Sometimes I try too hard. I like learning and doing new things. A lot. But sometimes I overdo that. I’ve seen this tendency in more than just my knitting.
When I cook I have some faithful repeats, especially for days I don’t have the mental or physical energy to be creative. But few weeks go by, except for those occasional ruts, when I don’t have a new recipe to try or a new approach to something while cooking.
That’s not a bad thing. I’ve learned a lot doing this. My family has rarely complained about being the test subjects of my efforts and experiments. The problem is I’m always looking at what is next and sometimes lose what I’ve just done. My husband will remind me of a dish I did a few weeks ago that he LOVED and, for the life of me, I can’t remember it anymore. I just got on a roll, had some inspirations, it turned out great! Then I was on to the next thing and now, weeks later, it’s gone.
Lesson 1: When you successfully create something great write it down!!
Last week, I had a homesteading buddy over to my house. She is far more knowledgeable and experienced than I am at this point and is very generous in answering my endless questions and discussing my increasingly long list of ideas.
She and I walked around the 2 acres I have and talked about what I’m doing, what I want to do or expand, and how the heck I’m going to pull it off! This place has a lot of potential, but I have to pace myself. My energy level and my budget are not equal to all the things I would like to do. At least not all at once.
At one point in the conversation, she asked me what my plans were for the upcoming season. As I began to rattle off a list of things I planned to do, she stopped me. “Too much,” she said. This came as no surprise to me. When I love a thing I want to dive in headfirst. The problem is I love a lot of things. And like a magpie to a shiny object, I am constantly attracted to a new thing, that I now love. It never ends
I’m aware of this, but it helps to have an honest friend to help me back up a bit before I go careening down the road.
(Can you have an addiction to learning new things? Don’t answer that, I don’t really want help🙂 )
Lesson 2: Be realistic and paced (aka slow and steady) and keep people around who help keep you there.
As I’m knitting one project I frequently thinking of what I’m going to do next. Do you see a pattern here? But I am starting (baby steps) to learn to take a breath, slow down, be here now. I’m always up for something new, especially if I want to write about it, but lately, I’ve started stepping back and asking myself “Where is the need?!” I don’t mean why do I need to learn a new thing. I don’t need a reason to do that, I love it, so I get to do it. But the real question is “what is actually needed”. Instead of always reaching for a new technique, why not apply what I have already learned in a meaningful way here and now. This week, I completed a scarf for my youngest grandson. Simple, basic, but needed. Today I plan to cast on mittens for myself since it is still cold and I refuse to buy them now that I am able to make them myself.
I find it far more satisfying to create things that I and my family can actually put to use on a regular basis than having a stack of very pretty shawls that I just don’t wear that often. And before you ask, yes, I have a stack of very pretty shawls that I just don’t wear that often.
Lesson 3: USE what you are learning.
There is a profound satisfaction in not only knowing things but actually, consistently putting that knowledge to use in a meaningful way. If I want to accomplish that I need to remember these lessons.
Lesson 4: Instead of always trying to go far and wide, sometimes dig in and go deep.
Updates on my work from the last couple of weeks:
After a long gap I started in on some dyeing again and have come up with these colorways:
The tonal purple is Freaking in a Purple Haze and the middle colorway is When In Doubt Go To The Library.
This colorway is as yet unnamed but it definitely shows my continued affection for autumnal colors.
Last week I showed you this beginning:
Today I have this:
For this hat, I used the free Ravelry Pattern Finlandia. It was relatively easy as long as I didn’t let my tv watching distract me from doing all the necessary yarn overs to create the trees in the pattern.
This week we received our income tax return and after being good and responsible and paying off some bills (soooooo gratifying!!) I treated myself a bit.
I picked up a good bright work light so that I can continue some needlework that had languished due to lack of adequate lighting. Lately, I have seen some really creative and deliciously snarky cross stitch patterns on Pinterest that have made me decide to pick up that craft again. AFTER I complete the current project. Which is intended as a gift. And I need to get going on if I have a HOPE of having it done in time for the event.
And since walking into a fabric store is risky business for me at any time I also picked up some fun fabric:
The most likely incarnation of this fabric will be a project bag, but I’m still meditating on it.
To all my fellow learning addicts and creative friends, may you find joy in your creativity in whatever form you employ.