Friday, February 24, 2012

Forward, Backward. It's the Journey, Right?

In my last post, I alluded to some thinking going on.  Then we had a bit of stomach flu here the past few days, which can be its own kind of meditation, I suppose.

Elly and I snuggled on the couch watching tv.  I did a lot of knitting and reading, since an adult person can only actively watch just so much Dinosaur Train.  Although I didn't come to any sweeping conclusions, I did make a lot of progress on my project (which is a gift, so I'm not posting any details!)
Too bad I made the front bigger than the back.  I've said before that knitting is essentially solitary.  However, I often knit in groups with friends.  If your friends are as fun as mine, it's pretty easy to make an unfixable mistake like placing your markers incorrectly.
I could probably adjust the pattern to make it work, but the buttons wouldn't be as visible from the front.  And it would just bother me.  Part of a handmade item is the eccentricity and individuality of the piece.  A real and specific person made each stitch in their own way.  Small mistakes can be okay, but this is the sort of thing I just can't deal with.  I'd almost always rather redo something than stare at the mistake for all eternity.  So I'll be frogging it today and knitting again.

Knitting is often a round-about journey.  We move forward and backward along the continuum of the project.  I used to want to cry when I had to rip back.  All that work for nothing!  But it's not for nothing.  I learned a lot ripping back, maybe more than I ever did moving forward.  And if knitting were just about the finished project, well, I suppose I'd just buy off the rack.

This all brings me around to what I've been mulling over.  What is important to me?  Why do I make things?  What will I do with what I make?  And what is the next deliberate step?

I'm thinking of this poem by Mary Oliver, which ends,

Tell me, what is it you plan to do 
with your one wild and precious life?

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