There were a few challenging situations last week that got me thinking and taught me some important lessons about life and about knitting. Indulge me while I share them with you.
Situation 1For last week’s podcast reviewing the three new Noro yarns.If you missed that, you can still catch it here. For a really good yarn review, I like to swatch the yarn on several needle sizes and block the swatches. After my 11 am dentist appointment last Wednesday, I plopped myself on the couch and started swatching.
That Malvinas swatch took a long time. A lot longer than I thought it would, and I still had Haunui Silk and Kashirukuru to do. By the time I cast on the Kashirukuru, it was nearly 6 pm
I had spent 6 hours sitting on the couch knitting, but instead of it being this fabulous time, I had a tension headache and was pretty much hating life.
Lesson 1 :Don’t set deadlines for your knitting. It’s one thing to set goals. Without goals, we wouldn’t get much accomplished at all, but deadlines are quite another thing. A goal is a target you hope to make, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t. A deadline will suck the joy out of anything you love to do.
Situation 2 : I had volunteered to host a holiday luncheon Saturday for a group I belong to. I wanted to have the house all decorated for Christmas and get everyone into the holiday spirit. I had gotten some big poinsettias, set the tables, and put swag on the staircase, but there was no way the tree was going up, let alone get decorated. Nothing I could do about it.
Lesson 2:Sometimes you’re not going to make your goals, and that’s okay. I suppose I could have leaned on my husband and stayed up all night to put up the trees, but is that the happy family holiday memory I want to make? Uh…no.
Situation 3: The ladies showed up Saturday morning and complimented my Christmas decor. Not a single one of them looked around and said, “Oh, you don’t have your trees up yet?” They were lovely and gracious and seemed completely happy with what I’d managed to cobble together in the limited time I had.
Lesson 3: No one else is holding you to the standards you set for yourself. You are the only one who knows your vision and your expectations, so they have no idea if you’ve fallen short or outdone yourself. Try to see yourself and your accomplishments from the perspective of those who love you, and be as kind and patient with yourself as you would be with them.
As we knit gifts for others this holiday season, let’s all try to remember that Christmas Day, or the last night of Hanukkah, or whatever, is just a goal. It’s not really a hard and fast deadline you need to kill yourself to meet. If you reach your goal, and it’s finished and wrapped, hooray. That’s awesome. If not, that’s okay too. A hand knit gift is indeed a special thing, not just because you knit it, but because of what you knitintoit. Love and joy and good wishes. We want the gift imbued with those emotions, not stress, resentment, and frustration. If the recipient is knitworthy, they’ll understand.
If your gift is not as perfect as you’d hoped, only you know that. Resist the temptation to point out the tiny error no one but you will ever see. Don’t mention that you’d wanted to do a hat and scarf and mitten set. They’re thrilled that you made them a hat. If they’re not, you can cross them off next year’s list.
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