I think that sometimes, we all have problems with beginnings. I’ll admit, I haven’t actually done what I set out to do just a few days ago and write every single day. I feel like I just don’t know how to always fit it easily into my day. Maybe it’s because I don’t have one set specific time when I sit down to write. Maybe it’s just an adjustment period. Who knows. A lot of times, starting a task is more daunting than the act of carrying it out.
I’ve been slowly starting to make this computer “mine”. Despite some of the negative warnings and feedback I’m getting about having a Mac, I’m really starting to adjust to what it’s like to use one. Now, I’m sure that I don’t know half of the tricks that are supposed to make this thing extra cool, but I know enough that I can do the things I usually use a computer for. I managed to get all of my music onto my computer, which is an accomplishment all by itself. I also went through all of my old internet faves on my PC, trashed the outdated ones, and put the ones that were still useful on my new laptop. Tomorrow or the next day, it will be the beginning of putting my photos and documents on my new computer. I know that will be a slightly lengthy task – I get the feeling the photos aren’t organized as well as I would like – so I’m putting a pin in it until I really have time to pay attention to what I’m doing.
But other things are easy to start. Knitting projects – I could start those every day. I love the thrill of a new project, love winding up the yarn and beginning to study the pattern and familiarize myself with it. I finished a hat yesterday and got to wear it, and that STILL wasn’t as exciting as what I did the night before – wound a skein of yarn into a ball and then started a gauge swatch to see what it would be like as a sweater.
Does this make sense? Does this make any sense? Of course not. If you endlessly begin, never even reaching close to the middle, there won’t be any growth, no progress. You might be a master at casting on, but you won’t know anything about binding off or finishing, or how many hours it truly takes to cast off over 400 stitches on a shawl that you began by casting on a mere 3 stitches for. It’s a completely different kind of work and effort. And truly, one is not better than the other – that would be an absurd thing to try to compare, like trying to compare soap and a space heater. They just feel different. Starting out, you and the project are getting to slowly know one another. What does the yarn like? Does it prefer gliding along metal or running slowly along wooden needles? How many stitch markers will you actually need to use? Are there any errors just laying in wait for you? All this, opposed to the process of finishing – that point when you have that ridiculously complicated stitch pattern actually memorized to the point where you’re thinking it makes perfect sense to just case on this same project again, to save yourself the pain and struggle of having to memorize a whole new stitch pattern, just to complete it.
Right now, I just have 3 projects on the needles – the Earth Stripe Wrap that Sarah and I finally got around to starting, a big chunky vest that I need to start over completely now that I’ve figured out the gauge issue and have adjusted the pattern to the best of my abilities, and this little white alpaca hat. I would be finished with that last one, but I ran out of yarn RIGHT when I hit the decreases. I could have probably just shortened the hat but darn it, I feel like I’ve spent all winter having to compensate for not having enough yarn for a hat – and that just feels wrong, given how tiny hats are! Joel and I are going to Colorado for the next week, and I’m trying really hard to figure out which projects to take and how many. I know I could get some good knitting done on the Earth Stripe wrap, but do I really want to lug 14 separate balls of yarn around with me? Do I want to start a whole new project (or three) to take with me? It’s just so hard to say.
Sometimes, holding yourself back from beginning too much too soon is just as important as starting at all.