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Perfection - a flawed opinion

12 Sep 2007

I read an article recently about society's obsession with perfection, and how bad/stupid/pointless/impossible it is. The article (which was a bit of a beat up) went on to say that we're obsessed with perfect houses, so much so we don't let our kids have toys in their rooms for fear it will upset the decor. We are such perfectionists about our appearance we have to eliminate all flaws by any means. If our jobs aren't perfect we stress out and feel inadequate. If it isn't perfect we either throw it out (including relationships) or buy a better one. If our kids don't make the bed right we re-do it.

I guess the article may have been directed at a very small demographic, because I have to say I only know one perfectionist - and she doesn't knit. And she's an heiress.

Then I read on a blog somewhere (can't remember who but it was an American woman with a few kids and a rural property who knits - gee that could be any one of hundreds!) and she was saying that she feels sorry for all those young bloggers out there blogging about the struggle to find perfection in craft, in parenting, in their homes and relationships, effectively trying to style their entire lives as though they were a magazine spread. She said she still likes to pop in and see what they're up to but since her life has changed since having her children she finds them more and more irrelevent - and to her, pointless.

Anyhow it got me thinking about the motivation of the writers of the two above pieces and a couple of bits and pieces and I have say that I tend to disagree with both of them. Whilst it may be true that 'a spotless home is the sign of a boring woman' (common office poster) in some cases, it might also be true that 'behind every dirty home is a lazy sloth who doesn't care about cleanliness', in some cases. I personally like the idea of people striving for something, it's not up to me to judge whether it's worthwhile or not. Higher education, ecologically conscious living, good interior design, great clothes, whatever - ambition and hard work aren't dirty words. Even to the children. In the sage words of that kid on the Incredibles - if we give everybody superpowers and everyone is super then none of us will be.

I knitted a piece of lace while I ruminated about such matters of great import. It is the long-yearned for Frost Flowers and Leaves from A Gathering of Lace (hereafter to be known as Eats Roots Shoots and leaves) - I want to enter this in the Royal Easter Show next year. As I rounded the laps I found myself fudging it a little to get the stitches right. After a few of these I decided I had fudged too many times and that I would not be submitting it as an entry. It wasn't perfect. I really didn't want to frog it as I was almost done with a full repeat of the first frost flower.

So, I pressed on. And blocked what must now be considered the massive swatch. And, as you can see, even though I thought I was wrong yesterday I must have been mistaken.

So I went out and bought a cushion in a nice colour and stitched it on the front. I'm going to the evil craft chain tomorrow to get some iron on stuff and a nice grosgrain or velvet ribbon to trim the edges. I'm hoping it can be the beginning of a lace swatch collection of cushions piled up on my bed.

I will also say that will be the LAST time I block lace without blocking wires. I only now have to decide where to get them from.

On other matters of perfection and the struggle to achieve it:

Storm got his first haircut. So did I for that matter, but mine is far from perfect.

He really is the cutest dog.

SYDNEY KNITTERS: I am going to see Nicky Epstein at Tapestry Craft at 3:30pm on Friday. Anybody else going?

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