Saturday, February 6, 2010

Frogging & Not Frogging

In knitting and crochet there is a term, frogging, which essentially means to start a project, get a little ways into it, decide it doesn't look good/doesn't look like the pattern/is too difficult/all of the above, and then completely take it apart to use the yarn for something else, or possibly restart the same project again.

Yesterday, I started another knitting project, got almost finished with it, and decided I hated it. So I took the whole thing apart. My parents--who had watched the process, as I was knitting while watching a movie with them--were horrified.

I restarted the project again today, expecting that I would get it perfectly this time. After all, I had learned from my mistakes, right? There would be no problem, now.

60-stitch cast-on and three rows later, I messed up on my ribbing. Not horribly, but enough to offend my need for perfection.

And I had a choice to make. To frog, or not to frog? To start again and get it PERFECTLY, or to leave it be and keep going?

Have you ever noticed that we live in a world where people like to frog their lives? You get a little ways in--or a lot--and you say, "Eh, this isn't going like I planned." And you change directions, sometimes to the extreme, in the hopes of getting it perfectly the next time.

My last post, I think, was an attempt to frog my life. When something gets hard, or complicated, or boring, I start looking at airfares for another Ireland trip or even somewhere I've never been. (Reykjavik, anyone?) I start dreaming about moving out, moving my life across the sea, doing anything else but what I'm doing.

But the one thing we don't realize when we think like this is that once we've unraveled the work we've done, and decide to start over, we're still using the same yarn and the same needles and the same brain and the same fingers. The same imperfections in the materials. So why do we expect perfection THIS time around? We can uproot and restart our lives as many times as we want, but we'll never be happy unless we choose to be. Imperfections and all.

I decided not to restart the project another time, mostly because I wasn't interested in doing another 60-stich cast-on with yarn that had already been frogged one too many times and was becoming thin and stretched. I kept knitting, despite the mistakes on the ribbing annoying my delicate sensitivities about such things. I made a few other mistakes, too, on my way up. But it's done, now. And for its imperfections, I think I like it all the more. It took working WITH the imperfections, working them IN to the work, improvising a bit in places. And learning to live with the ones that I couldn't make look perfectly right. Seeing them as part of the work's personality, I guess.

If only I could learn to do that with my life. Learn to work with the imperfections, blend them in with what I've done. Maybe I'll get there. Perhaps the first step is just knowing that I need to fix it.

And to stop frogging stuff all the time.

In my opinion, the world needs a few more hobbits and a few less of the restless and frogging-types. I'm happy to oblige.

-The GLS

No comments:

Post a Comment