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I have been knitting almost as long as I have been working on websites. It is a passionate hobby of mine; one that you will rarely see me without. It has kept me constant company through many life events, both big and small: long overnights at my previous job as a home health care worker, quiet moments as my newborn son slept, and through the terrifying and exhilarating task of starting my own business as a web designer. The quiet click of the needles and the soft tug of the wool between my fingers as I stitch relax me and give me space to let my thoughts expand. Along the way, knitting has taught me a few things.
1. The power of finishing
When I first started knitting, I worked on one small thing at a time, trying to learn the basics (how to knit, how to purl, how to put the yarn onto the needles and how to take them off). The thrill of watching the stitches appear neatly row after row was captivating! But as I grew more comfortable with the mechanics of it, I started to work on more than one project at a time (after all, I *need* a simple sock project for on the go, a more complicated sock or shawl project to challenge me when I have a little time to sit down and work on it, and a sweater project that is usually too big to do anywhere but home 😉 ). In any creative field, it is way too easy to get so caught up in starting the next new and exciting thing and leave the projects you already have going in the dust. But nothing ends up getting done that way. So I usually have to have a sit down with myself and tell myself “Just finish one thing.” Once I have the satisfaction of looking at my completed project, I want to finish all-of-the-things! It is called the FO (finished object) high, people, and it is real 🙂 That high is what keeps you motivated when it seems like the project is never going to end and all you want to do is start something new.
2. Sometimes it’s okay to throw in the towel
Knitting can also be a study in frustration (and sometimes insanity 🙂 ). I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have started a project, only to have to rip it apart and start again. I once attempted to knit a heavily patterned coat that started off with 450 stitches at the bottom. It took a half an hour to knit each row. I got 10 rows into the pattern and realized that I was knitting the pattern entirely backwards! There was nothing that I could do except rip it apart and start again. Fast forward another 10 rows (and another 5 hours of hard work!) and it looked exactly the way it did before! Now, I could have pushed through, ripped back, and tried again, but it was clear to me that this coat was not destined to end up in my closet (and that there was something majorly wrong with that pattern). Sometimes it is okay to throw in the towel. There is definitely something to be said about pushing through the hard times to get to the reward on the other side, but sometimes the reason it is hard is that it is not meant to be. Trust that your intuition will tell you which is which.
3. Everything is reusable
One of the best things about knitting is its inherent ability to let you reuse materials. It is a very popular thing to find old sweaters in a thrift store, unravel the yarn, and reknit it into something different. The yarn that I purchased to make that ill fated coat became a cute (and simpler) cardigan that I practically lived in one winter. Just like that yarn, there are often raw materials that can be reused from projects that didn’t turn out like you hoped. There are many times in my work as a web designer where portion of the project get edited out for one reason or another. Oftentimes, I will stash the code or sketch away until I can find the perfect home for it in another project. Whether they are experiences, pieces of work that can be retooled and revamped into something different, or newfound knowledge, there is always something that can be reused.No matter how spectacular the failure, there is always something that can be reused from it!… Click To Tweet
4. Little efforts make big goals happen
Sometimes I have hours to work on a complicated shawl or sweater. Other times I only have 5 minutes to knit on a small dishcloth while I am waiting in the car as my hubby runs into the store for a gallon of milk. But no matter how many stitches I get knit at a time, eventually that dishcloth, sweater, or shawl will find its way off of the needles and be put into use. This is one of the greatest lessons I have learned from knitting. It doesn’t matter how much time you have to put into your project, those small bits of time add up until you have something big accomplished. This is a lesson that I have to remind myself of constantly when I start to feel overwhelmed with work.Small bits of time can add up until you have something big accomplished.… Click To Tweet
Sticks and stones may break your bones, but sticks and strings can definitely soothe your soul 🙂 Do you have any hobbies or passion projects? How do they affect the work that you do everyday? I would love to hear about them!