Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Learning Curve

By now I had hoped to have baked many loaves of bread from my successful wheat growing experiment. We cut down the beautiful hard spring red and kamut wheat and I winnowed some.
Then stored the rest to process as time allowed.
In the barn.
 Bad idea.
 BAD, BAD idea.
 It seems that all the mice in Page County heard the news of my novice mistake and had quite the grand feast. No doubt laughing at me while gorging themselves silly.
So with just few cups of kernels to mill into flour, I decided to wait for just the right moment to bake my lone loaf of bread. Bitter cold temps predicted for the week seemed like that perfect moment.
Enter mistake # 2.
As I was showing visiting friends my lovely jar of wheat, we noticed moth-like critters flying and crawling around through the glass.  
 So bird feed it will be.
Still lots to learn it seems.
I will try again.
And keep at it until I get it right.
This incident reminded me of the first adult sized sweater I attempted to knit. I was so proud when I finished that second sleeve. Couldn't wait to try it on. Then came defeat and tears when I realized this:
Not only is the length off, there's a good two inch difference in the diameter of each sleeve from top to bottom. HOW did that happen???
The sensible thing to do would have been to rip out the offending sleeve and re-knit, but I was so disappointed and embarrassed with the error that I shoved the whole thing in a dark corner. After a time, when the sense of defeat subsided, I picked up the needles again and went on to successfully knit many, many sweaters, learning a little bit more with each, getting better with time and practice. I've kept the lopsided cardigan as a reminder that mistakes are nothing more than opportunities to learn.
 To try again.
It's a good thing to pull and error out of the dark corner of a room, or a barn...or the mind.
And smile at the gift of perseverance and second opportunities.


Sue said...

Ha ha love your cardigan, I made one very similar! Rip it back and re-knit. Shame about your wheat, still a lesson learned. Think I may go and bake some bread have plenty of flour and unexpected time on my hands

Beth said...

I had similar mistakes when I first started knitting. Now I rarely knit.

TexWisGirl said...

oh, the sleeves made me bust out laughing. sorry!

and at least the wheat did fill some bellies. :)

thecrazysheeplady said...

Oh, rip back what you need to and finish it. It's too pretty to just be stashed/hidden away!

Loretta Thomas said...

Atta girl...never give up! Hard knocks...lessons learned on all accounts! Great attitude!

Lynne said...

Great message, . . . mistakes are steps in learning. . . even still, sad for your losing the wheat to mice and moth . . . I have to admit, the lopsided sweater brought smiles and my memories of beginning, trying, beginning and trying again .. . and the after, . . . more . . . sweaters, pillows, hats, and . . .

Like I said . . . really great message . . .

Debbie said...

what a pretty sweater, i like the earth tones and pattern!!

you could do a 3/4 cuff, couldn't you??

do something, it's too pretty to stash away!!

Cathy H. said...

I admire you for trying again! Just look what you can do now!

Kathryn Ray said...

Oh man, that's disappointing. I was so excited about your wheat experiment.

Rosemary Aubut said...

Great post made me smile!

Nancy Claeys said...

Hey, long sleeves are in fashion now! Lol.

About the wheat -- moth larvae are known to be nutritious. I say bake that bread anyways!

Buttons said...

Oh I truly love your last line. I am sad about the wheat and the sweater. Better next time right:) Hug B

doodles n daydreams said...

Oh dear, how disappointing on both counts - but look at the beautiful knitting you are doing now. We learnt to knit as kids and I did a lot while my kids were growing up. I don't seem to have the patience for it any more.
Looking forward to some bread this time next year :D


Allison said...

Ah yes, the concept of never giving up. A good lesson for me! Poor Marme with her lovely sweater!!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

You learn more from a mistake. In the classroom I work in there is a saying that the teacher always says to the kids. "Mistakes are expected, accepted and inspected." Sorry to read about your wheat.

Vivian said...

Thank you for visiting my blog, I love yours! You write so beautifully. Have to stop at this entry, because your first sweater reminds me so much of mine, and I have no idea where I tossed mine! I was so humiliated, and never wanted to see it again.