Sep 5, 2012

Searching for Perfection

One of my many weaknesses is my desire to achieve results that are as close to perfect as possible. This is true in my professional life and in my knitting. Since this blog is about the latter, we'll focus on knitting.

Searching for perfection, combined with the fact that I'm a slow knitter, means I'm not nearly as productive as I'd like to be. Why? I'm searching for the perfect pattern. Or the perfect stitch. Or the perfect yarn.

Way too often, I'm searching for all three. And until I find that combination the perfect pattern, stitch and yarn – well, things tend to get bogged down.

I'm trying to break this tendency. I love to knit, I want to become a better knitter, and I want to not just knit more but finish more. That last point is key, because I've noticed that in order to finish, first I must start.

With that in mind, I'll share these insightful observations from some very wise people:
The maxim, ‘Nothing avails but perfection,’ may be spelled, Paralysis. WINSTON SPENCER CHURCHILL
I  believe that we and I got a lot of it wrong, but, as in much of life, if we had waited for perfection we might never have got startedCHARLES HANDY
We fail to realize that mastery is not about perfection. It’s about a process, a journey. The master is the one who stays on the path day after day, year after yearGEORGE LEONARD
The universe does not reward perfection, it rewards excellence. UNKNOWN
Things are not perfect and we wouldn't appreciate it if they wereELIZABETH ZIMMERMANN

Sometimes, the search for perfection is simply a minor diversion, a delay. Sometimes it's a roadblock. Sometimes, it's an excuse not to start, and thus, not to fail.

How is the search for perfection affecting you? Your life? Your work? Your knitting?

It's worth thinking about, which is why I intend to follow EZ's best advice. I'll "knit on it."


  1. It depends on which comes first, the chicken or the egg type of argument. Does one knit to find a place to assert some control (perfection) in a chaotic life? Or does one knit to find refuge from the chaos? In the case of the latter, then I say - don't focus on the perfection of technique, rather the joy of expression.

    That is my opinion - today

  2. The joy of expression, such excellent advice!


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