Now that I’ve settled in a bit more to being a shop owner, I am getting better at finding time to devote to things that help me feel balanced. Like yoga.
In yoga classes, instructors will often remind you at the beginning of class that you’ve already done the most important thing for your practice. You’ve shown up. It’s just you and the mat.
I’ve been thinking about these words from my yoga instructor because I have found that most of my knitting classes begin with a combination of “Show and Tell” and confession. “I didn’t finish.” Or, “Look, I messed up here, here, and here. See?” Or, “What did I do here? Did I do something wrong?” Sometimes I’ll get a call before class so someone can get it off their chest that she had a busy week and didn’t get all her “homework” finished (though, she knit enough to give herself a blister from taking her stress out on those knitting needles!).
I’ll joke about issuing a detention for incomplete homework and then talk about how we’re going to have to start class with some breathing exercises and trust falls so we can focus on embracing our projects and our efforts as they are. Well, I’m only kind of joking. . .
The past two weeks, I had the pleasure of having a woman in my class who really embraced her mistakes, in part because she was so excited to keep moving forward. So, her surprising confession at the beginning of class was telling me how she used household items to hold her stitches because she wanted to keep moving onto the next project but didn’t know how to finish any. Then, she pulls out the almost finished hat for the class project and two almost finished mittens to match.
If you’ve got a pen and a carabiner clip, who needs stitch holders?!
It’s so easy to fixate on making something “perfect” and exactly as the pattern or sample. But, the beauty (and sometimes frustrating part) of knitting is that two people can knit the same pattern with the same needles and the same yarn and it will come out different.
You may not finish all your “homework.” Your project may not look exactly like someone else’s or be finished as quickly as someone else’s. But, you showed up. You gave it a try. You used pens and carabiner clips to hold your stitches. And, your practice is what makes it perfect.