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It always seems impossible, until it's done

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It always seems impossible, until it's done

Last week I had just cast on the front of a Triton sweater in dk weight yarn.   Tubular cast on, size 4 needles, 6 rows done -- a fairly time consuming effort, without much to show for it.  My husband saw it sitting on the table at breakfast.  "Pretty yarn, he said, what's it going to be?" 

"A sweater," I answered.

He sort of chuckled and said, "I guess you have to start somewhere."

Yup.  We do. We have to start somewhere.  My husband knows I can and will do this.  He's seen me knit hundreds of things, and he's seen me wear dozens of sweaters that I have knit.  But for some reason, this particular project seemed especially daunting to him.  Maybe he's just never seen my projects at their very start, which sounds ridiculous, but is possible.  More likely, he just never pays attention to what I'm knitting until it's actually well on its way to being a thing.  It's like that for non-knitters.  They recognize only that in the beginning there is yarn and then Poof there is a knitted thing.  It's the Poof part that separates knitters from non-knitters -- insiders from outsiders.

The outsider has two perspectives: Before and After.  Their Before is - wow, that's a huge undertaking - you'll never get there.  After is - Wow, that happened all of a sudden. Whether it's a sweater, a multi-million dollar corporation, or the lightbulb, to the outsider, success just happens to some lucky people  They don't see all the planning, all the attempts and failure, all the long hours and hard work that went into that overnight success.

You, the insider has three perspectives: Before, During, and After.  Your Before is much like the outsider's.  Wow, this is such a huge undertaking - I'll never get there.  But you start anyway.  During is much like Before, but harder because it's a slog.  A big project takes time.  It is painstaking effort.  There are errors and missteps, setbacks and re-dos.  And there is doubt.  Will I ever get there? But you keep at it. You keep going forward one tiny step at a time.  And then. you're there.  At the finish line.  Weaving in your ends and wearing your garment.  The insider's After is pride, and accomplishment, and an understanding that Poof is the consistent hard work it takes to make things happen. 

We know that nothing really happens all of a sudden.  Not our knitting, and not our life.  Everything, from getting an education, to raising a family, or building a career, happens bit by bit.  It happens when we know where we're going, and we get there by taking one step forward and then another and another.  And we don't give up, even when it's hard.  Because we know that it always seems impossible, until it's done. 

I look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table accomplishing the impossible because you are insiders.  You are doers, and you are always welcome here.

Back to 14 May 2019 Newsletter

Comments on this post (3)

  • May 15, 2019

    Great message, I felt to were actually talking to me.

    — Kimberly Westcoat

  • May 14, 2019

    Tubular cast on. Whoot!!

    — Polly Owen

  • May 14, 2019

    Great post Ellen! You’re right — most aspects of our life follow this pattern. Just varying levels of “Poof”. ;)

    — Susan

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