Friday, April 30, 2010

a knitting analogy

Today I got to teach a friend to knit.  It's a great experience to teach someone to knit.  It reminds of me when my mother taught me, and I can look back and see how far I've come.  I can appreciate my hands even more - they know what to do now, and it is not always easy to explain how to cast on, how to begin a row, how to wrap the yarn.

I said something today that has stuck in my head.  I told my knitting friends that they will make mistakes, and then I made a couple of mistakes in my work so that they could see what would happen to the fabric.  I told them that new knitters will make mistakes and that's ok, but eventually you learn how to fix your mistakes.  Sometimes you can fix the problem easily, and sometimes you have to rip back several rows and start again.  Often times, when I am helping someone fix a mistake, they do not want to rip back their work, and instead we re-write the pattern to work around the mistake in the next few rows.

I keep thinking that life's mistakes are like that.  You can't rip back the fabric of your life and fix your mistakes.  You just have to keep moving forward, making adjustments to compensate for your mistakes, and hope that they aren't the kind of mistakes that leave big gaping holes in your life's work.

All evening I've been thinking about the mistakes that I'd like to go back and fix in my life.  There are some things that I think I would change if I had the chance.  There are holes I would mend and dropped stitches I would pick up and weave back in.  But then I realized this - what if I mended a hole that was supposed to be there?  What if it was a buttonhole - useful for holding something close to you?  What if it was a hole that was part of a lace pattern - beautiful when you step back and see the completed work?  What if what I see as a mistake is actually part of a greater design?

No, I wouldn't change it after all.  I'll just knit on, with hope.


cynko5 said...

Your words are so beautiful.

Tammy said...