Sunday, October 24, 2010

Talking About Time

What is time?
Is it the autumn leaves that change
Or the snow that floats from the sky?
- Time, Billy Porter

I've been wading through a group of projects over the past few weeks, and this morning, found myself really not interested in finishing them. Still, I pushed myself through and washed and blocked my Green Gable Hoodie. It's sitting on the dining room table drying, and I'm getting ready for a second attempt at installing a zipper in it.

I've also been working on Gail by Jane Araujo, but have been languishing for the past few days at the cusp of the border edges because I was having trouble understanding the instructions. I knew there was help out there, as there are plenty who have knit it, but I've been dragging my feet in finding the answers. I finally printed out Gail uncharted, which is a written-out version of the pattern, and worked four rows of the border before I went swimming this morning.

My Pillow Gift is still sitting around unfinished, as I ran out of white Bernat Cotton while I was working on it when we were on vacation. I've been trying to get more of it since we got back, but it seems that someone else in town is hoarding all the white cotton, and I haven't been able to find the single skein that will help me complete it. Argh.

So, I was swimming along this morning and got to thinking: What does it matter when these things are finished? Do I need to knit at torpedo speed? Am I doing that for me, or just so that I can have something to blog about or show off to people?

That last thought irked me. I don't knit much for other people. In fact, as the days go on, I am less and less inclined to knit for other people. But, when I am making something, is part of the reason I do it so that I can give pleasure to those who see them?

I've been approached by people asking me to donate one of my items for an auction. "Maybe if you've got a scarf or something you could throw it in," they said. I said I would think about it.

When I got home, I looked at my many scarves, knit out of all sorts of lovely wool that I bought in San Francisco, Calgary, Canmore, Winnipeg... and I thought, no. I won't just throw in one of my scarves. It's not just a scarf. It's my time.

It's not only my knitting that I've been quite selfish with. It's my spare time in general. In fact, lately, I've been loathe to do anything that takes up my time for which I have not been monetarily compensated. I've had a bad run of volunteering that has resulted in not much more than weariness and disappointment. I'm not keen to do that again anytime soon.

I suppose that one could argue that it's my perspective that is the problem: that I could stop looking for returns and be happy with the fact that I am contributing to something greater. The Dalai Lama and compassion and all of that. But don't you think you need to be compassionate to yourself? To give yourself the gift of time, stillness, peace and non-commitment? Is there enough personal joy in that to make it all worthwhile?

So, I've decided not to stress that these projects are all sitting around unfinished. I still want to work away at them, to spend time on them, but I am not going to rush through them just so that I can say I completed them in record time, or to walk around showing them off to people, or even to blog about them here. After all, I've noticed that people seem to enjoy my stories of the processes and frustrations that I experience in knitting most of all. Why push it?

I'm off to take a nap.

By the way, I know I haven't shared any photos of my projects in progress here. That's because my camera is haunted. Really. It is. I'm still debating what I am going to do about that, so until I figure that out, I'll be sharing photos of what I took with that camera before it was haunted. I think I'll explain more about that in the next post.


YarnKettle said...

Although your photos and knitting are beautiful, I really do enjoy your voice that comes through your stories the most. Please relax and enjoy your knitting and time. You deserve it.
I look forward to hearing your camera ghost stories.

AdrieneJ said...

@YarnKettle - What a sweet thing to say. I enjoy having a blogbuddy like you!