On Growth and Reknitting Patterns

Mud Pond
Mud Pond, Mt. Moosilauke

The more I find myself walking in the woods the more I find myself reflecting on the world around me. After a chaotic week, there’s nothing better than taking a moment to enjoy where I live and to remind myself how lucky I am to be where I am.

The interesting thing about getting older is that things don’t get easier they get different. Problems that are now easy to solve are replaced with new challenges and situations that I’ve grown comfortable dealing with are replaced with new ones that make me uncomfortable. As my values and morals continue to shape the person I am, it’s becoming easier to set boundaries. And yet, sometimes it still really hard to say no to people that I care about. Perhaps I worry about how the boundary will be perceived, will the person I’m politely declining think that I don’t care about the relationship?

My strategy to choices is often to ask my self the question “Will I look back on this in 30 years and regret not doing it?”, if the answer is no because the time spent will not be of high quality then I allow myself to set the boundary. Sometimes the answer is yes and I challenge myself to find pieces of the activity to enjoy. Sometimes the answer is so obvious that I don’t have to ask the question at all.

As I continue on my journey, I remind myself that we are all writing a our own story, and the roles we play in others take different shapes. We have little control over the actions and perceptions of others, but we do have control over our own. I challenge myself to embrace differences, but I also challenge myself to be ok with myself when I am the one in the group who is different.

I’m a better knitter than I was four years ago when I took on the Embrace Octopus Sweater for the first time. My color work has improved and I can knit short rows while following a chart. What took me several months the first time was completed in about three weeks the second. Yet just as with life it wasn’t easier, just different.

Octopus Embrace Sweater: Take two

Since I have a better understanding of how colorwork and charts work, I was less frustrated with the charting of this sweater. Then again, because I have a better understanding of colorwork and charts I found myself with different frustrations. For starters, why wasn’t the yoke chart laid out as four different charts instead of as one that I had to rotate? Better yet, why did I modify the chart myself to eliminate the problem? Additionally, not carrying my floats over large gaps meant I didn’t have to focus too much on my tension. Then again, not carrying my floats over large gaps meant that I had to weave in a lot of ends. At first I did this as I went, but this became too cumbersome when working on the yoke/short rows. In other words, after I finished the sweater I still had two hours worth of ends to weave in. Huge shout out to my SO for sitting with me and laughing when I reverted to Gollum impressions of “but we hates it”.

I once said I would never knit this one again, and yet here I am joking at work that there is an octopus in my bathtub. The once $20 pattern is still frustrating to follow and needs to be rewritten, but I find myself wondering if seeing my coworker in this one will create enough envious feelings to cast one a third — this time for myself. Either way, I think there is something to be said about reworking patterns that made you struggle or that you simply enjoyed working the first time, something I didn’t believe when I began to knit.


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