Saturday, April 08, 2006

Musings after a week in hell

Well, that's over, and I don't want to repeat it again. I shall have to declare that from now on no one is allowed to take time off work but me, and that's all there is to that. Precious little time was left for knitting, although I was able to sneak in a few rows here and there for purposes of sanity.

Something interesting has happened, though. I am losing my ability to knit. I can only assume that it is a natural part of what I have found over the years to be my learning process.

I have done so many different things with my hands over the years that I am usually able to achieve a sort of instant mediocrity in any new thing I try. This is actually good because it gives me a real boost at whatever craft I am trying, which is nice. It is generally followed by a quick success, then by a strange period of time where I feel like I am "unlearning" whatever techniques I have been doing so well, and nothing feels natural; nothing looks good or works right. It is really kinda scary, it feels like I am, for lack of a better term, "losing it", and the whole experience tends to impact every aspect of my life for a short time.

I know this will be followed by a resolution and integration of skill and ability and I'll move forward again, but somehow I always forget I must go through this and it catches me by surprise. Well, with knitting, it happened right as I was cluing in to lace. Bad timing - really, it could not have been worse. Lace is frustrating enough without this. After deciding to go back to plain knitting and working some of the worst stockinette I have ever produced (and after much wailing and gnashing of teeth) I realized that I have hit my brain damage phase in the process of learning to knit. So there's nothing to show as most things have been ripped and reknit and reripped and will be caught in this cycle until yarn and needles don't feel alien in my hands anymore.

This challenging work week has given me a great excuse to not fight this too much and a break which helped me realize just what was happening. For a minute there I was actually mourning the newly acquired stash I would not be able to make anything out of due to my failure to become a knitter. But I know this won't last, and it has even started getting a little better already. Does anyone else go through this "unlearning" phase like I do?

OK, so here's a picture of a chicken (actually, a rooster) to distract you from the lack of knitting content. It is a Red Jungle Fowl, and may be the chicken from which all others sprang. Dawn chicken, if you will. Ain't he gorgeous? Probably mean as hell, too. Go chicken, you rock!

2 comments:

may said...

yes indeed!I think it's just part of the creative process. I remember going through unlearning/ falling apart phases in playing the violin...you just have to push through it, and like you said, you WILL reach a point of resolution...eventually ;)

In art I'm constantly going through periods of incredible doubt about my work (the process/ content etc.)followed by little break throughs.

It's just all part of the process, and I'm learning to be patient with it & myself!

oh, i emailed you (but it was sent back i think)...I was just cat sitting ms. alice...so i'm sadly CATLESS! :(

Wannietta said...

He is wonderful - all cocksure (groan) and strutting his colourful stuff. Takes me back to when I was little and we had chickens running around.