The endless not-yet-end...
This middle took a long time.
Like For. Ev. Er.
Yes, I know I lengthened it—and I’m not sorry for that—but by the end of the middle I am looking at over 50 inches of stockinette and garter. That’s some mind-numbing marathon knitting, folks. I probably could have binge-watched the entire Harry Potter series and still not have finished the necessary rows. Not that I would. Such a feat would have amounted to inviting carpal tunnel syndrome in for tea.
Still, I don’t quite know what I’ve got here yet. It’s behaving more like a scarf than a shawl because it’s not blocked. The lacework end is doing that scrunchy bumpy thing all lacework does before you block it. The sides are curling menacingly. It’s too big to carry around with any degree of subtlety—I judge all handbags by their ability to hold my knitting, and this thing has outgrown even my handbag.
It never ceases to amaze me how knitting is like other parts of my life. Ask any novelist what the hardest part of any manuscript is, and most will say “the middle.” It’s true for me. Middles are this thing I simply have to slog through, unable to see the ending but knowing vaguely what it’s supposed to look like. This is a middle to slog through.
Knitting is also like parenting. It’s both full of possibility and daunting at the beginning, and then the middle is mostly keeping at it despite the this-will-never-end feeling. In the end, you get a finished product, but most times it’s not quite what you thought you’d get. Both my kids are simultaneously exactly what I’d hoped and wondrously different than I planned. They’re both adults, so we’re at or near the “bind off” for both of them, but the middles were long and taxing.
Are middles hard? Yep, in knitting, writing, and parenting. Needing patience, endurance, persistence, and no small amount of stubborn refusal to quit? Without a doubt. Worth it? Absolutely.
After all, knitting is like a million things.
We’re all knit together, the whole lot of us, and we’ll come out beautiful when it’s finished.
These final, endless-seeming election days (in the U.S., that is), that’s good to remember.
PS: If you're near San Antonio, don't forget my upcoming event there--I'd love to see you!