Thursday, October 22, 2009

Relatively Speaking

This is something we know but forget: The difficulty of any task is relative.

I have been working on a mystery shawl. The Knitting Guild--yes, I'm in a knitting guild, sh'up--puts one clue on its website each month. There are four clues, and the fourth one gets published on November 1. You sort of know what you're knitting, but not really. It's all very Secret and Surprising and Challenging.

The project is lace, and the yarn is tiny and the stitches are many. Every other row I have more stitches. The wad of lace is up to 592 stitches in a round. (That makes me mad, by the way. Why couldn't the most recent clue end at 600 stitches? Now I have to say, "I'm up to nearly 600 stitches." It doesn't have the same ring to it.) Lace is hard and unforgiving and is really, really hard to take out when you get to the end of a round and find out that you have an extra stitch.

When I finished clue 3, I was thrilled to have over a week with no clue and therefore no possible way to work on the shawl. The freedom to knit something not tiny and not green and not lace!

So I started working on a secret project for Brandy. (It's not really secret, just secret from Brandy. You know.) This project is difficult. There are Colors and Charts (stupid charts) and Math.

But you know what? It's not difficult after knitting lace. The yarn is small, but not as small as the lace. The chart is tricky, but it's over 96 stitches (which, as you know, is nearly 100, stupid designers) instead of nearly 600. No problem.

My point, and I have one, is that this project would have been very difficult if I had just finished a simple hat. But I didn't, and it's not.

I've been frustrated recently by my extremely slow running pace. Really slow. Really quite slow. Really startlingly slow. But I've been looking at it incorrectly.

Four months ago, I would have found running a mile harder-than-lace hard. Now it's not. It makes me wonder: What else can I do?

What else can we all do?

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