Failing Upwards

Since getting my PICC line in, it’s been a pain in my butt to wear anything long sleeve when my fluids are running. The line is midway up my arm so I need to run the cord up my sleeve and stick it out from the front of my sweaters or unhook my fluids so I can run the line down my sleeve instead. Both are just plain annoying.

So I decided to crochet myself a shawl.


The PICC line

I dug into my endless yarn stash and found a big huge ball of buttercup yellow worsted weight. Perfect for what I needed! Then, I spent a couple hours searching ravelry and Pinterest for the right pattern. I knew what I had in mind for my shawl but I just needed a pattern for inspiration.

Eventually, I found this beautiful pattern and was ready to start. I made the starting chain to the patterns sizing specifications, wasn’t lazy and actually checked my gauge for once, and grabbed my trusty hook. Then, for a solid 3 days, I worked like mad on the shawl. I was determined to get it made because A) that’s just the way I am and B) I was just plain cold.

After all those hours of work, I realized I must have made a huge mistake when I started working it. When I say huge mistake, I mean it literally. The shawl was HUGE! It hung down way too long and just wasn’t very functional. Frustrated, I set it aside. I had already committed all those hours to it and it hurt my spirit a little (a lot) to think of undoing all that work.

IMG_3295But, in the end, I decided to restart because I just wasn’t happy with it. The second time around, learning from my mistakes, I measured it meticulously and changed my hook to a different size to achieve the look I was really going for since I was restarting anyways. And boy, let me tell you, am I ever glad! It turned out 100 times nicer than my first attempt.

I often find that with crafting, it seems like sometimes you need to make a thousand mistakes to finally make the right move, to make things look as perfect as you pictured, to make something you’re proud of. And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it doesn’t work out. Sometimes you need to scrap it all and start fresh, with a new vision and new perspective. Sometimes you need to keep failing over and over until you fail in the right direction.

A lot of the things I’ve been trying in my health life seem to have been failing lately: got a PICC line inserted which led to a pretty severe allergic reaction, started to finally sleep okay and then started a medication that screwed things up, had a ticket for our family vacation and didn’t get to tag along, my new medications to control my allergies aren’t doing their job, and the list goes on. I’ve been failing a lot but working on my shawl reminded me to be optimistic.


Finished product!

Sure, I’m trying lots of things and none of them have led me to reaching my goals but, like my shawl, sometimes it takes trying and failing to get it right. Had I just stuck with the path I was on simply because I had already put so much work into it, I wouldn’t have been pleased with the end result. It wouldn’t have been worth it. Instead, I tried again.

I’ve come to realize that life throws us lots of setbacks but they’re most often given to us for a reason, to put us on a better path. Ultimately though, it is up to us to do that. Instead of seeing failures as losses, we need to make the choice to spin them positively or use them to fuel us in the right direction. I’m failing a lot but I’m totally okay with that because I’m not letting them get me down. With every failure, I know I’m closer to success. I’m failing upwards.


7 thoughts on “Failing Upwards

  1. Angela Cormier says:

    The shawl is stunning and I’m proud of you for your perseverance in EVERYTHING life is throwing your way. No doubt a huge inspiration for me xo


  2. Miranda says:

    You are an amazing young woman. It makes me sad to hear all the struggles you have been dealing with since I talked with you last. On the bright side I love your shawl and the stitching pattern. Do you think you could make me a few basket fillers for my studio props in this pattern with a really soft airy yarn. Almost pull apart yarn? I was thinking a size of 2 feet by 2 feet in a white, a cream ,a soft blue, a soft green, and a pretty girl color . Do you think you could work this pattern in a soft yarn? Message me back on FB if you can do it.


  3. Marge says:

    Love your shawl Kathleen awesome job.You are a determined young lady who dosen’t give up I enjoy reading your blog love this title” Failing Upwards” 💐


  4. Jocelyn says:

    You are an inspiration Kathleen. We know all too well about having a child with a chronic condition. Kudos to you for keeping up your spirits and positive attitude ☺😊☺😊Yellow is your color😊The shawl looks beautiful. Keep on smiling girl.


  5. Sophie says:

    Wow!! Encore un autre bel article!! Tu es forte et tu m’inspire toujours!! En plus, ton shawl est superbe et la couleur te va a merveille! Continue ta lutte, le soleil brille en toi!! xox


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