Slow Progress and Learning the Art of Patience

Slow, but steady

Slow, but steady

The joke in my family every time my husband or I bring up that I’m knitting him a sweater is that he’ll get it in a few years, if ever. I’m a fairly slow knitter, especially with big projects, and I’m very often distracted by fun small projects in between. Still, progress is progress, no matter how slow.

I always thought it was funny to hear people say the couldn’t knit because it required patience. I knit because I’m impatient. I keep going because I want to see the end result. I want to wear it, show it off, or give it as a gift. Lately, though, I’ve moved from product-oriented to process-oriented. I have developed my patience quite a bit over the past year.

Ken’s sweater is one example. I started this project knowing it would take months. Unlike with mom’s shawl, that thought really didn’t bother me as I cast-on. I understood I was making a commitment to a long-term project. After all, I wasn’t just knitting my first sweater. I was knitting my first big project with intricate (for me anyway) cabling. That’s a big first jump!

Well, the progress really is slow. I’ve had to pause a little to work on a Minion for a friend. It’s been a nice little respite from the sweater. Respite’s a bad word; the sweater isn’t really unpleasant. I enjoy working on it. Let’s just call it a mini-break — a fun, challenging mini-break to challenge my underdeveloped crochet abilities.

I find it kind of interesting how lessons I learned in knitting are starting to translate into my everyday life.Ā I think this newfound patience is also why I decided to go ahead with the weight loss, as well. I know, I’ve said a million times I’m going to lose weight, and a million times I quit. I’m always looking for fast results that I won’t have to keep up in the long-run. This time I know better. Because of the amount, it’s going to take a long time, but I’m completely okay with that. I don’t need fast results; I just need progress, no matter how slow. I know in the end I’ll get there.

As Earl Nightingale said:

“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”

13 thoughts on “Slow Progress and Learning the Art of Patience

  1. Oh yes, as we say, slowly slowly catchy monkey.
    I am sure you will finish it šŸ™‚
    I made a cabled sweater last year for myself, every row knitted is one row done and one row less to knit.
    I looks beautiful, and I look forward to seeing your progress.

  2. Totally agree. I knit because I’m impatient too. And because I’m easily bored. And because I like to fidget…

  3. That’s a great quotation, and the sweater is looking great so far! My boyfriend jokes in a similar fashion about how long it takes me, but that’s only when I make stuff for him — any other time I progress at a normal rate. Maybe because I know he doesn’t hold me to a deadline, or maybe because I want his items to be perfect since he asks for very few.

  4. The first sweater I knit was a gift to my dad. He got the body for Christmas, the first sleeve for New Year’s, and the second for Father’s Day. I think I had it put together by his birthday. As to weight loss, I always have to tell myself that I didn’t gain it in a week and I won’t lose it that fast, either. Sad but true.

  5. Love that quote and so true. I am very impatient and agree that knitting is good for that. I want to see the end product quickly so I really put my mind to it!

  6. I love the quotation, and your post! It is reassuring! I never finish anything in record time, and with so many speedy accomplishers out there, I sometimes feel guilty (or jealous that they have the time to devote to a project that I don’t have). Enjoy the process…enjoy the doing of it!

  7. “I always thought it was funny to hear people say the couldn’t knit because it required patience. I knit because Iā€™m impatient. ” very interesting take. I always say the same thing; I don’t knit or quilt because I don’t have patience. I guess I should try it sometime!

  8. This is something I have a hard time remembering, too: patience. I always seem to glide over the fact that bigger projects just take longer. In the end they get done, and the reward is even greater. This looks like it will be beautiful when its done. Keep plugging away, and thank you for the eloquent reminder about patience!

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