For the last few months, I have been participating in an after-hours knitting group. A few locals in the Concord area bring whatever their latest work-in-progress over to the wonderful local yarn shop, RaveKnits. (Check out their website here.) It is a growing group with a steady attendance by "regulars." Sort of like a "Cheers" for the knitterly set....
Anyway, the coolest part of this group is that everyone is so open and supportive of each other. We share projects and are greeted with "That is so cool!" "I love those colors!" and occasionally the "WHERE did you get that FABULOUS yarn???" Don't know what to do next in the pattern? Bring it to group! The collective knowledge is so great that there is a good chance someone knows (a) how to read the pattern, (b) how to show you what the author is talking about, and most likely (c) a better/easier/fancier way to do it.
That being said, we also talk about failures. Its never called that. Because we are (on some level) artists, there really aren't failures. You learn something from everything attempted --- even when that is "I probably won't do that again." And sometimes, you like the mistake better than what you were supposed to do in the first place. You like it so much that it becomes more of a focus in the work (or the focus of another project.) I learned to make a pretty cool, organic-looking ruffle when I misinterpreted a pattern. That helped out on the last project (pictured above). It all comes full circle sometimes.
Hopefully, I will be casting of the latest project later tonight or sometime tomorrow. It is a birthday present for my sister and the first piece of significant knitting I have done for her. She is a non-knitter ( though I am campaigning to change that status) and I hope she likes it. If not, I can always take it to Knit Nite.