Perfection has long eluded me. Perhaps my fingers aren't as clever as they could be. As a school grrl humiliation was mine while the teacher drug me around the room by the shoulder so that I could see how well, how perfectly, the other students colored. Did she try to teach me a better way, try to discover the reason I was so inept? Never. (However, I did learn how NOT to teach from her and other poor teachers.) Maybe it's then and there I decided perfection just wasn't all it was cracked up to be...why add so much angst and pain to ones life? Perfection is something I no longer strive towards, it takes away the joy of doing. Perfection is in the process, the enjoyment of creation, not in the worry that the end product will be below par. That isn't to say one shouldn't strive to do the best one can, but striving for the unattainable can cause disappointment in the end and, oft times, stop the process of forward movement. We learn from everything we do and move towards bettering the process by just doing.
The mitten reminds me of Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree...not so attractive, yet perfect as it is. The stitches of the little flower are squished and the over all mitten is lumpy bumpy. From the minute I saw the pattern, this mitten put a smile on my face. Finding a blue yarn that fit my vision made the smile wider. Starting the mitten and knitting the picot cuff, one of my favorite beginnings, added to the smile, too. Knitting the braid, something I've done many times as a follower of Nancy Bush, kept the smile there. Struggling with the strands of blue and white, trying to make the stitches even while working with yarn in each hand, may have put a wrinkle in my forehead, but the smile remained. This little mitten, with its bumpy stitches, some pulled to tightly, others floppy and loose, has been pure pleasure from the beginning. For me, it bears the mantle of perfection.
Can a mitten that brings such delight, a mitten with many charming details, be anything but perfect? Every step of the process was enjoyable; the pattern of flowers, vines, leaves and, last but certainly far from least, the little bird that came to stay.
As soon as the first mitten was finished, I cast on and started the second. The smile on my face is a little addicting, as is the process of color work. Hope springs eternal with the knowledge that the second mitten can only be better...although the first mitten is as close to perfection as I'm likely to get. I will strive for better stitches, work to gain needed knowledge, and enjoy all steps of the process again. One warm, pretty mitten? Excellent! Two will be perfection.