Monday, November 21, 2011

Knot My Problem

Every once in a while, it seems, I take up knitting again. I've been spending time with a few friends who knit heavily--and much better than I do!--and it has inspired me to get to work on my small projects again. It's a good thing to jump start in advance of the holidays, when I'll be traveling a bit and probably sitting around watching football games and bad TV specials with my parents for a period of days.

I like knitting. Supposedly, once you get moderately comfortable doing it, the repetitive motion becomes meditative and soothing. I'm finally getting to that point, and it's become even more enjoyable. The problem I'm currently having is finding a balanced project that will look nice in the end but not drive me crazy learning new stitches.

In talking with my knitting friends, I've realized that the way they experience satisfaction after finishing a big, cool knitting project is similar to the way I experience satisfaction after completing a novel manuscript. One of them told me there are "process knitters," who just love the act of knitting, and "project knitters," who do it to end up with a neat homemade item.

I suppose the same could be said of novelists--some of us just do it because we love spitting words onto the page and the process of honing a first draft to a manuscript is painful, while others love the revision process because they want so badly to see a finished book.

I'm struggling through copyedits on my latest manuscript, a laborious process that has taken me many days of work. It usually goes faster. But it's the end process of more than a year's work on this book. How does this relate to my knitting, you ask? It's shown me why I am definitely a project knitter. And small projects, at that! You'll probably never hear of me tackling a sweater--if I'm going to spend a year's creative energy on anything, it's going to be a novel. But when the going gets rough with my writing, it's soothing to know I can grab a ball of yarn and knit up a pair of gloves or a hat in a weekend. It reminds me that creative projects can and will be finished!

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