I am only a quarter of the way into my advent calendar, but I have already reached its turning point with today’s piece:
I dreaded this day, because I have yet to succeed in making these concentric circles elements called “onion rings” (hence the choice of colours for today’s piece… they made it a little less dreadful!). I love seeing them be made by others, but I hate making them myself – they flop, the rings get squished but their bases get stretched, they leave bare threads I have a hard time hiding… argh, they just would not behave!
I have tried making them so many times, experimenting with different methods, different threads, and anything else I could make different that would change the outcome, to no avail. I only got more frustrated and discouraged the more I tried. So, I decided to break it off with them. I thought “they don’t wanna be made by me, and I don’t wanna make them – the feeling’s mutual!”
I had since stubbornly avoided patterns with onion rings. Not only do I not choose them as projects, I do not even give a glance at them. Tatting is still a lot of fun without them, and I still have a looong list of techniques I need to learn, so I had no time to dwell on not having them in my repertoire.
But there was always a part of me that regretted ending it on a bad note.
Maybe if I tried a little harder… but with the limited skills I had at the time I quit trying, I do not think I would have succeeded no matter how hard I tried.
Maybe if I asked someone for help… but I had no one around to ask back then, and besides, what works for others do not necessarily work for me (and vice versa).
Maybe if I gave a little time before I came back to retry… but I did not know just how much time would be enough, and now it was quite clear I took too much time.
So, when I was considering this advent calendar for Christmas this year and saw this pattern with onion rings in it, it became the single key factor in choosing to go forward or back out.
Maybe I still do not have the skills… but if I do not test, how will I know?
Maybe I should consult someone… but no one can decide for me but myself, so what good will that do?
Maybe I should give it some more time… but Christmas is fast approaching, will I have enough time to find another project?
In the end, I pushed aside all bad memories I previously had of onion rings and focused solely on whether or not I wanted to reacquaint myself with them. And the answer? Well, I think you know.
When I was tatting the onion rings this time around, I did not get to erase the bad memories. I still dreaded making them, as I could not rid myself of doubts that they would once again frustrate and discourage me. And it shows in the final product – their stitches are unstable and shapes are uneven.
But I am okay with that for now. I got to confirm that the onion rings and I have a renewed mutual feeling of “I’m okay with you making me if you’re okay with me being made by you.” It gives me hope that there still is a chance we will become good friends somewhere in the future, because we were able to overcome ill feelings toward each other and overwrite bad memories.
Maybe it is not just a turning point in the advent calendar, it is also a turning point in my tatting career? I guess you will find out the answer if and when I post my next set of onion rings!