I spent a full evening yesterday unravelling a piece I had crocheted in a beautiful soft spun mohair wool because I wasn’t happy with the finished piece – it was too bulky, it had lost all the potential of the original idea, it didn’t work the way I wanted it to.
Recently, I branched out from knitting items for the home into making beautiful pieces for weddings and special occasions under a new banner – Grace & Favour – from lavender crochet hearts to jewellery to hairpieces and decor. This piece was to be a little capelet, to cover the shoulders with a light or strapless dress but, somewhere along the way, morphed into a very curly snake-like scarf!
I had been warned unravelling mohair is a nightmare task but found it strangely meditative – a soothing and thoughtful process, even though it meant undoing a lot of hard work with the prospect of starting all over again.
It feels like a lot of things are unravelling at the moment and it’s easy to focus on the loss instead of the opportunity. Why mourn what was never right in the first place? Why assume there is more value in the things we’ve already made – whether they meet our needs or not – than the things that wait to be discovered? Why are we afraid to undo things that are wrong simply because it requires effort to make it right?
I took apart something that didn’t work and what have a I lost? I still have the materials, the tools and my own skills. I spent hours of my time in making the piece, yes, but, in trying something new, I learned in the process. I know more about method, material and myself than I did before and this knowledge will go into the next attempt. I spent more hours unmaking the piece but also thinking about how I will tackle it next time round – I even enjoyed watching it transform from something unhappy into a crimped, fluffy mountain, piling into my lap.
There is something like relief in starting over, knowing I don’t have to accept what doesn’t work and have the power to change it – to acknowledge and accept mistakes, to trust in the opportunity and the ability to create something new and better this time around.