“In my life I suffered from many terrible things, and a few of them actually happened.”
I have a new title: Lace Muse. This title was conferred upon me by the lovely ladies of the Beginning Lace Group on Ravelry. I was browsing the new groups last week and happened on this newly formed group of neophytes, whose banner reads, "Scary Lace." Now I know a bit about lace. I certainly don't consider myself an expert, but I do think I am at least marginally competent.
So I joined up. Why? Because I thought I could help.
I started a new thread called, "I'm happy to help out..." And the thread has 37 posts in 11 days. I answer all questions to the best of my ability and they have ranged from charts vs. written directions, to what needles to use, to gauge considerations, to yarn recommendations, to pattern suggestions, to emergency tinking advice, general encouragement, and grief counseling.
I have made many new friends already and know that I have helped at least a few, as they have told me so. I find myself entering other conversations in the group (at their behest) and now I am...
the Lace Muse. Go figure.
The other day, I stumbled onto a thread that had devolved into statements like, "Lace has always intimidated me" and "I also have tried, but am frustrated. " How sad.
So I got out my pom poms, hitched up my cheerleading outfit and reassured all of them that the rewards outweighed the risks, and they should not be scared. Lace is a learning process, like anything else in life. Once you become accustomed to its rhythm and symmetry, the pieces begin to fall into place.
A lot has been written this January about "fearless" knitting. I think it is an important topic. Sometimes, we let the "what if"s come between us and the life we could be leading.
What if I make a mistake?
Then you frog back and correct it and your sock looks like this:
but it's temporary...
What if I make a mistake in my pattern math?
But my test knitter caught it...
What if I drop a stitch?
All the newbies are astounded ( but somewhat reassured) that the Lace Muse makes mistakes too. As do we all...
What if it doesn't fit?
Frog it back and reknit it so it does:
There is still plenty of winter left once you finish the hat...
What if the pattern isn't working for me at the gauge specified?
Knit it at a gauge you are comfortable with, and do more repeats if it is too small.
And knitting questions are the easy ones. Try these on for size:
What if he doesn't love me?
What if he does?
(Which one of those questions you find scariest will vary from person to person, I suspect...)
What if no one buys my patterns? (That's one from my closet of horrors)
What if everyone does, and I become famous like the Yarn Harlot and people follow me everywhere and I no longer have time for my family, because Oprah just listed my shawl as one of her 2008 "favorite things, and I'm sold out until 2010?
OK, maybe I'm getting carried away here...
What if I run out of chocolate?
What if I run out of yarn?
So not gonna happen...
What if I run out of ideas? (Whoops, there's another from the closet. Or was it hiding under the bed?)
The point is:
We don't know the answers. We can only ask the questions.
And when the questions begin to overwhelm us (usually late at night), we need to step back from the edge, take a deep breath, and conquer the "what if"s...
with a good, hearty "So what."
Because if we live our lives in fear, we tie ourselves up in knots, and what should be a grand adventure turns into a test.
We forget why we are here:
- To love fiercely with our whole hearts
- To bind up each other's wounds
- To create beauty out of chaos
To bring the holes and tangles of our lace, of our lives, into harmony.