Saturday, 22 November 2008

A Knotty Problem

Apologies for the very long delays between entries at the moment. No exotic trips this time, just lots and lots of work and lots and lots of stress related to that. Very little knitting has been done at all. But a little story from yesterday illustrates its continued importance for me.
I was desperate to find some time to knit, took my latest project on my commute, only to find that the yarn (lovely bamboo from Rowan) had got massively tangled. So I spent most of my journey to work in unravelling mode, trying to keep very calm and not to feel at all annoyed or frustrated. Having worked enough of the knots loose to knit a couple of rows I did that then carried on untangling. As I was doing this it struck me what a huge metaphor this was for my current work challenges: helping to contribute to massive organisational change and some tricky politics. I'm very up for it but it is also emotional draining and quite dispiriting at times. Untying my yarn knots made me think about how sometimes you really want to just get on with the task but there is preliminary untangling to be done. That can be very frustrating. But then it isn't always necessary to unravel everything before you continue. Sometimes you can knit a couple of rows and then carrying on tackling the knots. By the end of my commute I had completely unravelled my ball of yarn.
The knitting metaphor continued when I arrived at work. One of my colleagues asked me to knit her a couple of extra days so that we could fit in all the meetings and other "stuff" we need to do next week! And at a lunchtime meeting to discuss some knotty work issues I noticed that there was a pot of knitting needles and some yarn on the windowsill in the restaurant, which seemed an encouraging sign.
All this felt very encouraging and at home again I was looking forward to an evening of knitting. I followed my pattern while watching a film and realised that there was an error as I'd cast off the back far too soon - the pattern says cast off after 30 cm when I think it should say 60 cm. So now I'm going to have to unpick my cast off stitches and knit the rest of it to the right size. Another metaphor about not rushing to the end point, not slavishly following the pattern and making sure that the work being done is fit for purpose? I don't know, but it does seem that knitting has a lot to teach us about our lives if only we can connect into what it is saying to us. Meanwhile it's back to that unpicking and carrying on with the work...