April 17, 2024

You won’t have a knack for everything

Read Head

There’s a saying — If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.

I’m a pretty crafty, artistic person. I’ve always wanted to make a scarf or a blanket out of yarn. I started learning how to knit when I was young, but I could never finish a project.

When we recovered bags of high-quality yarn from my husband’s great-aunt’s home in Ireland, I wanted to take another stab at it.

I still couldn’t get anything more than a small square completed. I would get a good chunk done only to drop a stitch or find an error in my work. Naturally I had no idea how to fix the problem and I would give up on the project. I couldn’t understand why I was failing as such a common craft.

When I was young, I learned how to crochet a single chain. It was all I ever learned. While visiting some friends this winter, I saw my friend’s bookshelf wall of yarn. She has been crocheting for more than a decade.

I asked her to teach me how to crochet while we waited for our other friend to arrive. It was rough at first, but I realized it is much faster-paced than knitting and it allows for mistakes. If you ever make a mistake, just drop the loops you just did and get back into it.

I used some of the yarn to make a couple bookmarks, a nice easy project to learn the different types of stitches. Finally I worked up to making a baby blanket for a friend using some plush yarn.

It certainly was not perfect, but I completed a larger project for the first time.

Since then, I’ve started amigurumi, the Japanese craft of crocheting small stuffed toys, such as animals, play food or dolls. I have another friend who has been doing this for awhile, so I asked her what the easiest thing to start with is. She told me to start with the jellyfish.

Over the past week, I’ve completed three jellyfish and I’m working on a fourth. These are projects I never could have imagined creating when I was struggling with finishing a basic knitting project.

I’ve realized not everyone has a knack for everything, but there’s something out there for everyone. If I’m the fish, knitting is climbing a tree and crocheting is swimming. I needed to stop setting the bar at being able to learn to knit.

Although this is maybe a silly example, I wonder how many things we all judge ourselves on when we shouldn’t.

This is why it’s so important to promote diversity in the workplace and even within your personal acquaintances. I am not good with directions or even situational awareness as a whole. At work, John is the direction guy. He’ll give you the Lewis and Clark directions of how to get from point A to point B. He’ll even tell you where to stop for food on the way.

At home, my husband Patrick is always paying attention to where we are, where the exits are and everything else about our surroundings. Meanwhile, I’m probably jamming out to whatever song is stuck in my head.

I’m the planner. I keep the calendar at work, the calendar at home and a schedule for myself. When Patrick is asked to do something or attend something, he has to “check the cloud” as he says, and ask me what he has going on.

It works because we all have our “swimming” categories and we all have our “climbing a tree” tasks. As long as they don’t get in the way of a relationship or something serious in life, I think it’s OK to accept we all have our strengths and weaknesses.

Cheyenne Roche


Originally from Wisconsin, Cheyenne has a journalism and political science degree from UW-Eau Claire and a passion for reading and learning. She lives in Creston with her husband and their two little dogs.