I originally wrote this post back in 2010 and repeated it in 2013. When I read it again today, I decided to run it again because the message rings so true. Often, little bits of friction are enough to keep us from moving forward with our goals. I had taken a bit of a hiatus from my knitting but became rejuvenated when I decluttered my knitting projects last summer. (I’ll post about that soon!) So this post resonated with me today. I hope you enjoy it.
Sometimes the tiniest things keep us from doing things we want to do or think we should be doing. If we can identify those things and modify them, we can get more done.
I was thinking about this as I contemplated my knitting. One of the projects I’m working on is this cool bag, the Garter Stripe Square Bag. (The pattern is in Japanese, but you can find it in English on Ravelry.)
This bag was created (and photographed) by LKolarik on Ravelry.
To make this bag, you knit 22 striped squares, seam them together in a particular way, sew the sides of the bag, create handles and throw the whole thing into the washing machine to felt it. The knitting part is easy, the construction perhaps a tiny bit complicated. But overall, it’s a very cool result for minimal effort. Good, mindless knitting.
I started knitting the striped squares on my favorite knitting needles, Harmony interchangeable circular needles from Knit Picks. I love the Harmony needles because they’re smooth and light and just feel great. (I’m not crazy about the way they look, but I’ve gotten past that.)
But as I researched this project more on Ravelry, I saw that other people had knit it on double-pointed needles (DPNs), picking up stitches on the side of finished squares to minimize the seaming. (If you’re not a knitter, the takeaway is that I thought I’d try different needles.)
So I bought some bamboo DPNs at my local yarn shop. They’re perfectly serviceable needles, but they don’t have the smooth finish of the Harmony. (I could have purchased Harmony DPNs, but they’re only available mail order and I didn’t want to wait.)
When I started to knit a square with these new needles, it was less pleasant. There was a certain drag to the needles, making the knitting more laborious. There was some friction in the combination of the wool and the bamboo that felt yucky. I would do just a couple of rows before putting the square down.
Eventually I decided to give up on the DPNs and go back to the Harmony needles. Now I’m buzzing along on my squares.
The lesson here? It took me awhile to figure out the reason I was resisting knitting that bag was that I hated the way the needles felt. They transformed the knitting experience from something enjoyable into something irritating.
This happens all the time in life. Maybe you’d be more inclined to put a certain item away if it were stored in a more accessible place. Maybe you’d handle your mail every day if you had a clear, designated space in which to do it. Maybe you’d put your laundry away promptly if the drawers weren’t so full of clothes.
Think about an order-related task you’re resisting. Is there some small change you could make that would make doing it easier? Some little irritation you can identify that you could remove or modify? One little change can make a big difference.