"What do you mean, you MIGHT get it done by the end of the year?"
I looked up from my knitting last Sunday morning to see incredulity on my friend Duckie's face. We were in the hospitality room of our church, spending yet another pleasant Sunday morning visiting while our children were in their Sunday School classrooms. As is only good and natural, I had a knitting project spread out before me on the table. (Idle hands and all!)
The project in question was my Near Solstice shawl - one which tends to be an attention-grabber when it's out in public for a variety of reasons, including the numerous little tags which hang from the needles. Duckie had asked me about it, and I had explained a bit about the pattern and the design. Included in that explanation had also been my rough goals for how much I wanted to accomplish each day and when I expected to finish....the details which had prompted the above question.
"Well yeah, but it's very tiny needles and a lot of stitches...so it's pretty slow going. However, right now I'm managing 4-6 rows/day - about 1-2 hrs of work - and if I can keep that up I can finish it by the end of the year. Don't forget...it is getting smaller because you decrease every other row so the farther in I get the quicker...."
I then realized what I was saying, and had to laugh at myself.
I've never been one to do things the easy way, and I'm most definitely a process knitter. This thing which already has countless hours of work - will most likely end up in a drawer when I'm done. (Seriously, I'm only at row 173 of 597, and that is equivalent to about 60 hours of work!)
So why do I bother?
Because this particular piece is a work of art.
Because the Green Woman told me to.
Because working on it reminds of the snow and the quiet in the winter - the perfect foil to the awful heat and humidity we've had this summer.
Because I like a challenge.
Because it's fun!
Because the lace patterns are easy and the miles of garter stitch sooth the soul.
Because the difficulty level is just enough to keep my brain engaged.
Because the word 'easy' has never been in my vocabulary.
Because the little tags which mark each tiny bird track amuse me.
Because - truth be told - I get a kick out of being perceived as a bit nuts when it comes to my particular hobbies.
Because of the sense of accomplishment I will receive when it is over.
Because I am rather proud of my abilities - and of the drawer full of shawls.
Because I can.