It makes no sense, until it does

I’ve been knitting for the past…4 years?  Wow.  You would have think I would have produced more in that amount of time, but the truth is I take summers off.  So let’s say something like 2 years.

Anyway, this is not a knitting picture post, as I’ve done in the past, mostly because I’m too lazy to click ‘insert photo’.  So that will have to wait for another time because I do have things to update on!  But yes, I’ve discovered that there is a reason old women knit and not new moms.  When he’s awake, I have no hands to knit!  And there is something more than a little disconcerting about a craft that literally just one tug of a string will make hours of work all. come. undone.  So it is kept up high and I only knit at night or in the car.  And that makes for very slow progress.

But anyway, that’s not what this post is about!

This was supposed to be about all the wisdom I’ve learned from knitting.  Oh yes, I’ve learned patience and perseverance and how to calm myself and not be busy busy busy (or, knitting promote that last one?…hmm).  And I’ve learned how to stop being a perfectionist because if you keep taking your stitches out then you never finish anything!  And a less than perfect hat is still a hat that keeps your head warm!  Whereas having three perfect rows that are still on the needle are…absolutely useless.

But again, that would be pretentious to claim I’ve learned all those virtues and I’ve grown in leaps and bounds because I am now a knitter!  Because I haven’t.  I’m in practice, as always.

No, I think the most important thing I’ve learned from knitting is this:  Even when given the pattern ahead of time, I cannot understand how it all comes together until I just knit the darn thing.

And I think its more than just a problem in spacial awareness.  I feel like its one of those life lesson thingys that I’m supposed to apply to other parts of my life and then pretentiously talk about on my blog. 

When I started to knit a few years ago, once I finally mastered knit purl knit purl (which incidentally, I found out I was doing backwards just a few months ago!  see above note about perfectionism!  who cares!) I was SO excited to learn to knit a sock.  How do you get it to curve like that around the heel?  And the toe?  I would read and re-read directions and still be confused as ever.  Until I just dove right in.  And literally figured it out as I went.  “Oh, THIS decrease means THIS and THIS is how this will play out in reality!” 

Yes there was tearing out stitches, and working more backwards that forwards while I figured it out, but doing was the only way of figuring it out at all.

Years later that is still the case!  Knitting Mike’s sweater for example (update for a future post, it is finished! Finally!) the pieces made no sense whatsoever. Literally, I had no clue what was going to happen even when I had made all four pieces (front, back, two arms). I would reread the pattern, and you’d think it would be easier since I “knew what was supposed to happen” but until I actually knit line by line and saw how it all was supposed to fit together, I didn’t have any hope that I was doing remotely the right thing.  I just kept having to fall back to, “Ok, I know these are the stitches its telling me to do, and I’m following along just like it tells me to do, but seriously there is no way this will come together into something that I can actually wear myself/give to someone without them thinking that I’m a complete cheapskate/lunatic for creating something so hideous and calling it a gift.” 

This even happens for blankets!  I can think, wow, there is no way that simple pattern will make a pattern that ornate, until I realize that I was visualizing the whole thing from the wrong direction, the wrong orientation.  And when you start to knit it and it actually goes the other way, then it all makes sense!

And that’s where I think its like life.  I’d like to think that if I could just see the future and know certain things would work out or not work out, that maybe everything would be a lot better.  Maybe it would be, on certain patterns, but man, if even blankets can be confusing, I’m pretty sure that knowing “the plan” would just confuse me more until I actually just take things day by day and watch it slowly unfold.  Things just seem to make no sense, until they do.

At least I think that’s what knitting is trying to tell me. 

Progress in organization

So a little update on the organization.  Also known as the most boring update ever :)

I hung the curtains that have been sitting on the back table (except when guests have come over and they get moved to The Box in The Office/Guestroom) for the last what, 2 months?  I hung the curtain rod by myself after waiting for my home decor stud to do it (he never showed ;))  and then proceeded to switch around all the curtains from the living room, dining room, and the kitchen.  I think I finally settled on a combination I like, with the ugliest curtains in the dining room, the least used room, and the lightest ones in the family room, even though they are a bit small for the space.  But I’m not about to buy new curtains just yet.  We have something that works.  So we’re going with what we have.  This is only a rental after all.  I may change my mind on that if I see a good price though.

