2 bag straps, 2 mornings of this weekend

Currently working on a very popular bag pattern – the Knitting Needle Knitted Bag. Having finished the body of the bag, my imagination was that in one day or even half a day the needed 2 bag straps (which are fairly easy) will be completed. The long and short of it, it is now the 2nd day and I am but 2/3 finished with the 2nd strap.

In the first morning (Saturday), had to cut short finishing the first strap because of an unscheduled meeting. Even before the formal discussion began 2 young law school graduates were trying to convince me that they graduated from the country’s best law school.  Having graduated from another university, and because I am not lawyer (nor would I want to be), I was not easily convinced.  Decided to give both of them the benefit of the doubt anyway.  At the back of my mind calculating that perhaps each sentence exchanged with them on this morning is equivalent to 3-4 rows of the strap.

Today Sunday I am determined to finish the 2nd strap. As it turned out, had to leave the house early since my daughter has an early schedule with her friends. Decided to just sit here in a cafe and compose this blog as I wait.  Thinking now how I should have bought the strap knit project. But realized that the bag intended to be my knitting carry on is not yet complete as it still lacks straps. Thinking now on other errands that need attention this weekend – grocery, new shower curtains, etc. etc.  Being irritated now at old guy in the adjacent table who is speaking so loudly to various people he is calling.

I need to be knitting. I recently read an article that napping is very helpful in restoring one’s productivity for the day. Also, images of nursing rooms being designated all over commercial spaces for mothers who breastfeed are coming to mind. It that possible? To designate free spaces for people to take a break. Some what of a lounge or better yet a park (both of which are not popular in the Philippines) where people who want to be calm and nurture quiet can find refuge. A space to think and knit.  That will be the day.

epilogue: finished second strap just now. inhale, exhale, yehey!

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what could have been a scarf

That very night when I got my first knitting loot, I started a knitted scarf project which to me was a good way to practice knitting basics such as cast on, knit and purl stitches, garter and seed stitch patterns. Each stitch venture was accompanied by a very helpful step by step guide from Simple-Knitting.com and a lot of youtube tutorials. 

It was rough. Had to decide on which way to hold the needle, what color combination to use, how much yarn to use, how many rows to knit, where to do my knitting, what to do while I knit… decisions, decisions.  But the story of my first knit project is not a story of meaningful struggle, overcoming odds and finding victory in the end.  Rather it is a story of humble acceptance,  the courage to change ones mind and claiming unexpected joy.

I just couldn’t finish the scarf. I tried for almost two weeks.  Every so often, when I change my decision about something I restart the project from the very beginning.  Every time I made a mistake or someone would point out one, I would also restart. I unravelled the scarf so often I even found out that in knitting unravellng your work (which was a worst case scenario) was called defrogging.  I got as far as 150 yards of yarn equivalent to 30 inches of unfinished scarf.  

It hit me. While there were many imperfect aspects of the would be scarf – the yarns were of the wrong color and thickness, the stitch patterns were ordinary, tightness of the stitches weren’t perfectly consistent, there was one very important fact that made me stop and defrog for one last time.  All other imperfections were forgiveable except for the fact that no one will use the scarf I can eventually finish, not even me. It made finishing the scarf unnecessary and wasteful.  I just couldn’t.

The alternative first project re-used all unravelled yarn from the would be scarf.  It was a granted request from my first ever knitting fan (my gay uncle).  The house help wanted it as an accessory to her next vacation. My daughter wanted a cooler version of it.  And my sister who lives in Hawaii ordered one just like it.  I took on a knitted beanie hat project (KPH-001) as my first attempt to re-acquaint myself to knitting.  

Knitting the beanie hat came with a familiar sense of calm and quiet.  Finishing it gave me the usual sense of accomplishment but more significantly that simple joy of knowing you can now move forward.  I decided to keep the hat.