I’ve been asked quite often recently whether I’m proud of what I’ve been doing over the last year – the Sockalong blog tutorials teaching people to knit socks, the tutorials book, the Yarndale Sock Line and now the Online Knitter of the Year award. Without question, the answer is yes, I’m terribly proud of everything that I’ve done. I’ve worked hard to do all of this and I’m delighted that it’s been recognised in the wider world. But here I also have a dilemma: at what point does being proud of something become arrogance? Where is the line between talking about it and talking too much? We’ve all met people like that and I don’t want to be one of them.
Pride is a complicated emotion. Being too proud can lead to being boastful, to thinking that a fleeting moment is a permanent one and forgetting that the world is continually moving and there is always something new to be achieved – and not necessarily by you.
On the one hand, it is listed as one of the Seven Deadly Sins, but at the same time it is recognition of the fact that you have done something out of the ordinary. Not acknowledging that could be seen to be too dismissive, or ungrateful, or denying others the chance to celebrate with you.
“Who cares what others think?” you might say. “No one else will blow your trumpet for you so you have to do it yourself.” This is very true - however, I don’t want to blow my trumpet so loudly that people have to cross the road when they see me coming to avoid the noise! It’s a fine line and I’m wary of missing my step.
What I am very aware of is how much all of this is a joint effort. Not just my husband and my girls who have lived with my sock obsession for a long time, and deserve an award for that if nothing else, but also my family stretching back for generations - some of them excellent knitters themselves - and of course all those people involved in the Sockalong. None of it would exist without them, and so some of the pride must be theirs too.
And so, here’s where I am on the thin line. I am so very proud of what I have done, and I’m so very proud of the people in my life who have helped me along the way. It’s all about the socks and it’s all about them. The music stopped and the parcel is in my hands, and when the music starts again it will be passed on. That’s not to say that I’ll stop doing what I’m doing or stop trying to be better. If the parcel lands in my hands again, it will be because I have continued to work hard and I will have earned the right to be proud. Get your earplugs ready!