I love to knit. I often have three or four projects going at a time and alternate between them at any given moment.
There is a satisfaction for me in completing projects, especially when I have created something as a gift for someone else. I love giving something hand made to someone I love, because knitting brings me joy and giving brings me joy, so giving my knitted creations gives me double the joy.
The two frustrating thing I have learned from knitting is that creating beautiful things take time, and when I knit I make mistakes. No matter how carefully I follow the pattern, I somehow always seem to come up with a big mess at some point.
There are simple mistakes, like a misread pattern line, or a broken yarn, but then there are the really disastrous problems like dropping a stitch, or finding a gaping hole because of a tension problem. I have learned to work out the mistakes as best I can. I either pull out all the stitches till before the mistake or find a way to fix the problems.
the newest lesson I am learning from my knitting is delayed gratification. I saw a pattern for a beautiful sweater in one of my knitting magazines and loved it so much I began to knit it without realizing one glaring fact: at the rate I knit, this particular pattern will take me approximately fifty plus hours to complete. (we timed how long it took to knit one round on the needles and then figured out how many rounds it took to make an inch of length and then multiplied that number by the number of rounds and came up with fifty hours. Each day when I pick up the needles I could be very discouraged that I am not knitting faster, or upset that I have been knitting for hours only to find that I have added an inch or less to the total length of my project.
Interestingly. while I am not a patient person, when I realized that the sweater wasn’t going to be completed any time soon I never ever thought of giving up. I simply remembered something my mother used to say about reading that applies here too.
Whenever we would get discouraged about reading long books, mom would always ask. “How does someone read the longest book in the world?” we would sit there for hours trying to decide if what she was about to tell us was ever going to help. The answer to mom”s 7\
question is obviously: One word at a time.” I have learned to app;u this to my knitting.
How does someone finish the most involved project in the world? One stitch at a time. I don’t measure my project on how complete it is anymore. I measure my progress in rounds completed. My fifty hour sweater will now be complete in forty-two hours give or take a few minutes. Each day as I knit a round or two on this mammoth project I remind myself that I am inching my way ever so slowly toward a beautiful sweater.
Besides, knitting is a calming activity for me. Just as yoga or meditation are for others.
If you ever wonder some evening what I am doing. knitting is probably a good guess, but an equally valid answer might be I am practicing patience, one stitch at a time.