women of a certain age are like sunflowers; they know how to turn their faces to the sun.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Second Time Around

"Love is lovelier, the second time around
Just as wonderful, with both feet on the ground
Its that second time you hear your love song sung
Makes you think perhaps that love, like youth, is wasted on the young"
- Cahn/Van Heusen

Many of my patterns are knit in two halves and joined at the center. The motifs at the bottom cannot be knit downside-up, so eventually I graft.

I used to feel vaguely guilty over the fact that I put a design on the market when my model is only halfway complete; like I was somehow pulling the wool over everyone's eyes and getting away with half the effort. I have always been honest about this, but it still nagged at me.

But today, I realized something: I have very few FOs to wear out of the house. And my customers do. So, perhaps they are not getting the short end of the stick after all.

It's not due to lack of diligence or desire. And it's not due to boredom. I often find the second half more enjoyable because I have the design bugs all worked out and the frogging, which is an inevitable part of the design process, is often non-existent.

It is, quite simply, a matter of urgency. When I place my desire to have a finished scarf or shawl to wear next to your desire for a new pattern, my desire falls effortlessly by the roadside.

My goal as a designer is "happy knitting." That is why I sign my letters that way. And that is why I hate it when one of my mistakes causes another knitter frustration. I don't care if I appear less than perfect. Hell - I AM less than perfect. Truth in advertising...

But I do care if I cause distress in others and turn what should be a relaxing, enjoyable activity into a source of anxiety. I care very much.

So, I am humble. Each time I bring out a pattern, I am humble. Some days, more humble than others.

And I am ever thankful that you don't expect perfection out of me.

I did work on the second half of Iris, while on vacation. and made significant progress before realizing I forgot to take the second skein with me to the lake. Sigh...

And I am firmly embarked upon what I call "the long slog" down the second half of my darling daughter-in-law's (henceforth known as DD) Hydrangea wedding shawl. The bride-to-be came for a fitting with her dress on Monday, and it's just the right length (big sigh of relief.) She loves it (even bigger sigh of relief.) Wedding is 9 days away, so I am pushing hard on it. I have renewed respect for those speed demons who enter "fastest knitter" contests.

Last night my DH asks, "You know, you have to have BOTH sides done, right?"

"Thanks, honey. Gosh, I'm glad you cleared that up."

I am, at age 51, firmly in the second half of my life. And I realize the statement above (I often find the second half more enjoyable because I have the design bugs all worked out) applies to life as well as knitting.

I may not have all the bugs worked out of my life (God keeps throwing me new ones just to keep me on my toes) but the older I get, the more familiar I am with the pattern and the fewer panic attacks and spasms of self-doubt I have.

And I have not felt the need to frog and reknit my entire life in years (not since the depression and ensuing therapy) I know the pattern isn't perfect, but it is beautiful, even as it evolves.

I am God's WIP and I will trust my designer to correct me when necessary. Until then, I'll just keep on knitting...


Anonymous said...

Amen and Amen!

Anonymous said...

I love your last couple of sentences there ... I am SOOO struggling with being ok with the WIP I am and trusting in the designer *sigh*

Donna Lee said...

Ain't nothin' wrong with being a wip. In fact, it's better than being an fo. In my mind, once I become an fo, it'll be time to say goodbye.