Yesterday I started a new knitting project….for the fifth time.
The first time I started, I hadn’t allowed myself enough yarn to add all the necessary stitches to the needles before beginning the pattern. I pulled this out and started again, but because I bought exactly the amount of yarn I needed for this project and ended up with too long of a tail, I again pulled the stitches off. I tried again, cast on the required number of stitches, and was comfortable with the length of my tail. I then proceeded to stitch 7 rows of ribbing, whereupon I go the sneaking suspicion that I had not cast on enough stitches. I consulted the pattern and learned I was right: I’d cast on the proper number of stitches for the small hat, but not enough for the medium, my correct size.
I was so disappointed had to wait until the next day to pull out all those stitches out and begin again. And the I had to pull out those stitches & start over because of the same “tail” issue again. That means I started this project over five times.
Sometimes getting started is the hardest part of the journey. Even if you’ve done something similar in the past, there can be nuances in the expected pattern, differences in circumstances or things read wrongly that trip you up. You may even be starting something that you’ve done exactly the same in the past, yet you are still tripped up for no reason you can determine!
I’m actually a bit surprised with myself, that I restarted this project five times. It’s a bit unlike me. Often, I will reach a point where I say “that’s it. That’s good enough.” This was not one of those times. The merino wool for this project (Madeline Tosh Vintage) is some of the most beautiful and expensive I’ve ever purchased. The pattern itself (Snapdragon Tam, by Ysolda Teague) is so very me. This is how I know this is not a project for “good enoughs”—the quality of the elements tells me this. When the elements are all excellent to start with, you know something special is in the making; this is a project to make an excellent start on.
I have now reached the end of the ribbing and am ready to begin the pattern. The wool is soft and strong and elastic under my fingers. The journey has started well. I knit and am content.
Lord, help me to know when to start something even though I know I will make mistakes, am uncertain or aren’t sure when to start. Help me to know when I need to start something well, when I simply need to get something started, or even when something changes from one to the other in the process. Amen.