Thursday, September 1, 2016


I bought some yarn last month with the intention of knitting a curtain for the kitchen window out of it. The blinds came down of their own accord some time ago (that was exciting, as I was in the room at the time...), so it needed to be done, and Adam was going to be out of town for several weeks, which would give me evenings to knit. So I measured, calculated, chose a simple pattern that I have memorized but haven't done in awhile, and cast on.

But I had forgotten that, for no reasonably explainable reason, any venture I put my hand to in the month of August turns catastrophic - including this one. As I was knitting along, I discovered that I had an extra stitch. I found where it should have been, in theory (at least, I found the place where my pattern wasn't lining up) but I couldn't find the extra stitch itself (for the nonknitters, it should have been visually obvious - and yet, it wasn't). So I decreased the stitch away and finished the row, then set it aside.

Yesterday I got it back out, and discovered that I was missing a stitch. Right where that extra stitch (which I'm beginning to think was imaginary, although I was convinced of its existence at the time) should have been. I pulled out my needles, held it up to the window to see if it was even the right size while I had the opportunity, found that in addition to my found-and-lost stitch it was also several inches too wide, and unraveled the whole thing. It made quite a pile of yarn, still squiggly and trying to hold the shape of the stitches it no longer was.

I'm a "process knitter" (as opposed to a "product knitter"), and I enjoy the journey of creation, feeling my needles warm in my hands and relishing the color and texture of the yarn as my project grows... but despite a willingness to meander leisurely along, I would like to be meandering in a forward manner. Pulling out stitches is hard, even when I know it's necessary. But sometimes going back is the quickest way on - and the reknitting will at least go more quickly this time, since it's several inches narrower, now that I'm finally on the right path.
"We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man. There is nothing progressive about being pig-headed and refusing to admit a mistake. And I think it you look at the present state of the world it's pretty plain that humanity has been making some big mistakes. We're on the wrong road. And if that is so we must go back. Going back is the quickest way on." -CS Lewis
It's Five Minute Friday! Each week a flashmob of bloggers, internet wide, gather to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing) on a prompt provided by sweet Kate, then link up and share a little comment love. For more info, more posts, and/or to join in, head here!


Gayl Wright said...

I'm not a knitter, but I do crochet and have missed stitches at times also. You're right, the quickest way forward is to go back first and get on the right path/pattern. If we're going the wrong way, we'll never reach our destination. So thankful that God shows us the path and when we make a wrong turn, He sets us back on the right path. Blessings to you! I'm your neighbor at #FiveMinuteFriday.

Andrew said...

Like Gayl, I'm also not a knitter (though I can suture, and have sewn up my own wounds, which is interesting).

But I could see what you meant, and the quote from C.S.Lewis stitched the whole essay together beautifully. Bravo, Sarah!

#2 at FMF this week.

Susan Shipe said...

"The man who turns back soonest..." CS, such wisdom. My wrong path didn't involved knitting stitches but a tangled up moral mass! Lovely post - like the way to "wove" it all together. xo

Lesley said...

Great post! So true that going backwards doesn't feel like progress but if we're headed in the wrong direction, going back gets us closer to where we need to be. Love the CS Lewis quote!

Emma Hughes said...

Beautifully written, and so true! Progress isn't always about moving forward or keeping on going as you so powerfully illustratešŸ˜ƒ I fear I would be more of a 'let's just ignore the problem or scratch the whole project altogether' type!