Knitting is not a race.  At least this is what I have to remind myself when I have a self-imposed deadline to finish a cardigan and a pair of mittens before I leave for Japan again (which happens to be tomorrow).  Then again, if this was a race, slow and steady would definitely not be the winner.  In fact it would be so far away from winning that I dare say it’s even in the race.  Ergo: there is no race.

Except there is.  And it’s in my mind.  And I’m losing.

In this children’s fable, I am the tortoise, trudging along on a sleeve that I have ripped out twice already.  I’m methodically tallying my rows and marking my decreases, checking and rechecking the fit.  My former self of three weeks ago was the hare, thinking up new projects and stockpiling on yarn, obviously overconfident in thinking that it would accomplish all of these things before it was time to leave.  Every once in a while the hare stops and turns around and races back to the tortoise, and says things like, “don’t forget to hem that pile of jeans on your desk” and “wouldn’t it be amazing if you could sew a cover for your kindle?” and “you’re really taking your time with that sleeve, aren’t you?”  But the tortoise slowly nods his head and continues to knit, slowly and steadily.

The tortoise knows that it’s up against an impossible task.  It will not finish the cardigan by tomorrow and will not even begin on the mittens until at least a week from now.  But it sees the hare, foolish with his high expectations and acts of self-sabotage.  At least the tortoise will cross the finish line.  Although it will be in last place, it will have a perfectly fitting sweater when it gets there.  The tortoise worries about the hare.  Will the hare cross the finish line?  Has the hare even started the race?  The fact is that the hare was too busy thinking up obstacles for the tortoise (ie. future knitting projects) that it didn’t bother to enter the race.  If the hare had entered the race, however, I would be winning right now.  Because, let’s face it, I can imagine a hare knitting a helluva lot better than I can a tortoise.

But I digress, for as all children’s fables do, this story has a moral and in case you haven’t figured it out, it is that knitting is not a race.

Except it is.  And I’m losing.  Stupid hare.