Summer is not yet over, and as it’s only mid-August I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of the hot Kansas weather for the year, but I’ve already been bitten by the annual knitting bug. Usually this is triggered by the rust coloring of the leaves and gusts of the fall wind that leave me yearning for a slouchy hat to cover up my ears, or a big grandpa sweater to keep me cozy while walking from building to building on campus. Just the thought of autumn in my town makes me anxious for its arrival!
This go ’round, however, I have been inspired by a student who works in my unit. A few weeks ago she showed me her profile on ravelry.com, adorned with dozens of beautifully colored and quite difficult-looking projects she has completed within the past few years. Needless to say my envious side started to criticize from the back of my brain. What the hell have you been doing, Hannah? You’ve been knitting for almost a decade – where are your fair isle sweaters and fancy cabled socks? Rather than stew over it and concede to thoughts of inferiority, laziness, excuses, etc., I decided to make an opportunity out of the moment!
I immediately ordered some yarn that will become a tank top I have wanted to knit for several years now. What has been holding me back from knitting this before? It’s not a difficult pattern. On the contrary – you can see on the page it is marked as “mellow,” which is this web site’s indication that it is easy enough for beginners. Was it the commitment to purchasing so many skeins of yarn at one time? Perhaps, but the only reason that would keep me from going ahead with the project is that it would be a waste of money if I were to never complete the top. That’s it! My fear of failure or of losing interest part-way through. I am a fairly impatient person (getting better over the years), but I’ve always tried to use knitting as a way to keep me centered and in the moment. Still, it is difficult to not constantly be thinking ahead to the finished product and how much I just want to wear or give away the damn thing, as that part always makes me the most excited about a project.
I’ve been working on the top for not quite a week now and am making fairly speedy progress. I’m trying to not get hasty, as I do when I work on projects that require over a hundred wide rows of stockinette stitch, and to just relax and do the best I can with it. I’ve got to work on it at least a little while so I can enjoy the process and make sure I do quality work, so hopefully the top fits well and lasts a long time. Also, when I’m finished, that means I will just need another project right away or I will be twiddling my thumbs! I must remember to stay focused on the task at hand, to take my time, and continue to try to master my impatience and fear of failure.