I’m still working away on my Persian shawl…and it is taking FOREVER. Each row takes at least 15 minutes at this point, and I still have a repeat and a half to go before the top border.


I probably should have put something else in this picture for scale, huh? The shawl is about as long as my cat at the moment (and he is a long cat), and that is before blocking. By the end of the last repeat, the shawl should be over 300 stitches across. And then I have to knit a border!

There comes a point in every (long) project where I’m ready to be done with knitting. Either the stitch pattern has lost its luster, or I want to see the if the finished product will be the right size, or I just want to move onto something new. Inevitably, I sprint to the finish, staying up late and knitting feverishly, abandoning all other projects. I triumphantly bind off the final stitches, ecstatic to finally be done with the thing, and then…I add it to the pile of “things to be finished” and sit, bemused, and wondering what to do next. The moments after the knitting is done are a little odd, a little unsettling. I no longer have a default project that I can just reach for and knit without thinking. There is a transition period as I readjust and find (or cast on) the next project to fill that need. It is always startling to find I was rushing to finish, and then once done wishing there was more. I’ve noticed parallels in my non-knitting life, too.

With this project, I’m consciously resisting this urge. Rather than get fed up with rows that never end and long needles burdened by an increasingly heavy shawl-to-be, I’m trying to enjoy this near-end of the project. The long rows mean I have to turn the work less often, and the ever-wider simple lace panels push this project closer to the “mindless” (aka peaceful) end of the spectrum. Maybe I can imbue this shawl with that sense of peaceful awareness, of mindfulness, for when I finally get to wear it. It is certainly less showy, more comforting, than previous shawl projects. Maybe this is what it was meant to be all along.

Or maybe it was designed to drive me crazy with impatience. It could be that, too.

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One Response to Endurance

  1. Verónica says:

    Hang in there. I sometimes knit smaller items in between long or difficult projects just to get that sense of satisfaction.

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