I began and promptly put down eleven different books in the first week of February. I’m always setting aside books that I decide not to finish, but this was a lot. No matter what I tried, nothing would click. I just couldn’t find anything that I wanted to commit to.
Sometimes life is like that. Nothing seems to settle into place. Everything feels awkward and ill-fitting. There’s nothing for it but to let things be out-of-sync for a while. It’s no good forcing it. Sometimes, the best thing I can do is set it aside. Sometimes I just need a bit of time away from it. Or, it may not be for me at all. Either way, a little space helps me know.
This setting aside creates the space for the things that will work. After that rocky first week, I fell into several books I’ve enjoyed immensely. I would never have gotten there if I’d insisted on trudging through those first ill-fitting attempts.
And so, at the close of February, I’m remembering the importance of setting aside. I won’t struggle against the wrong fit. I will be brave enough to put down the wrong thing so there will be room for the right.
Apparently, letting go of indecision is a far greater task than I had anticipated. I charged into the month flush with intentions to just get started already. But, I quickly stagnated in the same quagmire of “planning” instead of action. It’s frustrating and disappointing. But, good to recognize. I did manage to accomplish just a bit of concrete progress. I wrote a post describing my intentions with the project. I bought two patterns: the mid-rise Ginger and the Morgan jeans. No fabric for them yet, just the patterns. Yes, it took me all month long to even commit to a pattern (but then, I didn’t even really commit, did I, since I bought two different options?). And, I read The Curated Closet (review forthcoming). It’s not nearly what I was hoping to accomplish. But, hopefully that will be motivation for me to actually cut into some fabric in March.
Slow. Deliberate. Isn’t that what I’ve been saying that I want? I’m quite certain that it is. Oh, but it is so much more difficult than I had led myself to believe. There is a reason people have to work to develop the art of sitting still. But, I’m staying here in this place of slow, even as the days whir past me. It’s a little silly, really, that I’m so anxious to get this quilt top finished so I can sit with it in slow stitching. I’m learning to let it evolve at its own (slow) pace. I’ve tinkered with it almost every day this month. Except, of course, for the week when I stepped away from the quilt to test out some ideas. Those are another exercise in setting aside for a time.
The irony is that, the one area which I had intended to set aside in February is the one that was the most productive. That marks the second month in a row of more knitting progress than sewing. I don’t quite know what to think of that. It just seems like projects keep slipping onto my needles without my noticing. I made a rather ill-fated cabled hat and I’ve already cast on for one more hat. I know—I know. But there simply are not nearly enough winter hats in this house. And, I admit, I do so like the idea of clearing these little balls of yarn out of my knitting basket. The good news is, there isn’t much left in the basket. So, surly, I’ll be able to set the needles aside for a bit to get to work on other things.
I mended eight items this month. Not one of them came from my mending pile. One was a shirt that split a gather when I was rushing to get dressed. The rest were dish towels that have been in heavy use and were beginning to show it. I never did sit down for a mending afternoon, and my mending pile shows it. In mending, as in life, the urgent bypasses the rest in the absence of a dedicated work time.
In Other News
Despite February’s diminutive proportions, two spontaneous projects managed to niggle their way into my crafting time. Both are entirely practical in nature, and I suppose that’s why I couldn’t resist. The first is a set of bracelets that have succeeded (thus far) in radically decreasing the laundry-related conflicts in our house. The second was a supremely satisfying rope basket to corral the dog toys littering our house. I have a strong suspicion that it will not be my last rope basket. Turning a bundle of rope into a useable object was far too empowering to do it only once.
The books I finally settled into enough to finish: