It has not been the best knitting times for me. I feel that I have unraveled more than actually knitted, and for the whole autumn I’ve only finished my Venezia shawl in November, and two small projects – a hat for my nephew and a cowl / neck warmer for my daughter . I ran out of yarn with my BiRTHDAY sweater just before the cuff ribbing on my second sleeve, NAAAARGH!! And I already ran out of yarn with my Aida top earlier this autumn… Furthermore, I started and frogged a colour work sock not just once but twice, and it’s now hibernating and waiting for better times to come. And just yesterday I unraveled the 15cm of a baby cardigan I had knitted because I had miscalculated the size. Sigh.
Dystopian living in Belgrade
Moreover, it has not been the best times in life in general either. The whole family has been sick (not with COVID, thankfully – but we did get to take the test), and the air quality in Belgrade is deteriorating rapidly due to the city being heated with low-quality coal (Belgrade is one of the most polluted cities in Europe, from time to time even in the whole world), so I don’t really want to go out with our 1-year old. On the worst days you can’t even see two blocks ahead.
And of course, the COVID infections have been in steep rise, and there are currently approx 5000 new cases per day (the population of Serbia is around 7 million). So not only is the air toxic, but there’s also a deadly virus having a full-on field trip and spreading like crazy. So right now it’s a bit like living in your worst, dystopian nightmare!
This all has taken its toll on me, and lately I’ve been feeling a bit down and like a big failure, just coping from day to day. I guess it’s also just part of the process of relocating to a new country, but still. But what’s really worrying and discouraging me is that knitting hasn’t brought me the same joy it usually does! I guess that’s why I haven’t really posted anything on the blog or my social media channels either.
Is that a silver lining I see there?
I’ve always hated unraveling. Like seriously HATED, even so much that if I’ve made a mistake bad enough, I’ve just abandoned the project completely. And I can tolerate a lot of mistakes – my mantra is that “if I wanted perfect, I could have just bought it” – but of course those mistakes in projects are then really eating me up inside. That’s why I’m trying to be quite careful with my knitting, just to avoid having to unravel – or to stare at the mistakes for the rest of my life.
Lately, having to unravel so much, I have actually in a weird way started to enjoy it. It is strangely purifying just ripping all those rows and seeing the pile of curly yarn grow in your lap. Where I used to see only failure, I now can also see a chance for a fresh start, to do a better job, and in the end be more happy with the result. Of course the pain to actually make the decision to frog a project is still very real, but I don’t dread it as much as I used to. So perhaps I’m slowly growing up – or just getting old 🙂
I used to read those encouraging comments in different knitting forums, like “unraveling is just more time spent with your yarn” or “oh I had so much fun knitting this I didn’t even mind having to redo it completely” rolling my eyes or at least lifting my brows in disbelief. But I really think I’m starting to get it now! However, I still wish that this streak of bad knitting luck would just come to a quick end, so I wouldn’t have to unravel EVERYTHING I do…
So, let’s hope there are better times ahead, both in life and in knitting!
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