One of my favorite books of all time is Cheaper by the Dozen, the based-on-true-life story of the Gilbreth family, who had 12 children and one parent who was a psychologist and the winner of a prestigious prize for engineering, and one who was a famous motion study scientist and engineer in his own right. It's just a delightful read, and now I'm off to find out if our library has this biography of Lillian Moller Gilbreth.
While the book is delightful, and no doubt had some influence on my decision to have lots of children and be intimately involved in their education, I've been musing a lot about efficiency lately. Well, to be honest, my complete lack of efficiency. Sure, I carry 10 dishes at a time from the dishwasher to our cabinet (cunningly located in another room -- thanks, Victorians!), but overall I'm not a motion study expert.
Take this project for an example.
It probably looks mostly done. Thanks, Jen, for the vote of confidence! No, the sweater for March is still in the mental planning stages. However, if this sweater is any indication of how my year is going, I might as well hang it up right now. This isn't complex knitting, by any stretch of the imagination. But that collar? That fourth iteration of the collar? It's still too tight for the boy's head. He gamely tries it on, tells me he likes the sweater, but can't get it over his head. Over and over and . . . and that arm? The first arm to be done? The one that seemed way too short but now is fine, even though the second one was purposely made longer, figuring I'd rip back the first one and lengthen it? Well, I'll be ripping it back anyhow because this
is what happens when you pick up the bar between stitches using double-pointed needles, create a whole new stitch line, and then drop that stitch when you think. . . "heeeyyyyy, this doesn't look right!" Taaa daaaa -- a lovely ladder. Oh well, had to redo anyhow. . .
And you know, while it would be nice not to make bonehead errors like repeatedly underestimating the non-pinheadness of my child, or not making dopey stitch errors, it's not horrible to be inefficient at knitting. I'd like more finished objects and less smacking of forehead, but that's the way it goes. Learning to be okay with my imperfections may be the work I'm presented right now.
Or maybe I'm being all philosophical because I've got some nasty repetitive stress injury that's exacerbated by knitting and my right hand goes numb and my left hand hurts so much that knitting fast isn't an option. Knitting at all is truly a luxury right now. I think the injury is stress from carrying an increasingly-heavy toddler, plus knitting, plus time at the keyboard, but rest and ice and ibuprofen are the paths to acceptance that I'm trying.
And while I like the idea of redoing sweaters as my children grow, making repeated errors on them renders me incapable of wanting to do anything on them ever again. Ask me about the socks that want darning. . .
In happy news, though, I just got some much-appreciated professional recognition and am now going to learn how to develop curriculum as well as teach it, and my spouse has gotten some very nice (and more lucrative) professional recognition, and our bedroom is sparkly clean.
Oh, and the kids and I and my brother in law and his kids and two neighbors just spent our first afternoon at the beach. Beautiful weather, happy wet children -- even though the water was so cold that my feet went numb and Thing 4 insisted on standing on my shoes instead of in the water or wet sand -- and a lovely interlude. Nothing efficient, nothing better.
The many faces of Tulipa 'Antoinette'
10 hours ago