3 min read

Red yarn, five tries: A metaphor

I've had a sweater's worth of red yarn in my stash since May 2012, originally intended for a cardigan. I actually knit most of the pattern and when it came down to the second sleeve, I decided the fit was a bit off and the style wasn't worth pursuing. It sat in my stash for awhile, until last year when I unraveled it and it became, once again, a fresh sweater's worth of yarn.

Since then, I've cast on and unraveled it an additional four times. I've put this poor yarn through the wringer.

  • 1 try as a cardigan
  • 1 try as a wide, textured scarf, which was a close fit, but I was worried about the scarf not blocking to the appropriate shape due to the fiber content
  • 2 tries as a brioche scarf. At first, I knit the pattern incorrectly, then, I knit it too narrowly

On try number five, here I am, knitting something I love, something useful and beautiful, something that is a good fit for the yarn. I'm making the Junction Scarf by Jared Flood, a smooshy brioche scarf, which I'm knitting a bit wider than specified for extra coziness. It's equal parts soothing + mindless + exciting to knit brioche on the bias. And I'm looking forward to both the process of knitting it and the finished object.

I can't help but this think is a bit of a metaphor for life. I think out of fear and a desire for approval (my own and approval from others) I really want the first try to be just right. With any life stage I experience, of course, efficient, expedient, on-my-time-and-no-one-else's-time is best right? Maybe not. Even with the big stuff, especially with the big stuff, if it takes five tries to get something right, then Lord, give me patience and grace and joy for the process of trying.

Yesterday, right after I typed up a draft of this post, I realized that I've made a fairly significant error on my other knitting project, my May cardigan. Also, I cracked one of my favorite mugs. And today, I'm wearing my romper for the fourth time in the last week. My life is steeped in need for grace and second, third, fourth, or fifth tries.

Even if I expected this season of life to look differently, I know that He designed for it to look like apartment-dwelling, holding hands in Austin traffic, visiting coffee shops, naps on the couch on days off, noticing fluffy clouds in a blue sky, reading books with a headlamp on because I don't have a lamp on my side of the bed, falling asleep to The Office, getting into the Christmas spirit in June, and most certainly relying on Him more with an open-hands mentality about our future. So be it. Thy will be done. I want to be sincere about these repeat tries, and realize that they are meant to happen. I want to own them, knowing that it's okay. Even if it takes a knitting metaphor for me to have an "ah-ha" moment, I want this truth to seep deep into my bones: changes of plans are always within His will. It may feel like my fifth try, but it's not His. He's just getting started. He moves mountains, and I can trust that at exactly the right time, in a much more beautiful way, He'll move in our life.

This is a lot of text just to say, really, it's worth it to try something five times, even if the materials or the circumstances aren't perfect, they can still be beautiful. Embrace the hobbies that give you a surprising eternal perspective. Learn and flourish in the waiting. And what we see as the next (or fifth) try just might be a bit magical.


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