“Knitting is a marathon, not a sprint.”
My knitting teacher Sarah imparted this wisdom to me this at class (at the Yarnery) last week, after I’d confessed to completing a grand total of what seems like 20 stitches, the entire prior week. Now that I count them it was more like 200, though all 200 fit into the tiny but technical tapered heel of the first sock I’ve ever made.
What a relief! This was a strangely liberating maxim: as a runner, the marathon and I have a love-hate relationship: I don’t understand the hype, nor the appeal, but for a lifelong runner and trail runner, the ol’ 26-point-2 is usually on the to-do list, distance and mettle-wise. Meh. My plantar fascia and I (thanks, Chris, for the correction) give it the finger, for the moment.
I’m in the same situation today: barely an inch has been added to the sock –the first one– because I’ve found a new way to drop a stitch and need Sarah’s help again. I suppose I can see marathonic qualities here, though I’m glad a few others are missing. I get the “Jesus, this takes forever!”, the “pace yourself!”, a medal (albeit a fuzzy one), and some self-discovery along the way. I get a pass on the cartilage abuse, sunscreen re-application and nutrient timing.
Somehow I still manage the dehydration. *Sigh.* This likely speaks to my desire to make the socks a sprint. “One… more… row before I drink some water!”
Upon reflection, perhaps there really aren’t that many things in life that are sprints. Yes, maybe running to catch a plane, trying to meet an important deadline here and there, making sure the vegan brownies don’t burn, maybe a few others. So much else in life is about the long haul, doing some planning, following those plans but adjusting as needed, and settling in for the ride with intention. Home ownership, career development, and taking care of yourself.
It certainly applies to yoga practice: you take it one day at a time, perhaps even one breath at a time. The finish line? A mindful now; hopefully fewer aches and better sleep; ideally, less tight calves. Contentment. Maybe a pincha mayurasana.
Check out what I found at mile 14: a shoe size chart for knitting socks. Tonight, once Sarah fixes me up, I’ll be knitting most of the foot length on sock one. 9 1/8 inches!