Monday, July 17, 2006

Loose Ends

The soccer scarf I’m working on has a lot of color changes which means a lot of little yarn ends left dangling. Since there are so many, I decided that every time I picked up the scarf to knit I would also weave a few of the danglers in so I wouldn’t be faced with such a daunting task at the end.

As I was weaving, it struck me how similar this was to writing a book: you have to tie up all the loose ends before you’re truly finished or your readers will be frustrated and grumpy. No one wants frustrated, grumpy readers, especially since I am often one of them!

How else are reading and knitting similar?

Both books and scarves get finished line by line. In a novel you have to keep just putting sentences on the page. In a scarf, it grows row by row. If you don’t sit down and simply get those lines done, you’ll never, ever have the satisfaction of casting off or typing “The End”.

Another lovely similarity is the ability to fix mistakes. Heaven knows I’ve ripped out rows and rows when I’ve lost my concentration and messed up the pattern in my daughter’s shawl. As for my writing, I’ve tossed entire chapters into the recycling bin and the book has been far better for it. How many other times in life do we get to fix our mistakes so our project comes out almost perfectly?

Anyone else see more parallels between the writing and the knitting life?

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