Friday, 4 March 2016

BREAKING NEWS: I'm an Imposter!

As I'm coming up to my 5 year knitting anniversary, I've been reflecting a lot on how far I've come since I started back in the spring of 2011. I made a few blogging friends, and I've seen them go from a few followers, to thousands. Having their patterns published in magazines, starting their own (very successful) yarn dyeing businesses, publishing books, and so much more! And it got me thinking, they have come so far in such a short period of time, they've really become experts in their crafts. But, what about me? Sure, since starting this blog I've had a little of success thanks to my wonderful readers, but what about success in my knitting? All my friends are so professional now, you can ask them a question about anything to do with the craft and they can give you pages of tips and advice. Can I do that?

No... I definitely can't. But does that stop people from asking me questions about difficult techniques? Nope! It seems that through my blog posts, podcast episodes and YouTube videos, I've given people the impression that I actually know what I'm talking about.

The truth is, I have no clue what I'm doing most of the time. Sure, I understand the basics of knitting, and I know a few of the more intricate techniques like the back of my hand, but most of the time I have no clue what other knitters are talking about! Especially in patterns, I spend hour researching techniques and pattern slang!

Does that make me an imposter? I'm not sure... But I do know that I can give the wrong impression to people sometimes. I make myself appear more knowledgeable than I actually am, so that my peers don't still view me as that scrawny little 16 year old who knows nothing about the craft. It probably doens't help that I am one of the only knitters in my friend group, so when they ask me a question and I'm able to regurgitate lots of information in reply, they think I'm far cleverer than I actually am - so they hail me as the world's greatest knitter, when in actual fact I'm the complete opposite!

I spend most of my spare time googling knitting references that my peers throw out in their posts, such as famous pattern designers, techniques or just slang. I constantly feel like I have to work twice as hard as everyone else so that I can appear like a half-decent blogger.

But then it hit me. Doesn't every craft blogger go through this phase of their blogging life? You can't dive into a new craft and know everything about it within a few weeks! Most of my peers have been knitting for decades, that's an awful long time to hone your craft. So, why should I compare myself to them? I'm relatively new to the craft & I'm self-taught, so obviously it's going to take me a little longer to catch up to everyone else. And you know what, that knitter whose been crafting for decades had to go through this too. They had to fake their way through until they actually started to understand what they were on about.

What's my point in all of this? I'm not really sure to be honest. But, I do know that we should all remember that no one is going to judge you for not knowing a technique or a famous designer. Don't be scared to ask for help, you'll learn much faster if you can find someone to mentor you. And definitely don't be scared if you make a mistake. Nobody is going to think you're a bad person for mixing brioche and intarsia up, or not knowing who The Yarn Harlot is (but seriously, if you don't know who she is, check out her blog. It'll change your life!). At the end of the day, we're all faking it until we make it. It just might take some longer than others!

Thank you for hearing me out. I'm not sure if I made any sense, but I hope you can see where I'm coming from! And thanks, for sticking with me through the past five years. You've all helped me to become a better knitter, writer and - pardon me while I get soppy - a better person. Here's to another five years together!

7 thoughts:

  1. It's funny you should say this, because a few weeks ago it was also my 5 year anniversary (I started blogging at the same time I started knitting) and I was with two very well known "names" in the knitting-universe. A very well-known designer and a popular podcaster, and it pretty much came down to this - we ALL feel like it at some points. I know I do. My blog has always been about my journey and has included many failures as well as the things I have figured out (and am still figuring out), and I can totally relate to what you say. I recently read "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert and she had a whole section on Imposter Symptom - I don't think it ever goes away, you know. Anyway, I've gone along way around it, but wanted to say that you're spot on - comparison is pointless and will steal your joy - I wish I'd figured that out by the time I was your age! Sarah xxx

  2. Who knows where you will be in another five years time?!

    Lovely humble story. Ciao, Fleur

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Thank you for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it! Hope you have a lovely, yarn filled day :D

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