January 29, 2006

Sunday, January 29, 2006
Posting on Wednesdays and weekends

Life Lessons: Learning Patience

I tend to deal with almost everything head-on and full speed ahead, not always the wisest approach to challenging situations, people, or perhaps even life in general. Somehow, I thought that mellowing would come with age, but, ahhhhhh, not so! I find I want to fill the faster-moving days with even more... and more.

Now I love to knit, not being able to stand idle hands when we're on the road, or even watching the evening news. A few weeks ago I started a top for my daughter Hannah, a vest with a fairly intricate pattern for the first 35 rows of 196 stitches per row. It will be a gorgeous garment, knit in a luxurious and expensive silk yarn.

I got three rows done and realized there was a mistake. Rip out. Start over. Cast on 196 stitches. Got to ten rows. Unknit. Check the pattern every so often. Six rows. Rip out. Start over. Cast on 196 stitches. Tediously count the stitches at the end of each row. Fourteen rows. Scream! Rip out. Cast on... And so on through eleven attempts. I worried that I was wearing the poor yarn out, that the top would look used before it had ever been worn. And I was getting more and more impatient.

The pattern was in multiples of ten stitches plus six more stititches divided between the beginning and the each end of the row. So I decided that the only way I could conquer this project was to slow down (oh, NO!) and make sure that each 6-stitch beginning and end, each ten-stitch pattern, and each row of 196 stitches was right. UGH!! At that point I just wanted this vest done so I could move on to the next project on my knit list.

I am now on row 24, and moving along oh-so-slowly, but surely. I have had to unknit maybe one or two rows, but have done that most patiently instead of just ripping out the whole damn thing and starting again. And, I love the way this vest is going to come out!

Taking my time has been a hard lesson for me, one I'm sure has not been learned for the last time! But slowing down, even just a little bit, even when I've dropped a stitch and have to un-do/re-do, is a lesson I hope to knit into other areas of my life, because life, with all its ins and outs, ups and downs, hard work and beauty, is certainly the most intricate pattern I'll ever attempt!

I hope you'll share your life lessons with me. You can leave a comment by clicking below on Comments. You don't have to be a blogger, register, or even leave your name.



Suzanne said...

Yes, Mary, the days do fly by faster and faster. Yesterday I told my nephew I was afraid I was going to run out of life before I finished all the projects on my list!

Learning to let things move, each at its own pace, has been very beneficial and certainly more rewarding. The addition may try my patience because I want to be settled, to start the new garden beds, to work in my studio space and to share the new space that already feels so comfortable with my family and friends.

Paula B. said...

Mary, I LOVED this blog! It proves, once again, that great phrase you once gave me -- "That which is most personal is most univeral." It also proves, once again, that you really know how to write.