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Friday, January 15, 2021

When Will the Penguin Get Its Wings?

I love doing crafts but I'm actually really bad at most of them. That's because I'm impulsive and impatient and not particularly good at taking the time to re-do things when I do them wrong. I just keep going and don't worry about if things are perfect. I don't like to go slow. I just want to DO the things. 

I really wanted one of these little amigurumi crochet animal kits from The Woobles. Honestly they are so cute. And so small. I thought it would be a good first project. I put it on my Christmas list and on Christmas morning it was there under the tree. 

I started the project that day!! 

But it was hard, actually. And I made some mistakes. And I realized I couldn't rush through this. So I stopped, undid my few stitches and waited. 

A few days later I gathered things I would need: a laptop for videos. The pattern. Pens to check off rounds. I watched the first videos a few times. I started. I messed up. I restarted. I messed up. I restarted. This is very unlike me to undo and restart. I would much rather push through. I restarted. 

I thought it would be good for me to try a new way of doing crafts. I'd practice being patient and fixing mistakes instead of just making an imperfect final project. 

I made some progress. I watched videos. I counted stitches. I restarted. I started getting some pains in my hands so I adjusted my grip. I counted stitches and kept track of my progress. I restarted. It got very hard. 

As I made my way to the end of the project, I realized I was not near the end. I would have to do a stomach and beak, too. Yikes. I actually felt real anger at this point. Anger at myself. Why was this so hard? Why did I make so many mistakes? How do people actually stand to do crochet? It required so much intense counting I couldn't believe people did these projects for relaxation. My shoulders were cramped. I was breathing weird.  

I was angry at the penguin, too. 

I probably should have stopped and taken a break because honestly I wasn't having fun at this point. No fun at all. This craft wasn't satisfying and creative. It was a torment. I'll just stop, I told myself. 

But there was a deep part of me that worried if I stopped, I wouldn't finish it. Ever. Because I wasn't having fun. My hand hurt. I was frustrated at how many times I messed up. If I stopped when I wasn't having fun, why would I ever pick it up again? 

I kept going. I finished a version of the stomach and a version of the beak. 

Then I read the rest of the pattern and realized I was supposed to make wings, too. Sigh. I did not do the wings. 

The penguin currently sits wingless on my desk. It is cute. It is darn cute. But it is also a little terrifying. I'm scared of how this penguin made me feel about myself. I was really, really hard on myself. I was judging myself for how unhappy I was about a craft. This was a sobering, strange experience.  

I don't know when I'll have the gumption to go back and finish the wings. There's a gamble here. If I wait too long I'll forget the skills I acquired to make this project. If I go back too soon I might be just as frustrated. 

What if I didn't do the wings? Would that be so bad? 

But every time I sit at my desk, I see the unfinished project. I know it's not done. 

And the penguin is there. It's shiny plastic eyes beg for wings. 

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