Friday, May 9, 2008

If Hanami is Japanese, why is the knitting like Greek to me?

Here's the thing. I am busy. I am busy all of the time, much of this busy activity is fiber related and yet more is not. So, in the midst of all of the busy behavior, the end of a school year, planning for summer trips and adventures, I agreed to a KAL. You know, Knit a harmless, so well supported by friends and others who can share your sorrow and joy and pressure you into finishing what you have begun. KAL, perfect. Thanks to my friend Cheryl, who brought the most beautiful yarn that she dyed and the most beautiful pattern, the Hanami Shawl by Melanie Gibbons, I am involved in this project.

It was so harmless, in the beginning. Fun, friends, using yarn that I had and never knew what I would make of it. Yes, I had a $52.00 skein of Schaeffer Andrea Silk in laceweight, and never knit lace. I also had a bunch of lovely alpaca lace from Cherry Tree Hill, and more get the picture. The pattern is an inexpensive, quick fix of a download and away I go!

This was two weeks ago.

I now have started the beautiful shawl, with all of my knitting experience to guide me. The pattern is well written and easy to follow. I am an idiot! I work all day, stay busy into the evening and late at night, in the poorest of light, I decide to work on this project. Is it a surprise that by following such clear instructions and using markers in the proper places, my section counts never make sense? Is it possible that with all of my knitted rows and unknitted rows and the perfect beaded cast-on (the second time around) that I may have actually knit the entire shawl, but only have one inch to show for it? Yes. It is true. I am embarrassed and horrified. I knit a beaded bookmark to prove that I haven't lost my touch (thanks Stacey, great kit).

Last night, after struggling with the perfect yarn and getting to about 3 inches of knitting, I realized that the wonderful, expensive silk from my stash was pooling and hiding the pattern. That was the last straw on this redone and redone and redone project. Not the pattern itself (I don't give up that easily) but with that yarn.

I started over. I found beads that match the Cherry Tree Hill Suri Alpaca. It is not cherry colors, but it is soft and softly shaded. I cast-on and began (did I mention it was about 11 pm on a school night?). I know the pattern inside and out by now, you would think that life would be a breeze. I think that I felt a little too confident, because I made a whole new batch of mistakes and put it aside (not frogged, just aside) for tonight.

Each day is a new day, each night, new also. A fresh start is what I always recommend to my friends, so that is what I have recommended to myself. I will begin before 11 pm and I will quit when I have a row that has the correct count. I will sleep without worrying about the next row. And as we are reminded in yoga, nothing is perfect. Nothing is intended to be perfect. Try to achieve a new level, appreciate what is accomplished and challenge yourself to do more.

I am challenged, and finding myself, strangely, enjoying the fact that it is not a simple act.


Kim said...

now you know why my Mystery Stole has been sitting since last August. Well written pattern, fun knit, but I never seem to be able to think about it until 10:00pm at night! And, of course, I promptly end up ripping out everything I manage to knit!

Littknits said...

Since I felt my ears burning across the ethernet I thought I better check out your blog! I think your last line is the most telling of all: there IS an immense sense of satisfaction in slowing down and enjoying watching as a piece of string in your hands mysteriously unfolds into a thing of beauty.

Tempest ina Pot of Tea said...

My friend Fi makes this endeavor look like the easiest thing since falling off a log. Me it is all tinking and no progress. Rooting for your success.