“What’s it worth to you?”
I was sitting in an excruciating meeting once, knitting, and the person next to me leaned over and said, “What are you making?”
“Patience,” I replied. I was actually making socks at the time, but what I said was true. Many times I knit for the pure pleasure of it. As a writer, knitting serves as my “anti-writing,” a non-verbal, tactile, three-dimensional creation that serves as the perfect counterbalance to the highly verbal, intellectual, invisible world I tap word-by-word into existence every day.
Knitting pleases me. But knitting also makes me a better person. I despise wasted time. Being stuck in an unproductive meeting, or forced to wait, or enduring a delay are express trains to my own doom. I get cranky, argumentative, and generally unpleasant.
This year, I have spent a disturbingly large amount of time in doctor’s offices. Waiting. Seeing to it that the members of my family get the care they need. I’m glad to do it, glad for the blessed flexibility of my writing career that I can do it, but it plays into all my weaknesses. Were it not for knitting, quite simply, it’d be ugly.
I love the sense of accomplishment this cable pattern has given me. I’ll be honest, at the end of the first repeat, I was pretty sure I’d mucked it up. It looked all wrong, which made my previous sixteen rows feel like “wasted time.” And you already know how wasted time gets under my skin.
But when I began the first couple rows of the next repeat, knitting did that thing knitting does so well–take the mountain of tiny details, the succession of little steps, and voila…transform it into something magical. The tuck of the cable was no longer a lumpy little pocket, but an elegant twist made by me. Sitting in a plastic chair at the chiropractor’s office, making patience with two sticks and yarn.
Sure, I’m making a cowl. But mostly, I’m making wonders inside the time I’ve been given. Redeeming the waiting I do so poorly. And that’s worth a million, don’t you think?
PS: AUGHHH! Just went to take photograph of my progress, realized the cowl looks nothing like the photograph, and that I’ve messed it up completely. Had to rip it out all the way down to row 5. Never mind my previous high-minded speech. I’ve redeemed nothing. Grrrr…..