Imposter Syndrome

Hello.

So, so far, my goal to post weekly has failed miserably. I’m barely managing to post monthly, and I hope that’s okay for now, because it’s really been weighing on me.

I wanted to discuss something that I’ve been experiencing in trying to plan out the next steps in growing my crochet business. It’s something I think anyone with a tendency toward self-doubt, who has tried to accomplish something big, has probably experienced.

I’m talking about… IMPOSTER SYNDROME. *cue horror movie soundtrack*

Imposter syndrome is described by Wikipedia as “a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.'” In other words, even when you have a talent for something, and even when you are able to do something with that talent, you have this internalized belief that your success is undeserved and you’re really just pretending to be some kind of professional. At least, that’s been my experience so far.

So, here I am, with this idea to start an Etsy shop and sell my finished products, while also learning to design my own patterns, and this… negative voice creeps in.

EXPECTATION (Positive Self-Talk):

REALITY (Imposter Syndrome):

  • “I can do this!”
  • “I’ll just do some research and take the first steps.”
  • “I can learn as I go.”
  • “I make quality products that others will want to buy.”
  • “No one will buy this.”
  • “You’re only going to get overwhelmed and fail/give up.”
  • “Anything you can make has been made before; nothing you have to offer is unique.”
  • “You don’t have REAL talent. You’re only following other makers’ patterns.”

Imposter syndrome makes every step you take toward a goal a battle. For me, obviously, it applies to starting a small craft business. Creating an Instagram account just for my amigurumi? No one will follow you, and you’re pictures aren’t as good as the accounts you follow. Looking into getting a business license? You’re going to screw something up and get into financial/legal trouble. Using others’ patterns to make things I like and gradually build up an inventory? You’re a talentless fraud who can’t design her own patterns.

For me, it’s starting a business. For you, it’s probably something different. Here’s the thing I try to remind myself, though. Even if each step toward that goal is a difficult battle, as long as you take those steps (however long it may take to do so), you’ll ultimately win the war. I apologize for the cheesy analogy, but I do believe it’s true. As long as I push back against that negative imposter syndrome voice in my head, and take the necessary steps anyway, eventually I will prove it wrong.

Finished Projects and Works in Progress

Hey, there! At long last, I am finally getting around to the first official blog post. I thought a nice way to start off would be to talk about a few of my most recent amigurumi projects and the three crochet projects I am currently working on. The amigurumi projects took priority, but now I finally have some time to work on my personal pieces for the fall. (Quick side note, for anyone who is unfamiliar: “amigurumi” is the Japanese art of knitting/crochet stuffed toys.)

Finished Projects

The first of my finished items was a pair of Minnie Mouses (Minnie Mice?) using a pattern by Studio Crafti. I find this pattern a challenge because it involves so many individual parts that must be crocheted and then assembled, but I have found a few adjustments that work a bit better for me, such as omitting the thumbs and replacing the embroidered eyes with safety eyes. I am so happy with how they turned out, and I am looking forward to sending them to their new home.

You can find this Minnie Mouse pattern by Studio Crafti at https://studiocrafti.com/2018/10/19/minnie-crochet-pattern-with-video-tutorial/

Next, in addition to the pair of Minnies, I also completed a matching Mickey and Minnie set, using the same pattern by Studio Crafti. I am very proud of these, as well.

You can find this Mickey Mouse pattern by Studio Crafti at https://studiocrafti.com/2018/10/14/mickey-crochet-pattern-with-video-tutorial/

The final item that I completed recently was a special one. My aunt requested a police car for her grandson, whose father is a police officer. The pattern I used was by Amigurmisnl, and I purchased it on Etsy. WOW, this pattern was a challenge to follow. Partly because it is sometimes difficult to envision how the different pieces of the item are going to become the finished product, but also because the way the pattern was written differed from what I’m used to, and the instructions were very unclear at times. However, the end result was a pretty cool police car, so I suppose all’s well that ends well. I did make some changes to the pattern as I went along. Most notably, I used different colors and replaced the single light on top with a more modern bar light (not sure what to call it). Also, the engine hood was originally supposed to be composed of 3 pieces– the top and 2 side pieces– but this did not work out very well for me, for some reason, so I chose to make the engine hood in one piece like the trunk. Here is the finished product:

You can find the Etsy download for Amigurumisnl’s police car pattern here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/633281472/police-car-pdf-crochet-pattern?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=crochet+police+car+pattern&ref=sr_gallery-1-1&organic_search_click=1

Works in Progress

Now, onto my works in progress! The first is a blanket that I started AGES ago, before I even discovered amigurumi. I don’t remember what possessed me to buy two balls of this Bernat Blanket yarn (color: Teal Dreams), but eventually I decided I had to do something with it so that it wouldn’t be taking up valuable storage space. So, what did I do? I bought MORE of it, of course! While that doesn’t immediately seem to make a lot of sense, it is difficult to make a blanket out of two balls of yarn. I’m not following any kind of pattern for this blanket. It is just basic single crochet. It might take me years to get around to finishing it, but eventually it will be a very large and heavy, very soft blanket.

My next work in progress is the Elise wrap, designed by Bernadette Ambergen of Berniolie Designs. The wrap is comprised entirely of half double crochet V’s, and transitions from working with two strands of one color, to one strand of each color, to two strands of the second color. This is the first project I’ve done that has required lace-weight yarn. To cut down on material costs, I decided to use the Amazing Lace yarn by Lion Brand, in colors Doily White and Mesh Sage. OH MY GOODNESS, this yarn is the SOFTEST yarn I have EVER felt. On the Joann Fabrics website, I believe it was described as feeling like cashmere. As I mentioned, I’m not used to working with such thin yarn, but the softness makes it absolutely lovely to work with. I can’t wait to bundle up in this wrap in the winter.

You can find the free Elise pattern in Bernadette Ambergen’s Ravelry store: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/bernadette-ambergens-ravelry-store/patterns

Finally, this week I started working on the Sandbar Cardi, designed by Toni Lipsey of TL Yarn Crafts. This long cardigan uses 24/7 Cotton yarn by Lion Brand, and I chose the color Silver, which actually looks more like a dark gray instead of the light gray I was expecting. It is worked using half double crochet, as well, which I like because of the stretch that the stitch gives. This is only the second garment I’ve ever crocheted (the first was kind of a disaster), but I LOVE how it is coming along. It is actually the 3rd TL Yarn Crafts pattern I have used and I have loved them all, so I definitely recommend checking out more of Toni’s patterns if you crochet.

You can find the Sandbar Cardi pattern and more at the TL Yarn Crafts website: https://tlyarncrafts.com/

Well, that’s it for this first blog post. Thanks for checking it out, and I hope you’ll come back for the next one! Feel free to leave a comment or question about these amigurumi and crochet projects, if you have one!

–Kayla