Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Knitting Life Lessons or Scarves Give Wisdom

Apparently knitting has much to offer me. I finished my first scarf yesterday. Green acrylic size 15, 12 stitches of stockinette, 54" long. It is, as my husband describes it, a snake! I was not aware that stockinette curls. And now I have a present for Granny that I do not want to give. I did learn to bind off and became proficient at purling in the process. This was also the first knitting project I have ever completed. I have many starting swatched but I have always discarded them out of boredom.

In the middle, and often even the beginning of a project, I curse myself to fail. My brain starts telling me that this will never end, that I will be knitting until my dying day or Jesus comes again, and asking me if this is really what I want, wouldn't such and such be better? Brain also tells me over and over that it will not look right when I finish that the product of my labor will be for nothing. Aha brain! I know this about you. It is why I don't like to finish games unless I am winning and am also not interested in games unless it is a competition. It is why most every endeavour I have ever begun has failed. It is why the wind has left me and I resist any inspiration and fortell its failure before it has even made it's first smile or read it's first words. Wow! No wonder I am so uptight, so frustrated, so unhappy at times.

I am not alone in this. I hear it often from creative types. I am sure that volumes of poetry exist on this topic. But wait, maybe it didn't get written!
What a waste.

Back to the knitting.

Eliana was so excited to see a scarf materialize from yarn that I think she thinks I worked some magic! I cast on 54 stitches of the leftover green yarn to do 10 rows of stockinette bordered with edges of three knit stitches and three rows of garter at each end. The end result? A lovely child size scarf. I was ever so happy. And then I saw it. At half way through one of the garter stitch ends I had started purling. And that edge is curling a bit and looks silly. At first I was horrified, but then I loved that scarf for what it was, warmth and magic for my daughter, and loving handiwork and joy by me. That made it all valuable imperfections and all. It is a visable testament of how my mind can wander, how easily I lose focus, and how I proved that I can focus with joy and love, sometimes.

That gift for Granny? I have envisioned something else for her and J and Eliana chose the yarn. I am working on a 3 rows of garter, then knit 3 and purl row knitting last 3, stockinette, just like Eliana's scarf, except casting on 14 as I don't have a needle large enough to cast on the length of the scarf I need. It is going very slowly. The gift is due tomorrow evening and as of now I have 10" of the 54" I need. Off to the knitting I go. I am sure some life lesson is waiting for me. And maybe I can enjoy this scarf even more, with an even more open heart, more joy and peace thanks to the wisdom that two imperfect green scarves have shared with me.

1 comment:

  1. Knitting IS magic! There is a Czech TV fairy tale, where a wizard speaks about his (also wizarding) wife who said "warm feet - colds in hell" (it rhymes in Czech), and made him warm socks to hold off colds by poking with wires into a string. :-) So, yes, knitting is a sort of loving magic.