Knit happens

Mulled Cider Sweater back

Although incomplete, the back of my “Mulled Cider Sweater” is probably the biggest thing I’ve knitted to date.

It is true that knitting requires patience, but there’s differing degrees of patience, even within a single project.

I have a sweater I’ve been working on since November of 2011. I have the back completed, one side and have begun work on the sleeves. A few days ago I discovered that I had made a major mistake on one of the sleeves. I agonized over whether or not to leave it in, but ultimately decided to back up 10 rows and fix the error. I haven’t touched the sleeves since.

The problem is that I see this sweater as a project to complete. That’s the wrong attitude to have when you’re knitting. Granted, some people are super fast with their needles, but I’m not one of them. I’m more of a “slow and steady” sort of knitter. When you haven’t yet developed the skill to knit quickly it’s also important to actually enjoy the process of knitting—because you will be spending a lot of time doing it for what appears to others to be very little payoff. If the project is the point, the only things you end up knitting are small, easy items. You won’t bother learning new skills, improving your technique, or taking creative risks.

In the same way that knitting for the sake of itself is an important component to knitting as a whole, so is living life to its fullest each day helps us accept that life is a journey, not a destination. Do we need goals, projects, purpose? Of course. But to measure our “success” purely by meeting our goals means we loose the space it takes to get us there. Destinations are a point in time; how can we be content when we are constantly striving to arrive someplace that will be passing us by as soon as we get there?

I plan to return to my sweater sleeves tonight. I am glad I took the time to fix the error—after all the hours I have put in on this project, I want it to be beautiful when it is completed. I look forward to wearing it, but I’m once again looking forward to the process of knitting it.

Lord, help me to have the patience in each day to live it fully; to not despair over what has or has not happened, but to entrust my whole life to you and step into the pattern that you offer in each day for me to walk in. Amen.


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