Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Getting Started

I used to teach writing.  One of the most difficult things that students encounter is writing that first sentence.  So much hinges on getting it "just right" that it becomes an insurmountable task to many people.  My approach to writing has, and always will be, that it's not set in stone.  You can revise, reorganize and delete sentences and words so just get started.  When students realized that they did have options and that they weren't wasting time just getting started, the often did and found they experience as freeing as I do.

I love the whole experience of getting started on something.  Anything really, but especially crafting projects.  So much goes into the starting process--all of the potential and excitement.  None of the journey and frustration.  It's hopeful to consider how things will turn out, to think about the person you're going to give it to, and to imagine all of its possibilities.  Often when I'm getting started on something I'll get distracted by something else I want to start...and in the process end up forgetting what I was originally setting out.  I get back to my starting point and move on, but sometimes my digression into unknown possibilities can take a little bit of time.

There's one craft where starting gives me a little anxiety...knitting.  It seems like I always start things over more than once. Casting on the exact number of stitches, making sure they aren't too tight or loose, etc., requires some thought and concentration for me.  Also, with no or few rows, knitting is awkward and it takes some patience to get through the first inch or so before it starts to feel comfortable.  I had to start this sweater front that I'm working on three times before I finally got moving.  Now, it's easy-peasy and requires almost no concentration.  I knitted a little over an inch last night during crafting night--while talking AND drinking wine.  But those first three rows were important and after ripping them out twice, I decided yesterday to get cast on and set up BEFORE anyone showed up.  What a great idea.  My starting wasn't anxious, I was able to count and recount, and everything worked out great.

Maybe I'm learning how to "just get started" in knitting after all.

Today's picture is of the first hat I completed in regular knitting.  It's the very beginning of it, so it's the beginning of a beginning knitter.  I love this hat even though it's too big for my head :)

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