The Art of Flow

I’m pretty decently skilled at a fair number of things – writing, designing, computer stuff, encouraging friends, listening, and goofing off, for example. I’m really good at some other things, like knitting, burning dinner, laughing loudly, acting ridiculous, forgetting where I put my scissors, and planning and organizing (some would say I go beyond “good” and into zealous overachiever category, but I won’t hold it against them because … well … it’s just true. Grin). That last one, though – the planning and organizing – has a small side effect.

Cue dramatic music…

It makes me really bad at going with the flow.

Well, not so bad that I turn into a crazed woman pulling her hair out and laying in the middle of the floor screaming, “WHHHHHYYYYYY, God, WHYYYYY?”

(not yet anyway)

But, the internal angst is enough to make me doubt my plans, decisions, and sanity. Schedule, order, and knowing exactly what I’m doing for the week is the stuff of magic for me, so when something waylays my plans, like a pattern error that demands my attention or a sick kid needing to stay home, the domino effect can be overwhelming (to say the least). It’s kind of like reading a pattern and coming across an error that affects everything up ahead … you freeze, unsure how to proceed. I feel like I come back to this core problem over and over again. As if it is my mission in life to overcome. Maybe I’m not alone here?

Maybe you’re participating in a knitalong and you’ve fallen behind? Or perhaps, you’re looking ahead at your holiday knitting and wondering what could happen to the whole schedule if you have to rip back to fix an error? Maybe you even had systems in place to catch problems before they happened, but the systems failed. Maybe you’ve had a crummy month where its only been putting out fires and not enough time to even breathe, much less do something you want to do? Goodness knows I feel you. When one domino falls, the rest seem to come in one eternal wave.

“Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance.”

Naturally, I know this quote is far easier to read than it is to practice. But, like our knitting, weaving, or spinning, we get better when we do just that: practice. Practice using our instincts, adjusting our mindset based on what is before us (rather than what we imagine), and avoiding this concept of “over-analyzing” the situation. If anything, our craft teaches us those same elements of going with the flow – teaching us to read what we’ve done so we can learn for the future, keeping us focused on just the stitch at hand, letting us meditate on the feelings we experience in just that moment, enabling us to adjust our expectations based on the different yarns/colours/tools used to complete the project… Come back to that metaphor of following a pattern. If we pause, reflect, and adjust our mindset, suddenly new ideas and options open before us, like forging on ahead, making our own changes, or tweaking stitch counts to make it work. Suddenly, it’s about going with the flow and letting the rest fall into place.

So, new goal! When things start to fray, take a step back. Breathe. Re-evaluate. Adjust. And then, like the leaf that floats atop the stream, go with the flow. We might be pretty surprised at where we end up!



About Tabetha Hedrick

Tabetha Hedrick is a knitwear designer and writer raising a family just outside the Great Smoky Mountains in Eastern Tennessee. As the Design Director for SweetGeorgia Yarns, her days (and heart) are filled to the brim with knitting, art, writing, editing, planning, and finding ways to put it all together. In the midst of that fibre-filled life, you'll find her living simply in the sweet spot where creativity, discovery, parenthood, and life intertwine.

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