Knitting Lessons from the Garden

In our neck of the woods, it will be officially Spring in just a few days. For some people, this means that warm weather will lead them to other pursuits that don't involve yarn or wool or knitting.  For some of us, however, knitting is ever with us. Warm weather only means we find lovely places to sit outside with our knitting. Warm weather also means the dye vats return to the back yard to explore the cool shades of indigo (!).

This week I've been "spring-a-fying" my yard and porch and creating the perfect spots for many hours of knitting. It's hard work and I know I'm not the only one in my family with sore muscles and blisters from digging and planting and weeding and mulching. It's hard work that yields results, though; results that will be enjoyed by us and our guests for the next few months.

Life is like that. There will be days of exhausting work necessary to achieve your goals. There will be muddy footprints tracked in and the cat will have mulch stuck in his fur and leave it all over the house and you might not be able to bend over and tie your own shoes because you spent so much time bent over the flower beds pulling weeds. It's worth it in the long run, as I sit on my patio and sip tea and feel the breeze on my face and hear the birds singing.

Knitting is like that, too. There will be days when you will be tired and pretty much over it. You will declare knitting a dead art form only practiced by fools and threaten to burn all your supplies in a big ugly bonfire. You will cast on 9 times before you get the hang of whatever technique is eluding you.  Nine.Times.  You will doubt your abilities, your hands will cramp, your yarn will tangle and you will discover you hate the pattern you've spent a week working on. Is it worth it? The answer to that will come to you when you see your husband wearing his favorite hat (you knit it) and your son wearing his favorite sweater (you knit it) and your daughter slipping cushy socks onto her ballet-sore feet after class (yes, you knit those, too). 

Even though it's hard, put in the work now to learn that skill, to knit that gauge swatch, to take that class, to master that cast on, to knit for that charity. Don't get discouraged if it takes longer than you think it should; I'm pretty sure that my backyard will be finished one day--two months from now!  But I am enjoying the process, grateful for time to spend with my family as we work and for the beautiful weather and for the possibilities of it all. The seeds we plant today will bloom in the hot summer months and make me happy that I worked hard this spring, just as the warm knitwear you create this spring and summer will be the first thing you bundle up in come fall and winter.

It's worth the effort and you are worth the feeling of accomplishment that comes from working hard to learn, to knit, to garden, to do whatever it is your hand finds to do.

What about you? What lessons have you learned from gardening or other "slow and steady" pursuits?