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

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Long Way

"Well I stumbled in the darkness
I'm lost and alone
Though I said I'd go before us
And show the way back home
Is there a light up ahead?
I can't hold onto very long
Forgive me pretty baby but
I always take the long way home"
- Norah Jones

I don't know about you, but I often long for shortcuts.

I wish I could get from point A to point B in a straight line, as the crow flies, non-stop, no layovers or connecting flights required.

And I suspect, from the fact that Travelocity sorts air flight options by both time elapsed AND number of stops, that I am not alone.

Wouldn't it have been nice if Moses and the Israelites could have punched the proper coordinates into their GPS scroll? Just think of all the years spent wandering in the wilderness that could have been put to better use...

I most often use the quickest route when driving to Michigan. I know all the short cuts and can make it door to door in seven hours.

And be excruciatingly bored with the process.

A couple of times I have taken an alternate route. One year I drove up US 31 to South Bend and then cut over to the lake shore and wound my way up the coast.

It wasn't fast, but it sure was pretty.

Another time I stopped at Allegan on the way up, for the Michigan fiber Festival.

These trips stand out, not for their brevity, but for the insights and enrichment I enjoyed along the way.

And maybe that is precisely the point.

If we are only concerned with getting from here to there, we lose sight of the journey and the scenery along the way. We become so used to our route that we fail to notice much of anything anymore.

And that is a bit sad, all things considered...

In taking the long way home, we learn patience and persistence; we slow down enough to savor the sights along the way; we gain time for reflection that is so often missing from our lives.

I think that is one of the appeals of knitting.

It ain't fast...

Why am I thinking about the long way?

Because that always seem to be my way of choice.

Even when I wish it wasn't.

I tried so hard to fit beading into the design for Mendhi's back. I tried it many different ways, but it never quite looked right. Finally I gave up and substituted seed stitch inside the diamonds.

I took the l-o-o-o-o-n-g way...

I had this lone ball of Rowan 4-ply milk cotton and a container of beads left over from another project. Ellen from Earth Faire had requested another beaded design (besides GVC, which is exclusive to Knitty Noddy.)

Yesterday, I settled down to design a quick and easy little beaded scarf.

I fiddled. I fussed. I found a name for the piece: Dragonfly. I found the outlines of a pattern.

I tried it with purls, with knits, with stockinette...

With beading on the front side, back side, both sides...

With three different edgings...

Then I decided the yarn was too big for the beads, so I tried it with some size 6 beads I had.

Then I looked on the internet for smaller yarn, shinier yarn, greener yarn, bluer yarn...

All before I remembered I already had this skein of Shaefer Anne that was absolutely perfect.

Right in my own back yard...

I do seem to take the l-o-o-o-o-o-o-n-g way home...

Even when I don't intend to.



Donna Lee said...

The colors in Dragonfly look beautiful and spring like. If those are the beads you chose, they're perfect. You amaze me with your creative mind. I often take the scenic route to wherever I'm going. My husband and I travel through the Amish country and just take off down roads to see what there is to see. It has never failed to lead us somewhere worthwhile.

islander said...

my entire life has been by the scenic route and it has been a fine and interesting ride. good to know there are friends along the way.