today? I had to frog four squares, leave them in little yarn balls, and go and have a long, hot soak in the bath. Then I came back to it, calmer, determined to get it right, and redid all four. And yes, I got them right this time. Tension is its own enemy.

Onwards and upwards, and tomorrow is another day. Perhaps tomorrow is the day when I learn how to relax my standards? Probably not. That’s okay. I am what I am. I wouldn’t be me if I weren’t a perfectionist.

I could just do without my crochet tension causing me other kinds of tension 😛

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6 thoughts on “Tension

  1. I can really relate to this post :/ Wanting perfection in your work is admirable, trying to deny added stress to your body is necessary – but it’s so difficult!
    It sounds as if the hot bath came at the right time 🙂

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  2. It is such a relief to know that I’m not alone in this! I am also afflicted with perfectionism, and my husband is constantly telling me not to be so critical of myself. When I start to frog, I put it down and do something else for a little while before going back to it when I am calm again. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  3. O no, that is nothing for me, i don’t like to frog it hihihi. And when it realy must i have tears in mine eye’s and be mad at myself, but at the end it is right and beautiful but i don’t like it 😀

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  4. I’m so far from perfect that it’s just not worth describing. When I make something, there are errors in it. Sometimes not a lot of mistakes, but sometimes a very lot! The way I have rationalized these and not gone back to “fix” them is that if it’s for someone else, other than myself, I say that I will tell that person that there are “surprises” crocheted in the pattern of this piece and it’s their job to search them out and find them, if they wish. Hiding. Go find them! To me, a home-made piece of art should not be so perfect that it looks like a machine made it. A human is imperfect, and so should my yarn-work be imperfect… On the other hand, if I am making something for myself… then heck, no explanations necessary. I love being imperfect and love the little mistakes and smile when I see one of them whilst cuddling up under a colorful snuggly warm blanket on a cold New England evening.

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