Friday, February 05, 2016

Do your best work

Happy Friday, I really don't know why, but this just has been a great day. The walk was colder and harder today than earlier this week, but even that felt good. I was going to drive to town to run some errands but decided to postpone everything and just enjoy the day as it was spreading in front of me. I stole couple of hours, made coffee, defrosted some cake and spent those hours reading an old Finnish book. When I picked up this book, I did not expect anything, it is very old Finnish classic (published in 1933), has lots of words that are unfamiliar to me, but it is really interesting and every now and then I find myself laughing out loud. (For my Finnish readers; the book is Alastalon salissa by Volter Kilpi).
My daughter chose for me another bag from the personal sock yarn club and this is what the bag revealed. When I looked at the skeins, both of them, I was wondering who had brought them to my stash, I mean, I was in no mood to knit with dark grey and bright turquoise. I looked at the skeins for couple of days and decided to make two pairs of socks; I was not going to mix them; thought that I would just knit two vanilla pairs and be done with them and look forward to the next month.
Then from somewhere I heard someone saying: Do your best work. I am not sure where I read this, it could have been Uppercase newsletter (by the way, I love Uppercase magazine) but I am not sure. I am not even sure if this is the exact wording, but this is how I kept hearing it. 
Furthermore, I started to think about those two skeins and knew if I tried my best; it would make an impact on the making but also on the outcome. If I tried little harder, the whole project would be more interesting, I might learn something new, and I might even love knitting those yarns. I thought some more. I was not going to make socks to be over and done with this yarn, I was going to knit a pair (or two pairs) of socks, that would need to be well shaped to wear well, long to be warm, and preferably nice.
What does it really mean to do one's best? Does it mean that I become my worst critic and keep ripping and ripping until I have exhausted myself and end up miserable with worn yarn. I don't think so. I feel more like I need to stop and think, appreciate the material,
try to bring out its best in a pleasing manner; that I will stop and think and choose right methods and make reasonable decisions; that I use my best tools and take use of all the knowledge I have; that I will take time to consider all the known facts, will not compromise and that I will not be satisfied too soon but will make this extra little step needed to make the end result special.
This is so working, I am in love with this project. Beautiful grey!

(Ok, if this thought does not carry me through both of these skeins, and if I fail, I am sure I can find another quote for that.)

Wool with you, xx


  1. Lovely. And such a good idea to add the red! The turquoise yarn must be getting very excited now that it's seen what you can do with the gray.

  2. You are so right - knitting just to get it done is not time well spent. You start resenting the project. I need to be in love with what I am doing (I'm fickle).

  3. Anonymous02:37

    I have enjoyed reading your personal and candid comments about the creative process in the last few blog posts. I am certain your thoughts resonate with many people, especially the people who read your blog.

  4. Anonymous07:03

    That looks really interesting. I have been feeling bored with most sock patterns lately. I am looking forward to your next post. Actually the socks you didn't like last month were also quite appealing. They would make a nice fancy occasion sock gift. Looking forward to the next post....The colors are good.

  5. Alastalon salissa - huh huh! Mie olen päättänyt lukea sen, mutta olen ollut sivulla 54 vuosikausia =) Mutta ehkäpä tästä taas inspiroidun.

  6. What an inspiring post!

  7. Michele15:43

    I feel so happy to have read this today. You make me think all good thoughts! I love the new sock. Well done!

  8. Anonymous19:41

    Your posts are filled with wisdom and guidance. I saw my own ways inside of one of your sentences--just knit and get it done. I love the way you laid out your exploration of process and because of you sharing that, I have new insight into me and how it is more important to me to be the owner and creator instead of the follower who tries to keep up with and obey the creed of the masses. So I went from ingesting your words to a project that had me twisted and I took two balls of hastely chosen yarn, put them right back where they belong and set the partially completed project aside to rest knowing that in time I will find what is exactly right for the project and what is a right match for my spirit. Thank you so very much!

  9. Näyttää ihanilta! Mun villasukkatilanne ei muuten oo kovin hääppönen, vink vink ;) ♡

  10. Madeline05:24

    I so enjoy your posts, your thought process, your work. Thank you for the Uppercase recommendation. I'm intrigued and subscribed!

  11. Anonymous13:54

    I like your new sock and think the red and gray combination is lovely! Your personal sock yarn club is a really neat idea. Love that touch of red that separates the plain stockinette with the textured pattern. You always add such nice touches to your projects - especially socks. You inspire all of us! Hugs to you - kelley

  12. Anonymous17:30

    I am trying to follow that type of knitting path in 2016 (OK not only in knitting!).
    Agreed - no point in rushing with bad tools or materials. We won't be happy with the finished project - if we ever finish it.
    Have a great week

  13. Beth in Maryland19:57

    Your post is making my Monday at work go a lot better! I can't wait to see those socks.

  14. you are a knitting magician

  15. Live a life to be proud of.

    Ellen in Connecticut

  16. Thank you for another insight-filled entry. I am pondering the concept of doing one's best work -- particularly your high standard of choosing right methods, best tools, and using all available the knowledge -- along with wisdom to be satisfied, but not too soon when making beautiful things.

  17. Anonymous23:45

    It's a 'challenge' not a 'problem'. What can I do? I guess like the saying..."Is the glass half-full or half-empty." Helen

  18. Lenothska, olet siis tarttunut tuohon kirjaan. Siinäpä riittää lukemista. Jotenkin viehätyin itsekin viime kesänä ajatuksesta, kun lähdimme Katanpään saareen - työporukan kanssa - Kustavista. Siellähän vietetään Volter Kilpi - päiviäkin. Ja toistaiseksi mulla vain ajatukseksi. Rakastan noita sun piirroskuvia!

  19. Jeannie20:16

    Your wit and wisdom are lovely as are all of the things you show us on the blog. I love to read about your process and seeing the end results!! I often do things just to finish which is not at all satisfying!