Sunday, February 03, 2008

First, Do No Harm

Having a Master's degree in counseling is a helpful thing even if you don't really use it in a career sense.  For example, it is helping me mightily right now as I try to type this because I am using every strategy I know of to deal with the fact that something is causing super slow processing in Computer Land today and the words are somewhat delayed in their appearance on the screen.  This makes me nuts.  Or it would if I didn't have such a well developed background in human behavior and stuff...

It is also a useful thing to have in the old toolkit for knitting.  For example, I know oodles and scads of stuff about the grieving process and the behaviors associated with loss.  The old hierarchy of Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance that is the standby for Grief Counselors have surprisingly solid applications in the world of wool.  Let's look at a purely random example, just for educational purposes.  I'm not suggesting that this is the sort of thing that might have been happening here or anything.  I'm just making a point.

There is the moment where you say, "This is a baby blanket.  It is a rectangle.  I can knit a rectangle.  There is no way on earth I could have made a mistake on a rectangle.  I'll just keep on knitting..."

Or how about this one:  "OK.  So there is a mistake.  But, in spite of my never having successfully managed to tink yarnovers in my knitting career, I see no possible way that things could go wrong if I try it again."

If that's not denial, I don't know what is.

Then there is the anger.  You say vile things to the knitting.  You maybe even hurl it into the knitting basket once or twice even though it doesn't really fit because of all the other projects that have been hurled into that black hole of failure over the years.  

Then perhaps you do something like rip it right off the needles.  You might even be seeing red at that point.  Even if there isn't a single drop of red dye in the yarn you are using.

Shortly thereafter, you will realize what you have done.  You will attempt to appease the knitting gods by painstakingly trying to put the offending stitches back on the needles.  You promise that you will, henceforth, treat the knitting with more respect if it will only allow you to get it back on track just this one last time.

For the record, bargaining never works.  Never.  The knitting gods laugh heartily at those who try to wheel 'n deal with them.  There may also be some sort of smiting in the near future.

And then it hits you.  You have trashed it.  It is beyond hope.  The project is dead.  You have killed it and there is no resurrecting it.  Depression sets in.  You bow your head and say a few words in memory of the project and then eat waffles.  (made with a $5.00 waffle maker from the discount store and featuring Cinderella embossing because this might just make you feel better about things...but it doesn't)

Finally, you accept the situation and maybe even put it into perspective a bit.  It's just knitting after all.  It's not like the world is going to stop revolving because you screwed up a baby blanket.  Heck, maybe you've even learned a little something from the whole saga.  It wouldn't surprise me if you even chuckled a bit at the memory of your having flung knitting around the house and accusing it of being out to get you.  That's just a little crazy in a funny sort of way, actually.

Yes, some understanding of the psychology of loss is a very useful thing to have.  You can really get a good handle on what is happening within your psyche and even use it to make good choices while you deal with the situation.  Let's hear it for advances courses of study and the application of that learning!  It can make things better!


You could start the whole process over again, this time in crochet and spend a Sunday flinging yarn around the room while accusing it of inappropriate stripe patterns.

Thank heavens for waffles and a marathon showing of The Closer.  Maybe my degree won't help me cling to what little sanity I have left, but there are a couple of things out there trying to save me in spite of myself.

I don't know what I'd do if I were a football fan today.  SuperBowl Stress on top of the whole Color Calamity would probably have done me in long before now.  But, for my friends and family who are, as we speak, glued to the various screens around them and waiting to see how it all turns out let me just say this:

Go Pats!!!

And to the baby blanket remnants scattered across the floor today let me just say this:

Go Away!!!

SA (with apologies for any typos tonight... editing has been tricky)


The Kelly Green Rogue said...

Hmm, sounds an awful lot like my weekend, at least the knitting part. Good thing I have wine :)

Kath said...

Hah! I watched The Closer marathon too! (Actually I still am right now.)

But I have to wonder what "inappropriate stripe patterns" are for a baby blanket. (Like are they rude somehow?) My tried & true baby blanket pattern is mindless garter stitch - just switch from large to small needles every 7 rows - makes it ruffly. You can see one in my Rav notebook.

Mia said...

mm hmmmm... I strongly recommend the crochet.. it's the only sensible thing to do. After you eat more pancakes of course.

And the Pats gave it a good try.. those last few minutes of the game were a nail biter! (But it's all good cuz I won a couple hundred bucks!)

trek said...

Yikes! Sounds like you had quite the weekend. Are you going to follow it up with a snow day soon? Or maybe not. Maybe it would be better to get away from the fiber fumes for a bit.

Anonymous said...

Oh no. It's so sad when good knits go bad.

Tina - omme i London aka teeweewonders said...

LOL - do you feel better now that you've got it out of your system?

mehitabel said...

There was flinging of the knitting chez mehitabel last night, too. Or to be more exact, chez mehitabel's daughter's house. Itty bitty baby hat. How hard can it be? Apparently, hard enough that I can't do it.
No waffles either. But I did have good ravioli.
Might try the baby hat again tonight. And then again, I might just burn all my yarn.

Beth said...

Oh no, please tell me this isn't your pretty baby blanket. It looked so nice!

crzjane said...

Be strong. Don't let the project know it's getting the upper hand. If you do, all is lost. (Speaking from experience.) My last baby blanket turned into a stole for the mother. I made up the pattern myself but did not swatch. The mother loved it and I made something else for the baby. It all worked out (somehow). So keep a stiff upper lip!