Necessary Inefficiency

Field Notes 9/12/2016

The inefficiency of all beginnings is overshadowed by the depth of new understanding.

It's scary and a little painful to admit this, but I am a timid knitter. My ability to invent is stronger than my ability to follow instructions and I generally favor the first. In my ability to follow knitting instructions, I'm afraid I am a kindergartener at best. We all want to be seen as talented and even excellent in our work, but what I'm about to reveal to you is definitely not that. 

Why would I want to share this with you?  My fascination with textiles is all about process. Of course I want to share my proud accomplishments, but I also want to show the reality of progress which starts with mistakes. Lots, and lots of mistakes. It's messy and inefficient, and frustrating, and inspiring. It is in the act of blundering that we can find our lessons and choose our way. To me, that is a beautiful thing. 

The Prairie Glass fingerless mitt pattern from Stash by designer Carina Spencer, yarn by Scarlet Tang at Huckleberry Knits arrived in my mailbox last Friday. I love this design. I love the yarn, the colors, the inspiration. Who doesn't love Frank Lloyd Wright?!  He has been on my mind ever since early August when I found myself face to face with some of his stained glass windows on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. I admire the man's work in architecture and design to no end. This pattern was just the inspiration I needed to push passed my little fear of instructions. My only show of defiance was in swapping out the intended yarn for some of my own. Other than that, I did my best to do as I was told. 

Here's what I was supposed to do. . .

And here's what I did. 

This "draft" shall we call it, is fettered with novice blunders (see if you can spot them all), and I love each of them. They are my teachers.  I have enjoyed this pattern and process immensely, and look forward to repeating it with improved skills as well as the actual intended yarn, I promise!


Field Notes go behind the scenes to peak at the raw, unrefined, and real-time process of making. Through these blog posts I hope to capture the naturally recurring themes that keep a creative lifestyle buzzing, and I invite you to apply the unfiltered energy of creativity to your own work, in your own way.