Taking It to the Limit #MondayBlogs #LaborOfLove

Hello, dearest Reader.  I feel like I’ve fallen far off the grid, and yet it’s only been a week and several hours since my last post.  The real difference is I haven’t visited any of my friends’ blogs.  I’ve been busy, which is quite fitting since today is Labor Day in the US.

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Guernsey style infant sweater and hat. Yes, the buttons are cat faces 🙂

I still have the baby blanket to knit, but at least I’ve completed the sweater and cap.  I have my doubts about this pattern, though, and it’s the second time I’ve knitted it.  I used to knit sweaters a lot, adult sweaters for friends, me, and my husband.  The baby things have only come about in the last 14 years, since my nephews started having children.  Then a good friend gained a granddaughter and coworkers started having babies.  For a long while I was knitting baby blankets, occasionally throwing in a sweater or socks or a dress.  The thing is … I hate sewing the pieces together, especially when the stitch pattern is anything other than stockinette stitch.  I recall only one time in my knitting life when I sewed up the seams of a cardigan so well they were almost invisible.  (And when I say “sew,” I mean taking several inches of the yarn and a large blunt needle and weaving the seams closed.)

Knitting is much like writing for me.  I love the process.  I love seeing the pattern unfold through my fingers as much as I enjoy seeing a story take shape on a page.  I love the feel of soft wool against my skin as much as I love the intimacy I develop with my characters.  But I don’t love having to put the pieces together as much as I don’t love having to revise and rewrite.  The problem is self-doubt.

Whenever I knit for someone else, I’m more critical of my work than when knitting for myself.  I will rip out a finished sleeve and start over if I find a mistake.  Even when I’m convinced I’ve done the best I could, I still find “defects” in my knitting:  a slight gap where I twisted a stitch one way instead of the other; a telltale seam along the back of the hat.  It’s the same when I think of other people reading my writing:  Melissa’s breakdown is too melodramatic; the setting too vague, too Anywhere, USA.  Typos and grammar can be fixed by an editor.  Poor revision cannot (well, not unless I’m willing to spend $$$$$$$$$$).

So it goes.

Shortly, things will be even busier.  I’ve managed to register for two free online courses:  (1) Modern & Contemporary American Poetry offered by the University of Pennsylvania; and (2) How Writers Write Fiction with the University of Iowa, the same folks who offered the poetry course I took a few months ago.  The poetry course will start on Sept 12 and the fiction course on Sept 24.  And I still have my day job.

Am I insane?  Is there a padded cell in my near future?  I keep taking things to the limit.  Cue The Eagles.

 

 

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27 thoughts on “Taking It to the Limit #MondayBlogs #LaborOfLove

  1. Pingback: I Got Almost … #MondayBlogs #Procrastination | 1WriteWay

  2. Those knits are gorgeous! I will repeat back to you what you wisely told me that as long as you’re exercising your creativity it’s all good, part of your process. 🙂

    • It’s funny how as a perfectionist, rarely does anything I do come out perfect 😉 Hmmm … there should be a Follow button at the very top of your screen when you’re reading my blog (or any WordPress blog). Last resort is to subscribe through email. There should be a place for that in my sidebar. LOL … I haven’t looked at my own site in so long, I forgot what’s there 😉

  3. Ah!!!! So adorable! They look great, Marie!!! Like you, I see my writing in the same way as I do with knitting or crocheting. It’s great to see how the written pattern unfolds in a beautiful sweater.

  4. Looks like L. Marie has some competition in the knitting department. It amazes me what you can spin up with just some needle and thread. I look forward to hearing about your future writing courses! Hopefully they’ll provide the inspiration you seek to get past that self-doubt, though it never seems to go away completely…I guess it’s just a matter of facing up to it and instead of fighting it, just going around it and continuing anyway. 🙂

    • You are so right, Phillip! Self-doubt will always be with me. Just need to find more effective ways to ignore it and get on with my writing 🙂

  5. Your sweater and cap are beautiful, Marie. I know what you mean about knitting and writing, feel the same way. I’ve got a hole in the baby blanket I”m knitting and couldn’t figure out how to fix it. Hopefully, someone will help me fix it when I’m done. I don’t think you’re insane, either, but I”m probably not the best person to judge. 🙂

    • Oh, that’s a bummer about the hole. I’ve had that happen before. Depending on the hole (a missed stitch or just a larger gap between stitches), you might be able to fix it just by blocking the blanket. Is it machine washable? If the hole is large, maybe you can weave it closed with a large darning needle and a length of the yarn you used for the blanket. Or crochet a flower and put it where the hole is. I hope you can get some help with it. I feel your pain 😉

      • Ooh, I like the idea of crocheting a flower there…that could work. I’ll have to see what it looks like when it’s all done but thanks for the great tip.

  6. Marie, what a beautiful set. Truly, it’s just lovely. What fine, delicate work!
    By the way, thanks for your support of the 30/30 Project. It will bring more poetry forth into the world!!!!

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