Sheep are not cute. They smell bad and are stupid. If they were people, they’d be the kind who couldn’t chew gum and walk at the same time. They’re so abysmally stupid, unwrapping a stick of gum while standing perfectly still would probably take fierce concentration to keep from going all wobbly and accidentally falling down. They’d also be the kind of people with large, clumped shit-stains on the seats of their pants.
There are good reasons for sheep to stay around: they make wool, the littlest ones taste good, and I like collecting their skulls. Yes, we like knitting. No, that doesn’t mean we have to develop a slavering, obsessive fetish for everything that supplies our hobby. You don’t see annoying, pointless little knitting gadgets with cartoons of silkworms or cotton bolls or hemp leaves on them, so why sheep?
(Alpacas, though, are totally worth the fuss, but that’s because they’re bratty, weird-looking animals that look like they have fluffy sock puppets for heads.)
Learning to knit (in the round, lace, backwards, Fair Isle, intarsia, Continental, etc.) is not hard. It is not as hard as learning to drive. If you can learn how to conduct a large metal object capable of carrying your body at dizzying speeds next to other cars capable of smearing your body across the road with just one wrong move, you can handle whatever knitting hurdle is barring your way. Knitting will probably be easier, actually, since you won’t have your dad white-knuckling the door handle and yelping like a wounded Chihuahua every time you goof up.
Learning is not hard. Giving yourself permission to learn is hard. I saw this all the time when I worked at a yarn store: people would get mad or embarrassed when they didn’t get things right the first time and would give up, saying “I just can’t do this. It’s impossible.”
It’s not. Just give yourself permission to screw up as much as you need to, don’t be embarrassed about asking for help, and stick to it. You’ll get it.
It’s not OK for things I make to look handmade. I want the things I create to look exactly how they look in my head. I don’t imagine things that are sloppy or poorly made, so I don’t want the finished product to look sloppy or poorly made, either. Telling me “It’s OK for it to look handmade” only makes me want to rip the whole thing out and start over, which I’ll probably do, anyway. It’s a lot more work, but unqualified success is worth it.
Internalized snobbery sucks. All of us have some acrylic hand-me-down yarn or some craft-store cotton buried in our stashes. Sure, it’s not luxury materials, but that kind of yarn can be incredibly practical. It’s not a crime to own it or use it. If you use it, don’t be ashamed of it, and don’t apologize.
Reverse snobbery sucks. Y’know how people talk shit about Red Heart yarn? It’s not because they’re trying to tear other knitters down. It’s because Red Heart is actually kinda crappy. Sure, it’s cheap and it comes in lots of colors, but acrylic is scratchy and plastic-y, it pills, it melts when exposed to flame, and it makes your armpits turn into swampy stench factories. Hatred of bad yarn is not hatred of the people who use it. Just because people don’t have many good things to say about something you like doesn’t mean they’re a bunch of elitist jerks who think you only knit crap.