Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Patience and your Knitting

I regularly read Gretchen Rubin's blog. You can find her here http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/ She often writes about situations where opposites are true. She quotes Niels Bohr: “There are trivial truths and great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true.”

"Familiarity breeds contempt" versus "absence makes the heart grow fonder" would be a good example of this type of oppositional truth.

I have recently noticed that as I get older I get both more and less patient with others. I'm completely patient with my Dad who suffers from Mixed Dementia but far less so with a divorcing colleague or friend that is behaving badly due to a falling out with a mutual friend. I've discovered that dealing with them all is equally exhausting. Yet I end up feeling virtuous after dealing with my Dad's repetitive questions and the fear that is created by his confusion. With the others I'm annoyed that I'm being drawn into their drama's and that they have a negative impact on my life that I don't want to let in.

What does all of this have to do with knitting you were about to ask??

Well it got me thinking about why I love some techniques and hate others for example Intarsia versus Fair Ilse or Mosaic stitch. I can create beautiful fabric in all three methods. It's all knitting which typically soothes me. I'm a technique junkie but once I'm working on a new design I sometimes use the techniques I already know well rather than swatching every potential technique. Yet I can happy swatch for hours learning new things if I'm not working on a specific project. I get impatient once there is a project in mind, but why? I also notice that so many Knitters hate to do their own finishing, yet they had the patience to knit for months on a project and are too impatient to spend a few hours weaving in ends and blocking so that they can enjoy the end result. Non- Knitters often cite their lack of patience as the reason that they don't knit so clearly the rest of the world sees Knitters as supremely patient.

What do you think, do you have any insights on this?

1 comment:

  1. My insight on your article is that these are many different topics.

    First passage talks about emotional giving and acceptance in two-way relationships and fulfilment which we feel, if we give our best, and other worship/accept our best efforts honestly and completely. This gives us virtuous feelings. If there is a feeling of a negative impact after being drawn into others drama’s might say something about great excellence of personal empathy but it might also say something about a lack of determination to set limits on how far we are willing to cope with something and to invest our efforts and energy in it. This is oppositional truth. There is no right or wrong, both are two sides of the whole.

    Being patient about something means for me struggling with inner temptation. Setting goals and struggling with many kind of personal weaknesses or lack of awareness why they occur on the way to reach goals.

    Which brings me to knitting: I’m very patient knitter!  And I’m also a technique freak. But the technique is always just a means to en end to reach my goal. When I start a project, there is a very precise idea how the project should look like finished. If I have to use some new technique to complete this picture, I will spent hours/days/months/ to learn it first and only after it I will start with my project. Of course, there is no guaranty that my good knowledge of the technique will provide success of the project, but it is happy coincidence that knitting allows lot of improvisation to get the origin picture.  Either way it is a creative work. It brings fulfilment and joy only if it’s finished.

    The knitters who do not invest the time in finishing might have a problem with obsession not with patience. They might just love knitting for distracting purposes, since knitting is a time consuming process and mentally sophisticated. It keeps “sane” they said. But very often is knitting process just an excuse to keep away from real problems or needs. That’s why there is no real patience after it to finish it.