It’s been a busy week here. But I did squeak in some knitting time. Knitting is how I relax. In these stressful times where more and more is demanded of us, I think it’s vital that we have something in our lives that brings us relaxation and joy.
For me, that’s knitting. Over the last month I’ve been working on an intricate lacy shawl, and Tuesday evening I finished it. This is a shot of it fresh off of the needles and not blocked. I’m very pleased with how it turned out. It’ll look better once it’s blocked.
Tonight, I gave it a good soak and rinse and then blocked it to stretch the lace out. When it’s dry, I’ll get some more shots of the completed work. The finished measurements are 23″ x 66″. I think it’ll be a great springtime shawl to thow over my shoulders.
But as relaxing as this project was, it was not without a challenge or two. I think this is part of my process. Here’s what happened.
Halfway through the shawl, I grew tired of it. The pattern wasn’t progressing quickly enough. The lace took too much concentration. The yarn was too thin. The moon wasn’t out. You get the idea. Nothing suited me. And I was not relaxing. I was working, not playing.
I think a lot of us experience this “it’s too much like work and not enough like play” as we do things – even things we love.
I stepped back from my knitting and realized that in a long project, I reach this point, whether it’s in knitting or in writing. I reach that point where I just want to be done. I don’t want to put the work into the project that it requires. The feeling doesn’t last, thank goodness. But it is there for a brief period of time. And this is the point where I could give up or change projects.
In writing, no matter how pleased I am with the book I’m working on, I invariably reach a point where I want to be done with the book, too. It’s too hard. The characters aren’t cooperating. The plotting has stalled. It’s work. It’s too hard. Boohoo. Whine. Moan.
Thankfully, I get past this in writing, as in knitting. It’s part of the process for me. But as with the knitting, it is a point where I could scrap the story and be distracted by a shiny new story. But I don’t allow myself to do that. I persevere. And it always pays off. Always.
To be honest, my pretty Squall was not hard at all. The pattern was well-written, the design was a dream, the yarn was extraordinary. And in fact, while knitting this project, I learned a lot about how a shawl of this shape is constructed, and I learned more about repetitive motifs and how they work in knitting.
Life is full of humps. Do we give up or do we perservere?
The successful people perservere.
But a lot of people get derailed by bumps in the road. If they would only stick with it, whatever it is, for that short period of time where it feels problematic they would discover that the bump in the road is relatively short in duration.
So my advice to you, and to myself, is to stick with whatever you’re doing and ride it out. Soon the bump will pass and you’ll find yourself back enjoying what you were doing.
Perserverance. It works every time.