I was looking at the most beautiful knitting on Ravelry the other day. The project page in question was owned by a lady whose knitting currently spans over 50 years. She has knitted quite a number of beautifully complex projects that I have intentions to knit too, and I was very envious. “I still have time” I thought. “There will be time when I don’t have to work, and don’t have kid obligations.” And then I realised that I won’t be here in 50 years. I don’t have 50 years to knit. I probably don’t even have 40 years left of my life to knit. If I’m very unlucky, maybe I only have 20 years left. Or less!
And then I thought about the most beautiful projects of others that I have seen, knitters who are much younger than me, and have even more years of knitting left in their life than me. And suddenly, I felt very, very, depressed. I’m probably experiencing what is a typical mid-life crisis, but just in a knitting sort of way… the meaning of my mortality has finally sunk home.
This realisation has caused me to shift the focus of my knitting. I feel I can’t fritter my time away knitting projects that I don’t enjoy, or knit just because they’re quick and look sort of cute. I must use my time wisely and use it to learn and knit the things I actually want to do. Knitting is such an enjoyable activity. One can derive an enormous amount of enjoyment out of knitting something even as simple as a garter stitch scarf. It’s easy to get distracted… Don’t misunderstand: I am very proud of a number of the projects that I have knitted. It’s just that there are things I want to knit that I haven’t got to yet, mainly because they represent significant investments of brain power and time, and I’ve been telling myself until now that I don’t have the time for those projects yet.
So, although there is no cause for me to think that I might ‘kick the bucket’ in the near future, I do think I should start to make a concerted effort to commence that ‘wish list’ alongside the other projects that are really fun too. (I am pragmatic enough to know that it won’t be possible just to knit only the wish list.)
The beginning list is:
Celestarium (I don’t think this will be hard to knit, but I haven’t done a pi shawl before, so this is a good learning project. Plus, it’s gorgeous, and I have always wanted a shawl of night sky. You can see I’ve begun preparation already!)
Irish Moss (I don’t think you can beat Alice Starmore for beauty in cabled sweaters.)
Aran Duffle Coat (This will be the perfect replacement to a current commercially bought long cabled cardigan that is looking tatty. I’m not sure it’s a truly difficult pattern, but it’s in my list of ‘want to do’.)
A lace shawl. I really want to complete a full lace shawl this year.
If I can include at least the above four projects in among the others I do this year, then I will consider this a year well spent.
(And if you’re wondering what’s happened with those jackets… they’re done. I’ll show them to you in the next few days when the recipients can model them for me. I’m very happy with how they’ve turned out.)