Beginner mind (shoshin) is fascinating to me. I love to dive into something and just try things. Some of those things succeed and many fail. It’s in the failures that I learn the most. I’ve found as I advance in a skill I’m less likely to take risks and ask *what if?* as perfectionism threatens to take over.
The knitting machine I borrowed has been good to help me keep a beginner mindset and try things I’ve wanted to for years. For example, I’ve been tossing swatches in the washing machine simply to see what happens. It isn’t always what I expect.
The speedier swatches have also helped me to see where my skills need additional work. While my vertical stockinette seams look great, I’ve discovered that my horizontal edges need work. My solution over the years has been to use other techniques such as as a three needle bind-off or kitchener stitch. I’m going to work up a bunch of swatches and force myself to practice all different kinds of seams.
This is something I’ve said I need to do for years to take my skills to another level. I’ve found every excuse to avoid do so. No more excuses.
Even if an adorable foster kitten keeps trying to take my swatches!
quick book review: Keep Going
A few months ago I was provided an advanced reading copy of Keep Going by Austin Kleon in exchange for a review (the FTC wants you to know). I wrote that review and I’ve been using the book ever since! For fans of Kleon’s work, and those who need a nudge, Keep Going offers ten straightforward ways to do exactly that — keep going. It’s not a deep book, but it’s one that I’ve found can help remind you to keep a list, create a routine, disconnect from the noise, and keep going. This great book combines his succinct elaborations of each point with relevant blackout poems, comics, and quotes. It results in a book that is easy to flip through when a creative spark is needed or to read cover to cover to provide motivation. This is a very useful book and deserves a spot on your bookshelf. Learn more and order at austinkleon.com.