frogs and ladders (and other non-sequiturs)

adhd authenticity failure knitting mindset perfectionism Jan 09, 2024
me fixing an knitting error by

Happy New Year! I can still say that, right? I mean, my holiday decorations are still up.

I hope you were able to get some downtime for yourself over the holiday.

I did. At least, I did after I decided to slow roll into 2024 instead of trying to get all of 2024 planned while also trying to manage 🎶 the most 🎶hectic-est 🎶time 🎶of the yearrrr🎶

I'm glad I did that. But it's made getting my head back into things a bit slow going.

It hasn't been helped by my efforts to wrap up a few projects---like a sweater for my son.

The other day, I noticed a mistake several rows down from where I was working, and I wanted to fix it.

Now, truth be told, it was a very subtle mistake. My 8-year-old wouldn't notice it.

I wouldn't've even noticed it when I was a beginner.

But when I was a beginner, I also only had three options if I did spot an error.

1️⃣ I could pull out all the stitches in all the rows down to row with the mistake in it.

This was risky because I wasn't skilled at getting the needles back on the stitches, so often I introduced more mistakes.

2️⃣ I could undo the whole project and start over. (Also called "Frogging", evidently because of all the "rip it, rip it, rip it-ing" you do to the stitches.🐸)

This would often happen anyway if I picked option 1.

There was also a high likelihood I'd abandon the project before restarting it.

3️⃣ I could just leave the mistake where it was. Small errors add character, right? They prove it was handmade...yeah...that's it!

Normally I chose doors 2 or 3.

Since then, I've gotten better at putting stitches back on the needles. That's still a royal PITA, though.

Luckily I can usually skip that approach because now I can do this:

If you aren't into knitting (or can't see the photo), I pulled one stitch out, all the way down to the error. Then I used a crochet hook to remake the stitch all the way up.

I didn't think much about it when I did it, but I distinctly remember when I was a beginner, "laddering down" terrified me more than pulling out everything and starting over. 🪜= 😱

Starting over just seemed easier.

I've seen the same pattern in other places in my hobbies, my career, my business.

I'm not sure why when I'm new at something, fixing an error (or pivoting or tweaking) feels harder than beginning anew.

Perhaps I need the confidence that comes from experience.

Perhaps it has something to do with ADHD.

Perhaps I'm just weird.

Could be all three. :)

Anyway, in 2024, I want to approach anything that's not working quite right with a repair mindset rather than a raze-and-rebuild one*...even if the repair means I have to figure out something new.

Hope your year is off to a weird and wonderful start,


*I try not to use multiple metaphors if I can help it. But try as I did, I couldn't come up with a clever way to say More Ladders, Fewer Frogs that made any sense at all. 😝😝😝 If you can, I would seriously LOVE to hear it!!!