I have this magnet on my fridge. It shows a 3×3 grid of a flower waiting to bloom. In the last box, the flower is open, and at the bottom, the magnet says, “Everything in its own time.”
I bought this magnet for myself at a time in my life when I was impatiently struggling to make some things happen. I was waiting for the right love to come along. I was working hard to accomplish a career goal. These things required persistence, but they also required time. And this magnet was to remind me of that. Now that I have found that love and accomplished that goal, this magnet still reminds me to give things their time.
I’m an impatient person by nature. I’m also a fidgety person. But my crochet habit seems to counter these qualities – it is my meditation, it is my “fidget toy”, it is my craft. It calms me. But one of the things that really amazes me is that the impatience I struggle with in much of my life just isn’t there when I’m crocheting. People ask me how long it took me to make something, and I have absolutely no idea. Yes, I know when I started the project, and I know when I finished it. But I have no concept of the time (i.e., hours) it took me to complete it. And I have no desire to know. It seems when I am crocheting, I have no need to remind myself of “everything in its own time.” This feeling just comes naturally.
Often on social media I see people say, I “finally” finished my project. I don’t want to judge someone else’s experience and what the word “finally” means to them, but “finally” doesn’t match my experience of finishing a project. To me, “finally” suggests:
“I sat in traffic for an hour but I finally got where I was going.”
“I finally got in to see the doctor after waiting an hour longer than my appointment time.”
“I really struggled to figure out how to solve a problem, but finally came to a solution.”
And, in fact, although the definition of finally is based on time, it also “typically involves difficulty or delay.” To me it conveys struggle, frustration, and arduousness. And these are not feelings I experience while crocheting. A project may take a long time, it may even have aspects of the pattern that are challenging, but it took “its own time.”
My recent Pennyroyal shawl, a Mijo Crochet design, is a perfect example of this. Johanna asked me to test this beautiful pattern, and within a few days I had worked a couple repeats of the pattern and the edging so that I could provide her the feedback she needed. And then I intended to finish the project before she posted her pattern in case she was inspired to share pictures of mine. But I got distracted – by travel, by too many WIPs (a bad habit), by some important life tasks. The Pennyroyal shawl took its own time.
And the time it took was perfect. Johanna’s pattern is wonderfully meditative – occasionally I would even sync my breathing to the pace of my stitches. The pattern has a rhythm that is almost musical- three rows the same, then you move away and back to this repeat the way a song moves away from and returns to its “1 chord.”
I love the way Johanna’s choice of the Scheepjes Whirl Peppermint Patty Cake color reflects the leafy pattern of the Pennyroyal, but I had a Blackberry Mint Chip in my stash waiting for the perfect project. The elegance of Pennyroyal seemed like the one! Each time I use a whirl, its colorway is my new favorite, and this time was no exception. From the outside in, the color starts as an army or forest green, fades to a lovely sage green, then to a jewel-toned teal, into a bright royal blue, and finally into a balanced purple. The leaves of the Pennyroyal add their rhythm, harmonizing without overshadowing the melody of color changes.
This project, started at home in South Carolina, traveled with me to Altanta, California, France, England, Kentucky, and Chicago. It became the “carry-along” project I keep in my purse. And even though it is long past when Johanna posted her pattern, and others are sharing beautiful photos of their completed projects, it is not “finally” done, it is done in its own time.
The making of:
Hook: 3.5mm, 4.5 mm for slip-stitch edge
Number of pattern repeats: 13
I use one Susan Carlson’s (of Felted Button) techniques instead of turning chains: the third technique in this post.
Final size (after blocking): 70 inches & 15 inches