Thursday, August 16, 2012

Checks and Balances


My Blogging muse has been on an extended leave of absence. Her position has been filled by the Creativity Muse who has inspired me to turn out large quantities of knitted, crocheted and loomed hats, scarves, Afghans and such. It seemed the two have conspired today. I’ve been crocheting a jacket for myself and yes, there are even life lessons to be learned in such a task.

I’ve never undertaken such a big crochet project before. This jacket is worked in one piece, from the bottom up, and it was labelled to be of Intermediate difficulty. Because a graph was supplied with the pattern, it was reasonably easy to figure out what I was supposed to be doing and I soon settled into a rhythm.

I got almost to the end of the second jacket front, which meant there were only the bands to be completed, when I realized, with a sinking sense of dread, that there was something wrong. The second front was wider than the first.

I hadn’t bothered to count the number of clusters had I? It was all (seemingly) working out just fine. I had just assumed that – since I’d been so careful about following instructions early in the piece – I could just cruise along and soon I would be modelling my finished garment and basking in the compliments.

But, somewhere along the line I had gone wrong, and now roughly two days’ worth of crochet needed to be pulled undone. I was NOT a happy camper, believe me.

I can make excuses of course. There have been some things going on lately in our household which have proved to be quite disruptive. It’s been hard to concentrate. There have been frequent interruptions. But the fact of the matter is – I got a bit complacent. I didn’t put in the effort and keep a check on what was happening. I just assumed that I had it all under control.

We do that often, don’t we? When we first start out on a new project, we are so careful, checking and rechecking everything, over and over again. But then,as we gain confidence, we begin to relax . After this we begin to become overconfident and even a bit smug. Until – wham - we discover a mistake which sometimes  might have devastating consequences.

Fortunately I only had to pull my jacket back to the spot where I began to construct the left front. And, thankfully, because my life is fairly low-profile, I’m hardly likely to be responsible for any worldwide catastrophes at any time soon.
But what if I’d gotten a bit complacent about something to do with my job – handling chemicals or balancing on top of ladders while trying to clean in high places? What if I’d gotten complacent about hygiene when preparing food for my family or about driving our car?

It really doesn’t matter how familiar I am with certain processes or repeating patterns within my daily routine. In order to avoid mistakes I need to maintain a system of checks and balances.

©Lyn Murphy 2012


Ray Colon said...

Hi Lyn,

Taking periodic respites from blogging (and a lot of other things for that matter) can be beneficial. When you decide to come back to regular blogging, you may feel energized from the time away.

I'm not a crafty person, but I have blundered in the way you describe when working on other projects around the house, or when putting together modular furniture. I've learned to keep directions nearby to avoid a lot of re-work. I used to have a long commute and found it easy to lapse into complacency on the road until a shudder of awareness would bring me back to paying attention. It's scary.

Lyn said...

Modular furniture? What a nightmare that is. We recently constructed a wardrobe and two months later we still haven't been brave enough to take it apart again and put two of the pieces around the right way. It works the way it is. It just looks a bit odd - but the thought of having to go through that again is a bit beyond us.
Nice to hear from you,Ray.

Ros said...

Hi Lyn,

Finally I've caught up with your blog. I'm amazed that anyone can crochet in the first place. I am absolutely hopeless. So I really admire you for the effort and resilience.

Ros xx