The test-knit is done.
I finished last night at 8:30pm. Today, I’ll be sending it out.
I sat with that piece. Stitch after stitch, row after row, repeat after repeat, stripe after stripe. I sat in my chair in front of the television and knitted stitches together. I sat on my porch and watched autumn arrive as rows dribbled off my needles. I sat at dinner parties and chatted while repeats stacked up on my lap.
As I sat on the porch without company or television, I knitted together and yarned over and purled back, paying equal attention to each stitch. The sharp smooth needle efficiently slipped through each loop. My fingers flipped and swirled the yarn. Each time I tried to make the process mechanical so that I could knit mindlessly, the piece fought back with a slightly tighter stitch or a little snag on the yarn. Last Saturday morning, I plucked it out of my knitting bag and found a quarter-sized hole in it. I still don’t know how I managed to make that happen, but I ended up having to rip back several rows.
I think the only reason you didn’t hear my scream was because we’d moved our group to the library.
However, even being in a library didn’t stop the cursing from being just a little too loud.
So, this knitting never became mindless. Each stitch was noticed and knit and embedded with my attention. As I battled frustration, I reminded myself that I was actually practicing my meditation. Instead of counting all of the projects that I needed to work on, the number of boxes I could be filling, the rooms I could be cleaning, I blessed each movement of my needles. I reminded myself of the joy of knitting and how I love the process of knitting – no matter the project. I rejoiced in the fact that I’d created this situation where I had to sit and knit all day to fulfill my deadline.
And now, it is done. The ends are woven in (the very first time I rejoiced to find myself at the point of weaving in the ends – No bribes necessary!). Blocking is complete. I’ve carefully folded it up. I’ve completed the associated paperwork and packed it into a box. Later today, the piece will go into the mail and zip off to the east coast.
My relief at finishing that marathon of mindful knitting allowed me to take a few moments off last night instead of immediately grabbing my next piece. I went to bed early and slept well.
While I’m glad to have the project complete, I feel a little at a loss this morning as I get up. For the last few weeks, I’ve known exactly what I would do each day. Today, as I look at the expanse of time opening up to me, I have to make decisions about what I will do, what project I will knit, how I will fill my day. Packing and cleaning and donating moves back to the forefront of my days. My knitting falls to the second position (although I have a new pattern launching on Saturday!). Later today, I’ll be at Sew Steamboat, greeting and assisting and maybe even doing a little knitting on my own projects.
So, mindful knitting gives way to mindful living, which brings one final question….
What shall I knit now?