Monday, January 16, 2012

Knitting and Writing, two of these things are kind of the same...

So, here I am at the end of a finished product, finally. It took the better part of a year and I don't know how many episodes of LOST I've rewatched while knitting this thing (seriously, it should be dubbed The LOST scarf - LOL) but it's finally done.

Before I get to the thinky think portion of my post, I'll just share a few details for you knitters out there. The pattern for this lurvely thing is by the equally lurvely Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka The Yarn Harlot). It's called The One Row Handspun Scarf and I made it with two strands - held together - of Paton's Mulberry Stripes. I love, love, loooove self-striping yarn but let me tell you when I hit the end of the first two balls and had to add in the next, the striping was not working too well and had to disassemble and reconstruct.

(Now onto the Thinky Think portion of my post):

Which, of course, got me thinking about writing when it's compared to knitting. I mean, when you start out you're equipped with the tools of the trade (a pattern, your knitting needles, and your yarn)(for writing: a plot-bunny/outline, your laptop, and coffee) and things start off quite swimmingly. Things are fluid and linear and your stitches are fine and true. And your hands are literally flying and things are going quite smoothly. You want it to be beautiful and you're so proud of it and it's not even finished yet.

And then, then comes the seven-year itch.

You're halfway through.

You're not far enough to see the light at the end of the tunnel yet and worse yet, this yarn is making things crazy. It's supposed to self-stripe and it won't. So you tie things off and realign and realign again. You think you've got it only not. Again, you tie things off and restart. You're so frustrated even though you think you've lined it up that you put it down for a day, which turns into three, which turns into six months. And then when you're cleaning up the office and wanting to work on a small project, there it sits, waiting.

This scarf wants nothing more than to be finished, than to get to the end of the rows and to be bound off, and wound around someone's neck to keep them warm against the winter chill.

That's all it wants.

You pick up the needles again. You remind yourself of why you wanted this scarf in the first place other than it's very pretty and the pattern is relatively easy to commit to memory. It was the joy of finally finishing a lengthy project and to have something to show for it at the end. You grab your needles and start knitting. It's good, it's very good. You're flying along again, stitches true. And then you find yourself nearing the end at midnight on a Saturday - watching Lost or Sherlock. You've got little yarn left and it's time to bind off. You carefully take those last stitches and fold them over each other so everything will finish off neatly, tidily, and won't unravel for Pete's sake. There, there you are. You grab those loose ends and weave them seamlessly into the scarf itself so it won't show overmuch except for that tiny bulging in the middle but who will notice? Another knitter, that's who. But, you know what another knitter will notice? They'll recognize the yarn, the pattern, and the utter love for the time that it took to make that scarf and they'll compliment you on a job well done.

And there you are at 2:00 a.m. with a beautiful scarf around your neck and the glow of a project finished.

It's finally done. And you smile.