Wrapped In Process

A very dear friend sent me gorgeous yarn and a pattern for the fingerless mitts you see above.  Even in my eagerness to do the project, I stalled.  It took me forever to merely begin (even though I wanted to do the project).  It took me forever to finish the project (I kept starting and stopping).  I was afraid to screw up (even though I knew that if I botched the welted cuff or the thumb hole, I could simply pull out the yarn and begin again).  Even though.

It wasn’t a case of being lazy (I am not) (usually).  It wasn’t a case of not knowing how to do certain stitches (YouTube helped with that).  It wasn’t a case of time (I had plenty).  It was a case of not wanting to waste the precious yarn.  It was a case of wanting perfect fingerless mitts.  It was a case of wanting to feel confident in the knitting.

But I wasn’t confident.  I was uncomfortable.  I stalled.

It was frustrating when I’d put the project aside for a few weeks and then have to google (again) how to do a M1R/M1L stitch (eventually I wrote it down and saved myself some trouble).  It was annoying when I thought I’d been careful to mark which rows were completed, only to pick up the mitt three weeks (or three months) later and be unclear about where in the pattern I was.

It was a messy process.

As I get older, I learn that (like much of life) process is often messy.  As I get older, I learn that process is necessary.  My fingerless mitts are my latest lesson in the joy (and struggle) of process.  My fingerless mitts are my latest lesson in perseverance and curiosity.  My fingerless mitts are my latest lesson in grace and in imperfect beauty.

My completed mitts are not perfect (my welted cuffs don’t match), and it took me a long time to knit a fairly simple project (sigh).  But I started.  And I finished.  And I learned a lot.

I felt like my friend was with me (is with me) in every stitch.  And I’m really okay with them not being perfect.  I knew I was making mistakes as I was knitting; I just let them (me) be.  When I do any kind of handwork, I often think of indigenous cultures where mistakes are put into a piece on purpose.  On purpose!  How liberating is that?!  I look at my completed fingerless mitts and love them dearly.  Besides the mistakes of which I’m aware, there are probably others of which I’m completely unaware.  But it doesn’t matter.

My friend will be reading this, I am sure of that.  I haven’t talked to her specifically about my slow process knitting with the gorgeous yarn she gifted me.  I imagine she might smile as she reads these words, knowing the yarn will now warm my hands.  She might smile because she knows what it’s like to work with fear and uncertainty and timidity, and to move through it.  She might smile because she, too, understands that process is sometimes messy and uncomfortable…and is necessary.

Maybe you know this too and are smiling as well.

 

Sending a little love your way, m

21 thoughts on “Wrapped In Process

  1. Oh my, it is so good to know that I am not the only one learning lessons from knitting! After many unsuccessful attempts I finally found a pattern that is easy to follow (Thank you, Karen!) and I am becoming more confident with each row I knit. Like you, I have left a few mistakes in, mainly to tame the perfectionist in me. : ) Your fingerless mitts are lovely…and Cathy is right, you have beautiful hands! xx

    1. Oh, Grace! Knitting has *so* many lessons for me!!! I’m not a good knitter, but I enjoy it.
      I’m glad that Karen helped you find an easy pattern to follow and that you’re gaining confidence. As for the acknowledged mistakes taming the perfectionist…I understand that, I do ;)

      And thank you, and thank you…you’re sweet. xo

  2. I admittedly am always searching for the lessons. And I find many are there hiding in the fear weeds. I am so glad for you that you permitted yourself to finish if only so that you can say, “let me not do that again. That way was too hard!” Proud with you.
    Love,
    Shalagh

    1. As I mentioned to Kym below, I try not to always search for the lessons…but I do it a lot too! Because there’s so much to learn! It’s a fine line to walk, perhaps…knowing when to look for the lessons that offer growth and inspiration, and knowing when looking too hard leads to the patch of fear weeds.
      Thanks for being proud with me, Shalagh!!!
      xo

  3. The way you processed the knitting is how I feel EXACTLY when I sketch. I feel like it’s not perfect and I’m perfect….but I’m not. I want to do it but I hesitate and doubt. I think the mitts are lovely and I bet you the mistakes aren’t mistakes but design elements ;)

    1. The hesitation and the doubt…I find it fascinating on the one hand, completely crazy-making on the other.

      And I kinda really love your take on the mistakes being design elements. Gonna go with that, thanks ;)

  4. First off, you have such beautiful hands. I have thought that for years and have never told you. And I loved this post so much; the process of of life is messy and uncomfortable at times and yes, so very necessary. Especially if we want to live a full life. Thank you friend. Have a beautiful weekend.

    1. Thank you for that compliment, Cathy! So sweet.

      And agreed on the process (and accompanying messiness) being necessary in living a full life. Process is very much woven into the living.

      Hope you have a beautiful weekend too. xo

      >

    1. The process can be challenging, yes? Agreed on the perseverance…the sticking with it. I’m not sure why some projects find me stopping and starting and struggling; I try not to overanalyze.
      I did it. And you will too. Happy mosaic making…happy process. xo

      (and that wool…oh, I do love it so.)

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