able to remain calm and not become annoyed when waiting for a long time or when dealing with problems or difficult people
 done in a careful way over a long period of time without hurrying
I once had a boss who constantly repeated to us that “Patience is the mother of science”. Well, back then I worked as a bar tender and was constantly rushing to take the next customer’s order, so you could say that patience was not a skill I often made use of. In fact, I think he just liked to say these words out loud to sound wise, because being patient was not precisely the most rewarded strategy… Anyhow, time has passed and that sentence has remained with me, carved in my brain.
When I was a kid I was always reprimanded for doing things hastily, for not being patient enough. A couple of decades later I can still hear that voice in my head going on about how sloppy I am sometimes. Miraculously enough, I am a careful scientist (yaay!), I don’t have a problem with going over and over the same problem until a job is done according to standards. However, I am impatient when it comes to many other aspects of life. The sole fact that I am writing this blogpost is ironic: it means that I am impatient about overcoming impatience. In reality, of all my possible shortcomings, this one worries me relatively little,
but I have to admit that impatience stands on the way between me and a well-finished artistic project. I love coming up with new ideas but I have little patience to execute them to detail. Thus, I often settle for things I am not happy with the quality of. Alright, “perfect is the enemy of good” some will say. But we are talking sloppy here. What can I say? I am an impatient knitter. There are many places where knitting that can test your patience, for instance reading and applying difficult patterns. There are two particular processes where my impatience betrays me:
Measuring my gauge appropriately, and doing the math
You would think that as a researcher with an above-average statistical knowledge, I would have this covered. Nope! I am often so eager to start a new project that I do not measure my gauge and assume I will find a way to measure it on my body as I knit. An example of this is my never-ending and still-in-the-making first pullover ever, that fits so horribly (especially the boobies area) that is already destined to become a home sweater for cold days. After about three years I think I have learned the lesson. After all, I don’t want to invest so much time on something that will be stashed or given away (yup, some refugees out there might be wearing my “designs” as we speak…).
Going all the way…
There are so many exciting knitting projects you can start, that you won’t be able to wait till you’re done to start something new! At the beginning, you are always really invested in a project but, as time passes, your energy decreases and the feeling of “wanting to be done” starts creeping on you. And this is where you give up and decide to bind off your project, convinced that it is ready to be worn. I think I have bound off too early each single garment I’ve knitted (except my chunky scarf maybe). For instance, I have this infinity scarf made in raspberry stitch that is close to making me choke every time I wear it.
I started writing this post cause I got a little sad -well, not really sad but… you know. I was disappointed because, after more than two months, I thought I could be finally done with my Boneyard shawl. And so, I bound it off. To my surprise, when I tried to wear it, it just looked wrong. I had miscalculated how much (or how little) it would expand to the sides. You can see it here below. See how the endings are barely hanging, when I wrap the shawl around my neck?
After a couple of days doubting, today I have decided to practice the art of patience and unbind my project, so that I can knit on. On the plus side, I must admit that a couple of years ago I would have given up and moved on to the next project, with the hope of doing better then. But not now. One must admit that aging is, perhaps, just the one and only remedy for impatience.