Monday, August 25, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

The last few days I have been focused on work, both in my doing and in my thinking (and blogging).  Now I am beginning to realize how much I need to create dreaming time.


This summer I bought some lovely silk and alpaca lace weight yarn. For Christmas last year, I had knit our daughter a lace scarf out of my handspun. Knitting this gave me great pleasure.  I did it during the evenings when I had time.  I didn't push myself.  I treated the knitting of it as a delightful time out of time.

Then I saw the silk and alpaca at a yarn sop in Brevard, NC.  I thought, this year I'll do it "right."  I'll use "real" lace yarn and knit her the loveliest lace scarf she has ever seen.  Always begin with boldness......!!!!

Knowing I was still a rank amateur in lace knitting, I found a simple lace pattern and swatched it.  Something was wrong. As far as I could tell, the problem was with the pattern, not me (sure.........).   so I found another lace pattern.  I didn't swatch that..........  And don't anybody yell at me---I know I was WRONG!  So I cast on the required number of stitches and started knitting.  Slowly.  Two rows a day (evening).  Last night I was feeling very confident so I knit a whole pattern repeat.  I had markers in for the lace repeats and everything was working out fine.

Then I stretched it out and looked at it.  It didn't look at all right.  I got the book out so that I could see the picture.  What I was knitting was just plain wrong, except, strangely, for the first repeat.  The other four repeats were all off.  I checked my paper where I had copied the pattern against the pattern in the book.  I had made no mistakes.  So it had to be the book.

I decided I was never going to be a "real" lace knitter.  I ripped out what I had knitted and put the ball of yarn away.

This morning I realized that the mistake was not in the pattern but in what I had done (finally I had come to my senses!).  And I even knew just what I had done wrong.  Amazingly, that not only made me feel better, it also made me realize that I didn't have to do lace knitting with "real" lace yarn.  Knitting with "real" lace yarn, lovely as it was,  was not giving me nearly the pleasure that knitting lace with my own handspun had given me.  So now when I am fully recovered from this fiasco, I will find some of my handspun and start again.


I realized something else as well.  I realized how much I am obsessed with always having to be actually doing something.  Because of this obsession, I frequently try to add just one more thing to my life.  Knitting a lace scarf, for example.  I have learned to say "no" to requests others make of me.  What I have not learned to do well is to say "no" to requests I make of myself.


I very much need to allow open spaces in my life to dream.  This does not take away anything of the importance of the serious kind of sampling I have been talking about.  It is simply that my creative life has become way too one-sided.  Too much working time, not enough dreaming/playing time. I have been somewhat aware of this lopsidedness of my creative life for a long time.  It's kind of like being somewhat aware of the need to go on a diet.  You don't want to get too aware or you might actually have to do something about it!

I have been working on eliminating distractions.  But the point of doing that had been so that I could accomplish more, i.e., do more.  Now I realize that I need to think of eliminating these distractions as a means of allowing me to create open spaces in my life, time to dream, time to look at paintings and imagine, time to browses through weaving books and magazines and imagine, time to let something of beauty sink into my soul, time to lie in the grass and look at the sky and listen to the birds and just smile.

Related Post:  Resistance and Finding Time

"Time to Dream" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 25, 2008.    © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Dorothy said...

Such good timing Peg!

Today was one of our Bank Holidays, so no work to go to. Having worked flat out on a weaving project last week, and then sorted out the house (neglected wilting houseplants, heaps of washing etc.) I was all set to start the next project... then, last night, having got my work table clear for the first time in weeks I just sat, I stopped, I let my mind wander and it felt so good. It felt like the kind of holiday I needed. Space and time to dream.

So I decided to stop worrying about the detail of the next project, let it come together in it's own time, then start when I really feel ready.

Taueret said...

hee! I woke up this morning planing to write a blog post about 'leisure' and here you are giving me more food for thought. I also have no appetite for knitting lace from "real" laceweight yarn.

Susan said...

You are right on the mark Peg!

Life can fill up and become too full for the things that sustain you. I have been eliminating the unneccessary 'stuff' to bring me back to simply weaving more. I live in a beautiful place with nature all around...I simply go for a walk on my own property and usually take my camera along.

I have been limiting my involvement in local guilds as well. They are a super source of friendship and learning but they can be 'energy vampires' by being exceptionally 'needy'. Volunteers make these groups run but not eveyone is in a place in their life to give time.
I have been running a national guild for 5 years or so and supposed to be 'relaxing' as past president...but the new prez took ill and so the VP's and myself assumed running it again. We *think* we're done and the prez is ready to take it back on, but we'll have to see!
I had no idea of how burnt out I was until I had to resume my old duties once more.

I need more of those nature walks and time to simply do my own weaving and explore. In time I'll venture out again and share more. My blog was an attempt to share and and still give myself the space I need. I think it's working!?


Peg in South Carolina said...

Dorothy, thank you for sharing.
Taueret, I do hope that I have not stopped you from writing your blog post!
Susan, having a large piece of property has always been my dream. But I content myself with working in our yard, which is a wonderful corrective, except when it is much too hot and the air is rank with mosquitoes! It is very easy to get burned out and very difficult to see burnout coming. I am glad you are protecting yourself.

Ety said...
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