I am not much of a crafter. I haven’t the patience for it. Cutting and sanding wood, painting cute faces on it, gluing on hair, fastening a hook for hanging – none of those things really appeal to me. I would rather visit while someone else does the crafting. I have often blamed my real job, lab work with its tedium, for my dislike of crafts. I craft all day! Why do I want to do it for fun?
Ironically, I have one hobby that falls into the crafting category. When I was ten my oldest sister, Kaye, taught me to crochet. I made something for a Barbie doll to wear and one small doily. I learned that to correct a mistake properly, one must pull out all stitches looped after the mistake. This can be extremely frustrating if the project is extensive and the mistake has been overlooked for some time.
Over the years, I have crocheted sporadically, usually making a doily for an event or occasion, using it to justify time spent in front of the television, or to pass the time during a long road trip. Occasionally, I have made an afghan or baby booties, but I prefer doilies. My favorites are large table top doilies with intricate patterns that take several weeks to complete. Often I have pulled rows of stitches out in an attempt to make my doily perfect.
I have been known to take on projects unrealistically. So it was that I determined to make large doilies as graduation gifts for nine of my daughter’s friends. I began in October. When the New Year arrived and I had completed two, I knew I was in over my head! One evening as I was tearing out yet another row, I grumbled about it to Marie.
“I could go a lot faster if I could just quit making mistakes!”
“You should just leave them.”
“Then just fix it. The mistakes give them character.” She replied. I was a bit frustrated that she didn’t see the severity of my dilemma.
Two weeks later as I was about to pick out another row, Marie’s words came back to me.
“Just fix it. The mistakes give them character.”
If I was going to make my goal, I couldn’t keep back pedaling. I had to move forward, and I could fix it. Much like writing around an obstacle in a story, I could add a stitch where one had been dropped, or drop a stitch where one had been added. Most mistakes could be fixed so as not to mar the entire work. And so I did.
I have a special apron embroidered for me by Grandma D. When I have occasion to wear it, I trace the stitches with my fingers locating the mistakes that are there. Grandma D passed from this life years ago, but as I study my apron, I am always reminded of her. I wonder what may have interrupted her as she was working. I treasure my apron partly because I know that nobody has one just like mine.
A doily is much like a life. Woven of a single thread, it has many turns and changes along its way. Not every stitch is perfect, and like each of us, there are places where mistakes are made and flaws occur. In spite of its faults, the end result is a thing of beauty. Even the mistakes are appreciated in that they contribute to the unique quality and impression of the doily. May your life be like a doily. As you progress along your path, learn from your mistakes, continue onward, and form yourself into a thing of beauty and experience.
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