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The Boringness of Success (Title by Christine Kane)

I think I found Christine Kane’s blog through Luann Udell’s blog, I’m not sure. How I found her is not as important as her message today.

She talks about how success is not typically flashy. Success can actually be boring, so we need to recognize it when nobody else does.

I have said for years, we don’t get “discovered” by sitting on the couch being brilliant or talented. It’s step by step, getting out there, that takes us further. It is doing publicity, shaking hands, connecting with others, counting knit stitches, playing scales on an instrument, practicing any discipline one more time.

Walking into a room of people we do not know, instead of staying home dreaming, is success. Doing those things that are important but difficult, is where we can truly be proud of ourselves.

A Personal Example

In summer of 2006, I knit my Self-Portrait in 10,374 Stitches. It first took me about 2 weeks to make a graph I thought might work. I then took 6 days to find the yarns for the project, which in retrospect was not enough time.

I cast on and knit solid for 14 days, and ended with a final day tying knots and doing duplicate-stitch embroidery accents. Most of the time I was knitting, I thought that the project would probably not work.

I am glad I was in my late 40’s and not my teens when I attempted this close-to-insane idea. I think that even 10 years earlier, I would not have stuck with the project to the end. It seemed crazy to think I could really make it work. Without the encouragement I received from my beloved Brian, Rae, Altu and artist friend Susan Hensel, I might have quit.

I tell you, I knit for 11 days, full time, stopping only to eat and sleep… before I had an idea that it might actually look like me when I was done. Yet thanks to previous life experiences, I knew that the only way to really know the end, was to take it to its conclusion. My project worked. I’m still thrilled. Thrilled.

Yet my real success was in not stopping. My biggest success perhaps was continuing to knit on day 10, when I had 3/4 of the graph completed and it looked like I was on the wrong path entirely.

I don’t always stick things out. I have fears and distractions like anyone else. But every time I stick with the plan on boring or rough days, I am successful.

Now, Please Read Christine’s Column

Christine says it much better than I ever could. Please read this, if you ever doubted yourself:

The Boringness of Success

3 Responses to “The Boringness of Success (Title by Christine Kane)”

  1. Rita Says:

    Hey Lynn, This came on a perfect day. Thanks so much for posting the link and for posting your experience with slogging through. I really loved it!

  2. Deborah Robson Says:

    Always nice to see your self-portrait.

    A similar project of mine was a needlepoint dulcimer case that ended up being worth more than the dulcimer (I still have the case but not the dulcimer).

    MUCH better to have an exquisite knitted self-portrait!

  3. vicki Says:

    Thanks for sharing that story, I always wondered how you did that. And I think you look younger than you must be!
    And you are a persistent woman! You rock!

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