I thought I had memorized the four row pattern I was knitting. I had already made one ten inch block in the pattern and I decided to knit the second block without my cheat sheet. In my youth, I had memorized twenty-four row pattern repeats with multiple types of cables. How hard could it be to remember the few things I needed to do in this block? I knitted two pattern repeats before I noticed that there was a problem. I was supposed to have twenty stitches in this one section of the block and I only had eighteen. Plus the pattern didn’t look right. I ripped it out, took out my cheat sheet, glanced at the chart and reassured myself that I knew what to do on all four rows. My problem was with the blackberry stitch which required purling three together and then making three. Sometimes I was purling four stitches together and sometimes I was only purling two stitches together. I resolved to be more careful.
Take two. I knit ten rows and the pattern still didn’t look right. Now I was truly frustrated. “I have no idea what is wrong with this knitting!” I grumbled to my husband who was sitting next to me. “Are you using a pattern?” He asked innocently. I glared at him while I pulled the pattern out of my bag. This time I really looked at it and my mistake become obvious. I had wasted a lot of time because I thought I knew what I was doing.
I know. This was my answer to everything when I was sixteen. I said it so often that my father would start his conversations with me by saying “I know you know, but…” I would roll my eyes. I was surprised that my father found my attitude amusing rather than disrespectful. He knew that eventually I would discover how little I did know and he seemed willing to wait it out.
He didn’t have to wait very long. Thinking I knew everything prevented me from learning and seeing new things. Even now after all these years, when I think I know, I miss out. My mind shuts down other possibilities because they don’t fit into what I think I know.
My problem wasn’t memorizing a four row pattern repeat, it was thinking I knew how to do the blackberry stitch.
Restarting this block reminded me to look closer at the things I think I know just to be sure I’m not missing anything. It reminds me that when we make assumptions we are right only fifty percent of the time. It reminds me to slow down and be open to seeing things that are right in front of me but often overlooked. It reminds me to be fully in the present and not planning a future knitting project while knitting the current one. It reminds me that the spiritual life is being in the present and knowing that God is there too.