Reflections on a Vocational Happenstance
"There is no such thing as accident; it is fate misnamed." - Napoleon Bonaparte
Friday I brought home a knitting book from the library. I have borrowed this one before. It is a book of projects designed as last-minute gifts, with the patterns divided into chapters based on how long is takes to complete them. These times, I know from past experience, are overly optimistic, but that's OK. I am in the midst of some big projects and wanted something small as a diversion, something simple but satisfying.
Flipping through, I found the perfect project: a newborn sweater utilizing a construction technique I hadn't tried before. Cheerfully I sat down to work.
Because this was recreational knitting, I ignored every good practice. I did not read the pattern all the way through before beginning, and I did not knit a gauge swatch. As a result, within 10 rows I knew the garment would turn out too big for a newborn. But I had plenty of yarn, liked the look and feel of the fabric being created, and was settled comfily on the couch. I was not in the mood to start over before bedtime, so onward I knit.
Saturday morning I took up my tape measure to figure out how to get where I was going. Because of my capriciousness, the pattern was now a general guide, no longer a precise set of instructions. I had to laugh when my calculations revealed that what had begun as a sweater for a tiny baby would turn out to fit a 4-year-old. How did I even get here, I wondered, when all I wanted was a quick little something to knit?
I don't much believe in fate, as Napoleon's quote suggests this mistake might have been, but I don't much believe in accident, either. Perhaps my brain wanted some creative play as a break from the big projects. Perhaps I simply enjoyed that small feeling of rebellion, knitting onward even though I knew something was wrong, realizing I would have a problem to solve later but not caring, confident in my ability to set things right.
Later today I'll finish up the accidental little sweater and add it to the shop. Nobody but me will ever know it was a mistake. Nobody, that is, other than you.