Doing away with the "f" word.

A little peek at the project I'm working on. It's slow, careful, purposeful knitting. I resisted at first, it was daunting and frustrating (and it surely will continue to be), but I've slowly come to depend on the challenge. To crave it. Seeing the small details take shape keeps the momentum moving forward. Looking back on the hurdle, I can say I always knew I could jump it. But while it still lay ahead, the tall road-block becomes a symbol for the doubt and fear that keep me from moving forward.
Elide Endreson's wise words here have been on my mind a bit lately. I have a large bin full of knitting projects that are unfinished. Some I've lost interest in, put down to move on to new, more exciting ventures. Some haven't worked the way I intended, and need a little re-assessment. Some are even projects that are fully knit and I just have to sew a few seams and weave in the tails. Whatever the reason, their fate is the same. Buried in a closet to be forgotten.
In physics, the ideal work output is that which is greater than the energy used to create the work. But in a creative endeavor, can we reasonably expect the same ideal? So much of our energy goes into the creation, from inception to completion, the ideal work output seems unlikely, however great our product is.
I've always loved knitting more than I love the knitted object, and I think that's an important distinction, one I need to remind myself of sometimes. The finished product is not why I knit, so I don't need it to be greater than the energy I used to create it. But when thinking of the bin in my closet, I see only products that were never finished. I need to shift the focus a little. Maybe it will help if I see not the sweater that's only half-made, but how bored I was while making it. Not the one sock that will never have a mate, but how I changed the pattern a bit without taking notes, and I'll never achieve a matching result. If my enjoyment comes in the process, then my failures are also in the process. The forgotten bin can stop being a burdening symbol of failure, and simply be a collection of processes I didn't enjoy, and therefore a large stock of yarn that I can re-purpose.
Now, off, not to the bin, that will come later, but to the charcoal lace. The process is still quite alluring to me right now.


The full swing of summer.

I've been caught in a whirlwind of summer. Sunny day road trips, picking fresh strawberries, a lovely grey houseguest for the week, bread-baking and baklava lessons with a friend I see far too little, long walks through this small city with the recently-returned B. It is, indeed, summer.

A new project is on the needles, something completely different from the mindless dishcloths. I'm swatching up a storm with lace. It's a different way of knitting, one I'm struggling to find the pleasure in. But, I'm persevering in the hopes that it will soon become natural and less cumbersome and riddled with mistakes. I love the results too much to give up just yet. I dream in vintage lace motifs, and charts, and all the possibilities of a simple YO here and a SSK there. 

This new concentration on knitting brings balance just when I need it; I'd likely float away on one of our walks without it.


Cozy and sweet.

My presence in the world has been a bit sparse lately. It was a long winter that had a heavier than usual affect on me. But, spring is finally in full swing, and the sun is out. I couldn't help but steal a few bunches of lilacs from a bush in my building's courtyard to bring a bit of that lovely sweet scent inside.  It's intoxicating.
B has gone to Israel again for a few weeks. I find myself, I hesitate to admit, getting used to his long absences. It feels nice to have the break from routine; I'm inspired to make all kinds of little changes while he's gone. I've taken this time to rearrange the apartment, to paint old furniture and frames. To nest. 
I've lately been knitting easy, small things. I've been latching on to color, obsessed with variegated yarns, loving how watching the color change makes me knit faster and for longer. Dishcloths made from Lily's Sugar 'n Cream line have been the perfect outlet for my color-love lately. They're fast, mindless, and easy to giveaway to wanton friends and family.
I've also been working on knitting covers for my tattered old throw pillows, something that's been on my project list for far too long. It's slow-going, but gratifying, mixing classic cabled pillows with some with bolder geometric designs.
I have Salted Pistachio Brownies baking in the oven, and Oatmeal Cherry Cookies on a rack cooling.
I'd say things are going at a just about perfect pace.


In with the new.

The start has always been a point of struggle for me. Where's the best place for my first step down a path? What will be the most concise? The most efficient? The least burdensome on others? The most enjoyable? The BEST? These questions, and more, plague me. From deciding what to do when I first wake up in the morning, to trying to begin an over-due blog post, to wondering how to rekindle lost friendships, to deciding what to make for dinner, to figuring out what I want to do this year, and where I want to do it. The insecurity of the outcome makes starting damn near impossible. But, as it seems, the beginning of this new calendar year provides a good time to do away with all that and just simply start.
Start letting go more, acknowledging my own limitations and others' abilities. Start cooking dinner more often (instead of eating food in the evening and calling it dinner). Start believing that it's okay that I don't know what will happen this year; no one else does either. Start maintaining my empty-for-years etsy shop. Start (and finish) knitting a pair of socks. And a sweater. Start entertaining friends more; parties are great. Start treating my body like the amazing, balanced, delicate machine it is instead of taking it for granted.
Start starting more.
I've never been one for such specific, documented resolutions. But, it seems right to me now.
And in that direction, I will go.
Happy New Year.