The story behind the “So What?” Crochet Sweater and some thoughts on calling bs on your fearful thoughts
I don’t normally write a separate blog post to go with new crochet pattern releases these days, but the November My Crochet Wardrobe pattern of the month release is a little different from the norm (It’s all available free right here for a start!), so I thought I would take a moment to explain why.
When I was designing this month’s pattern I hit a bit of a crisis of confidence, not over the design as such but I was burned out from a crazy September and the whole freelance, creative entrepreneur thing (and all the money worries and isolation and self doubt that come with it) just got on top of me. There’s a saying that goes something like the moment you are about to give up is the same moment you need to keep going.
So as I sat there, hook in hand, thinking about packing it all in and going back to the 9 to 5, I kept hold of this mantra like a kid clinging to their teddy, in an attempt to push through the uncertainty and all the questions I had.
Then I had a chat with my sister. She runs her own business too so she gets the pressures and the ups and downs that come with it. Anyway, she reminded me about the”So what?” game.
The premise behind the game is that you have a healthy debate with that chatterbox in your brain, you know the one, the Voice that says, but you’re going to fail, you’re not good enough, everyone else is better than you…. Sound familiar?
So to all those unhelpful statements, you just ask “So what?” and offer an alternative path. For example: “So what if the business doesn’t work out the way I planned?” would be answered with something like “I can find another job or try something else.”
So I started using this technique more and sure enough, it took some of the threat and doom out of those fears and lessened the power of the naysaying part of my brain a little.
I used to journal a lot but sort of fell out of the habit. But I do love writing (regular readers will know I can go on and on and on!), so I kind of turned this game into a bit of a written exercise, which led to a kind of poem. I think a lot of my fears are pretty universal, so thought I would share it with you here (it’s at the end of the post). I cringe a bit because sharing stuff like this makes me feel incredibly vulnerable, and frankly my monkey brain is telling me right now that it’s adolescent nonsense… but SO WHAT?
What’s all this got to do with crochet?
The point is that these little exercises, practiced regularly, really work and I’m incredibly grateful for the ability to reframe things which are causing me stress. So, and this is where the crochet bit comes around, in an effort to remember this little trick, I named the design I was working on after it.
That way, every time I see a finished sweater or a work in progress or read a comment on the blog, I will remember this moment and how I pulled through it. And hopefully you will take a little of that with you too.
So why are you giving this pattern away for free?
A couple of reasons really…
After I did a year long challenge of not buying new clothing (I blogged about it here) my attitude towards fashion, particularly fast fashion completely changed and I started making more and more of my own clothes, and shopping almost exclusively in charity / second hand shops.
I love crocheting my own clothes and that was part of the motivation behind starting the My Crochet Wardrobe Facebook group, which has become a lovely supportive place to hang out and help crocheters to get started on crocheting clothing, or help those who are already giving it their best!
But I know that some people are still afraid to try. When I thought about that I realised that if people din’t have the confidence to start a sweater then they definitely weren’t going to pay for a pattern to make one. So I decided to give this month’s design away for free.
That way, people (You for example!) can give it a go at no expense.
I’m hoping that giving I a go and realising you – yes, I’m talking to you! – can do it will be a bit of a confidence boost and give you the bug!
You can find the So What Sweater here.
It’s oversized and a perfectly imperfect cosy winter sweater. Wabi Sabi (perfect imperfection) is the latest trend according to those who seem to know about these things so the timing is just right!
The sweater is a super simple construction but has an interesting texture made with post stitches so that it doesn’t get boring.
The pattern uses chunky yarn so the time investment isn’t too scary and because it’s bulky and squidgy it’s incredibly forgiving, so if you mess it up NO ONE WILL KNOW!!!.
I really hope that this will inspire those of you whose brain tells you “oh I could never make a sweater” to say, “So What if it goes wrong, I’ll frog it and start over!”
I really hope you enjoy this one. It’s been a bit of a journey for me so please do let me know how you get on!
(and keep scrolling if you want the poetry!)
The ”So What?” game – A conversation with myself
So what if it feels like it’s all going wrong?
Everything’s temporary, it won’t last for long.
So what if I fail and feel like a dick?
Fail at some other things, soon one will stick.
So what if I’m not following the latest trend?
Do you really think that matters at the end?
So what if I’m different (round peg, square hole)?
It’s time to embrace it, hell, make it your goal.
So what if I don’t have the picture perfect life?
Everyone knows, the good comes with the strife.
So what if everything’s breaking, draining cash from the bank?
You’ll find the ways and means to get gas in the tank.
So what that they laughed when I gave it my best?
You try for yourself, not for the rest.
So what if I’m feeling abandoned, ignored?
You know you can’t change them, we can’t all be adored
So what that I tried and I’m back at square 1?
Start over tomorrow, new opportunities rise with the sun.
So what if they’re only using me for themself?
Have compassion, set boundaries, protect your health.
So what if I’m tired with nothing left in my cup?
Learn to rest and regroup, then get right back up.
So what if I never feel quite good enough?
You’re not alone there, the best have it tough.
So what if I’m imperfect and make all the mistakes?
Accept yourself entirely, that’s all it takes.
Hang on a sec, let’s just get this clear,
one more question before I stop bending your ear.
So what if, for one moment I stop doubting my worth?
My friend, there’s the key to inherit the earth.