Life is all about journeys, metaphorical or otherwise. Sometimes we don’t even realise that we’re on the journey and although some would prefer the comfort and control of a well thought out itinerary, some of the best, some of the most memorable, some of the most meaningful were never planned. I have to admit that I am one of those who likes to obsessively cover all eventualities, to know where I am headed.
Of course, life doesn’t always turn out that way.
What about you? How do you like to journey?
I return once more to the metaphor of knitting. Whether or not you knit, I’m sure you can draw parallels in your own life.
It is said that there are two types of knitter. The process knitter and the product knitter. Are knitters one or the other? Sometimes. But as with all definitions, us humans rarely conform to the boundaries, to the limits, to the black and white. We are what we want to be in the moment, or what we need to be.
For me, knitting is very much about the product. But I say that only as regards the concept of knitting. Surely knitting is about making something, something likely as not practical and necessary? I do love the idea of having a finished product, something that I successfully made. A bit like the whole been there, got the t-shirt thing. But is that really the point of travel? To just come out the other side with a souvenir?
Car journeys can be fun. It’s no fun when you’re stuck on traffic, our local trunk road is particularly notorious, and you have a deadline, an appointment, a clearly prescribed time of arrival laid upon you. And shouldn’t knitting be fun? Few of us are knitting for our bread and butter, we’ve taken it up as a hobby, a craft, a pastime. Aren’t we meant to be enjoying it?
In my knitting, as with I think probably everything else in my life, I do not like having a deadline or even some form of obligation laid upon me. It stresses me out and completely demotivates me. (I am a recovering perfectionist). Whilst I am happy to knit for other people, you’ll have to join the pipeline and accept that it’ll be knitted when it wants to be knitted.
However, I have to shamefacedly admit that I like the buzz of instant gratification. Hey, I’m human! And I have a short attention span. I like the excitement (although this often feels more like trepidation) of casting on new things and I particularly like the thrill of finishing something, especially when it’s something wearable.
So am I a product knitter?
Well, the end product does motivate me. I like to choose my journeys knowing that I can come out the other side. And preferably in one piece too. I want to know where I am going (or at least where I am meant to).
But as much as I like to know my destination, I also enjoy planning and envisioning the journey that I am embarking on. I do want to know what the highlights are, what to look out for. I’m interested in side roads, shortcuts, detours and distractions.
So am I a process knitter?
More than likely.
I’m not the kind of person that can churn out projects with regularity and precision. I get distracted. I change my mind and want to go elsewhere. I’m happy to work on something else for a bit, whether like a family game of I-spy to distract and dull the pain or as a leg stretch to give me a breath of fresh air.
(Incidentally, I am under a lifetime ban from the game of I-spy).
So I guess that the kind of knitter that I am is the kind of person that I am. I like to share my experiences with others, I like to connect with other people. I don’t want to travel alone, I am a sharer. It doesn’t matter where we end up or how but I want to be part of other people’s journeys, to help them, to abet them, to enable them. And most importantly, I want to learn from other people.
Maybe I could be called a social knitter. Although, I might not be propping bars or the like (one of the associations with the term), my knitting definitely accompanies me. But it’s more than that. It helps connect me, one stitch at a time. And that’s part of the process. The process of knitting, the process of life. One stitch at a time. That’s how I do it.
And that’s something I should bear in mind the next time that I’m stuck in traffic.