Monday, October 15, 2007

The eyes have it

As someone who supposedly knows what I'm doing in my field, it amuses me to no end how students often think they can slip something by me and my colleagues. Their worldview is so limited. If they wouldn't notice the mistakes, then surely no one more experienced will. (Truth be told, I think I held this attitude with piano lessons a lot longer than I should have.) Shot out of focus? Tripod not balanced? Bad edit one-thirtieth of a second long? Yep, I saw that.

In most cases I don't think such errors are left in because of laziness or arrogance. They're learning and haven't developed the eyes (and ears) to catch all the slip-ups made while they were shooting and editing. They can't be expected to see as well as those of us who have spent years looking at video, not that we hold them to the same standard out of the gate. (It's downright baffling what some students don't see, though.)

The same applies to knitting. I've learned the hard way that there is no "cheating" when it comes to the needles and yarn. That mistake in the previous row isn't going to be fixed by attempting to compensate for it in the next row. Nope, if there's something wrong, better to correct it as soon as possible than leave it alone and create a bunch of additional work later on. You'd think I would know this by now, but my bullheaded need to make progress in the short term sometimes overrules my perfectionist side to fix whatever I know is wrong and will bug me down the line.

For instance, there's my latest WIP. I haven't frogged the scarf I'm knitting for International Scarf Exchange 5 because I haven't picked it up since Friday. (There's been no time for knitting today.) It's a perfect example of something where I could tell that the width seemed too narrow yet I talked myself into believing that the scarf would magically become wider in time. If I'd reversed course after an inch or two rather than acknowledging the reality after four or five, I would be better off.

I don't have the keen eye of a longtime knitter, but I'm getting there. Being able to spot my mistakes means that I'm advancing as a knitter. It also gives me an appreciation for those who could see what I couldn't when I was learning and encouraged me rather than point out every little error. Sometimes you need to be given the freedom to mess up alongside receiving gentle corrections. I'd do well to remember that when I'm the evaluator in class tomorrow.

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