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Life lessons learned from knitting

November 30, 2016

I have been working on a project for a family member for many months now. It was to be an October birthday gift and I am hoping to give it at Christmas. Here is what I know to be true about life and knitting.

1. Read all the directions first. My grandmother taught me to knit and crochet by looking at the pictures and figuring out what the stitches were. Years later I learned to read the directions. I still think I can figure out what is needed by just looking at the picture and not reading all the directions. One needs to know the bigger picture so that each row and stitch will be in the right place – otherwise you really won’t end up with a project that is in the picture.

2. Be prepared to “un-knit”. Ripping out mistakes is hard – especially when you have about 20 inches of fine wool thread. However, ripping is as important in crocheting, knitting and sewing and doing the project. Be honest about what is a mistake. Be willing to redo it and make it right. It is important. Mistakes happen. Fixing them needs to happen too.

3. Crocheting is easier than knitting. I work very fast on all things. Sometimes knitting seems to make the project twice as long compared to crocheting. Yet there are things that knitting provides a look that crocheting doesn’t. Sometimes one has to take the harder road in life to get things done.

4. Celebrate the project. I can see each mistake in whatever I do. I know where I failed. Yet hopefully the person who is receiving the gift will cherish it. My daughter once knit a dishcloth. It was supposed to end up a square. It had a bound hole in the middle and was a trapezoid. She said “I’ll give it to grandma – she loves everything I make”. Grandma just passed away but in her kitchen is still that dishcloth. One needs good givers but more importantly one needs good receivers for gifts to be appreciated. 

5. Nothing is easy. Be prepared for it to be deceptively hard and take a lot longer than you plan. When building one is supposed to add 20% of time and money. If you don’t plan for it to take longer, all the mistakes that happen will drive you crazy. Take a deep breath. Plan to take time. My mother would always make us new outfits for Christmas but sometimes they weren’t finished. She would wrap the goods, the pattern and the buttons etc and put the package under the tree. We would open up the “present” we would be getting and hand it back and get the finished product when she got to done.

One needs to see the big picture in life. One knows there will be mistakes and it may take longer than you think. There are easy things and hard things in life. We need to celebrate each and how we actually finish things. Life isn’t easy but it really fun to share with those who celebrate all that you are and do. 

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