Sometimes the boundary between creative integrity and unreasonable self-criticism is a dark and murky line to tread. Take for example, this hat: I started and finished it a few weeks ago, and blocked it soon after, but I haven't had the heart to photograph it until now.
The reason? Because, in my infinite wisdom and forethought, I left it on my blocking table for a few days after it had dried. Each day I would walk by it, sitting in its little patch of sun, and think: now that is a good hat. It's pink and cute, and though it feels different than the original, I'm still quite fond of it.
It wasn't until I picked it up to weave in the ends that I had the sinking realization that while it basked in that bright patch of sunshine, the hat had faded from a clear, lovely pink to a tea-stained rose - just on the side that was facing the sun. A faint yellowed line marked the difference between front and back, and if I could tell, then goddamn it, anyone could.
So I got upset: with myself; with the yarn; with myself again. And I grumpily took photos, and I asked my fellow knitters for their advice. We all came down on the side of overdyeing it, and I let the matter rest until I could stomach the idea of actually doing it.
But yesterday, I picked up the hat, and I tried it on again. And somewhere between last week and this week, I unconsciously made the decision that sometimes 'good, not perfect' is good enough. I don't need to tear myself apart over a hat - a hat which, if I didn't point it out to anyone, wouldn't even register as flawed - just because it doesn't live up to my usual (read: unreasonably high) personal creative standards.
Because, for all my misgivings about it, the ethos that has served me best over the years is not perfection, but adventure. Without it, I never would have learned to knit socks, or gone to Indonesia, or gotten married; I wouldn't have built a ballgown, or worked at a yarn shop, or taken jazz piano lessons in Japan. All of those things were scary; they also define the moments at which I've been most thankful to be a human being.
So while perfection can be gorgeous, I don't want it, and neither does my hat. Which, if I do say so myself, is still pretty darn cute.
Details are on Ravelry here.