Wednesday, March 10, 2010


The only thing we have to fear is fear it'self - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."---- FDR - First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933
According to the Miriam Webster Dictionary Fear is defined as follows:

1 archaic : frighten
archaic : to feel fear in (oneself)
3 : to have a reverential awe of

4 : to be afraid of : expect with alarm intransitive
verb : to be afraid or apprehensive
— fear·er

Often, when people feel/have fear they let it hold them back but, when
they finally face their fear and overcome it they become stronger. They
have more knowledge and don't fear the same thing as much. I have definitely felt some apprehension and fear in myself over the last several months with a project I have been working on.

I learned to knit almost a year ago. I have completely become obsessed with it. Last fall Bernat decided to host a Mystery Afghan knit along and I decided to participate. I had been wanting to make an afghan for some time but couldn't find a pattern I liked or felt I could make with my limited knitting skills. When I came across the opportunity I figured it would be a great adventure. I quickly enlisted my friend in the journey as well. She lives 4 hours away and we figured this would be a great way for us to work on something together even with the distance between us.

The first several mystery patterns were pretty basic and easy. Then the stitches starting getting a little more complicated. Lace patterns were the first hurtle I had to face. Then it was cables. Then the patterns called for cables and bobbles. Bobbles, that was an adventure. When I first looked at what I thought would be a difficult pattern I would post pone working on it because I was "afraid" I wouldn't be able to do it. Eventually though I would pull it out and really study the pattern, read what others had to say about it, and give it a try. I had to frog many rows but eventually I figured it out and completed block after block.

Finally the last clue came, the border. I postponed doing the border almost a month because I feared it was going to be too much. Looking at the pictures that demonstrated what to do scared me. But, the time came to face my fear. I could no longer put it off because the contest deadline was fast approaching. I sat down and studied all the instructions. I figured I just had to give it a try. Well, after the first 2 stitches I realized the fear was all with in myself. It really wasn't hard at all and 2 days later I was done. I did it. I completed my first afghan, learned new skills, and my confidence in my ability to knit has grown.

While this knitting fear of mine seems small (I'm sure I've faced bigger fears) it was fear nonetheless that held me back from completing the task faster. To any of you with a fear, I challenge you to face it head on and see how much you have grown when you reach the other side.

Eleanor Roosevelt:
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.

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