They say that confession is good for the soul, and since Lent begins this week, I have a confession to make.
I have several unfinished knitting projects lying around my house.
One is ½ of one cable sock. I brilliantly decided to learn to knit cable socks a few years ago. The cables are beautiful, and I figured out how to knit on four needles with no trouble. But I got stuck when it came to turning the heel. I didn't know who to ask to help me, so I gave up.
Another is ½ of a lovely aqua vest. I have no idea why this one didn’t get finished. Looking at it after several years, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with it. But there must be. It’s not done. There has to be some reason I didn't finish it.
Still another is a red cable scarf. When I began, I did not anticipate the difficulty of doing a "braided cable". Looking at it, it’s clear that the braided cable does not braid properly. I also now think that there is possibly a small mistake in the directions.
If I want to go even deeper into confession, I also have a half-done Bible verse sampler that turned out to be too complicated for me. It's counted cross stitch, and I counted wrong somewhere.
All of these projects, for one reason or another, I thought were somehow not perfect or too difficult, and I gave up on them. I thought my knitting project would not turn out perfectly, so I quit. I gave up.
I’ve been thinking about what I might "give up" for Lent this year as well. I could give up chocolate, which would be good for my waistline, or coffee, which would be good for my nerves, or dessert, which would be good for my waistline AND my pocketbook.
Instead, I think I’m going to give up the illusion of being perfect. I’m going to start with that red scarf, the one that isn’t perfect, and I’m just going to keep knitting it until I’m done. I’m not going to rip it out and start over, and I’m not going to quit and start another project. I’m going to keep knitting, hoping to learn and become a better knitter along the way.
And when I’m done, I’m going to look at that scarf and say: it’s not perfect, but it’s useful.
And perhaps I'll come to believe the same about myself, as well.