I also bought totes for the media console to organize all the movies/video games we have and frankly, never watch/play.  It cleans up the space and everything now has a “home” that hopefully looks a little less junky.  At least I think so.

I also finally downloaded all my photos from the camera to the computer.  So there’s that.  Although I haven’t done and organizing/sharing since doing that.  That’s another goal.  I like the idea of making a “family yearbook” so that I actually organize and print off all these pictures I take so that I have a hard copy.  But I’m a little behind.  The last one I made was when we were in Mexico/Texas so I need to make one from last year.  I guess that’s only 1.5 years behind.  Still, need to get on that.

Another thing I’ve been working on is cleaning up my inbox by deleting emails.  I tried to make folders only to realize that folders do not exist in gmail!  Drat.  You can’t even put all your emails in alphabetical order! But I paired down my 10,500 inbox with 6,400 new emails (I know, terrifying) to 6,700 emails with only 3,800 new.  So now you understand when I mean when I say I’ve been awful at keeping track of emails.  I really do mean it.  I should be on an episode of email hoarders.  A lot of those “new” ones are because I merged email accounts and they automatically show up “new” but many are also because I’m on too many dang list-serves that promise to show me sales.  I know by now which stores and sites I should absolutely not buy something from unless I have a coupon but really, my sanity is more important at this point and I know I’m less of a flake if I have less emails bombarding my email, so unsubscribe it is!  I don’t need them tempting me anyway.  It has been better to pair this down over time than in one sitting, since I know I’ll never have a huge chunk of time that I’ll say “Gee, lets just burn these next 7 hours going through old email!”  My goal is to have no new emails (except for those in the past few days) by the end of lent.  I can actually see that happening now.

The next few things on my list are to organize all my knitting patterns.  I have them all in a box but really, its impossible to find the one I’m looking for quickly.  I have a few drawers I also need to organize, as well as drop off a bunch of bags to goodwill that have collected in our laundry room over the last few months.  But all in all I am making progress!

This is a test

To myself.

To see if I can actually hit publish or if my body will physically not allow it without thinking about a post for at least a few days.

It looks like I’m still writing so, so far, so good!

The last time I posted was about our support group?  Wowza.  That was over a month ago and our next meeting is next week already!  We are pretty happy with where its going so thank you for all the prayers!

I have been keeping busy.  Long gone are the days when I would use Lent as a time to take a break from the internet.  Give me a broken computer and a touch screen and its a big feat to get me to just return an email! 

My Lenten goals this year are organization.  I naturally cower at the sight of a pile of papers and our “give away” pile is overflowing.  My email inbox (see above!) has way too many thousands of emails and in general, I feel that I use any spare time I have to just. breathe. 

So for Lent this year I’m making myself do anything that I initially have that “Oh, I don’t really need to put that away NOW, do I?” and work on my discipline via organization.  My husband laughs at the thought of the day I have to tell Sam to pick up his room so, I guess I really need to work on this.

Oh, and just because I like to add a ‘fasting’ thing in there too, because I eat all day and what better way to remind myself about the desert!, I’ve given up sugar and cream in my coffee.  Yeah, thought it was better for everyone involved if I kept the coffee, but at least this way I won’t enjoy it.  The same goes for any other drink I may try to weasel into sweetening :) 

As far as adding in, I’m praying before meals (I’m good in my own home, but when other people are around I always seem to punk out since I don’t want to create any division…anyone else have that problem?) and trying to do the Stations on Friday. 

So!  Not to be all “check out my candle, baby” (from last weeks Gospel) but, are you doing anything special/new this Lent?

Ok, here goes the experiment….hitting publish!