Saturday, June 21, 2008

Plateaus

Once upon a time, long, long ago, the Linnet took gym in college - yes, this was long enough ago that 2 semesters of gym were required for graduation (University of Delaware, if it matters). I took archery and ballet - archery because it was fun and ballet because I'd taken ballet from age 9 or so till college and I wasn't bad at all (hey, no chortling in the back row!).

In fact, I think I took 2 semesters of ballet in college. The first semester I loved. The second semester I couldn't dance at all - I kept looking, and feeling, like one of those baby robins that hasn't quite gotten the hang of landing on a branch yet. All discombobulated. Crashing into the far wall after a jump. I couldn't bear to look in the mirror that covered one entire long wall. I even broke into tears a few times in class. Finally, the teacher, whose name I've forgotten, but whose advice I have not, said this: Sometimes, when you're trying to learn something new, you try and try and try and beat your head against the wall, but you don't make any progress. You've hit a plateau. Don't give up; just keep trying - one day, it will all make sense to your body and you'll make a quantum leap in your dancing.

Now, I'm not sure I ever got to that quantum leap in ballet (let's pretend the semester ended first, OK?), but over the decades since then, I've certainly hit, and eventually got over, that plateau in one thing after another. My ballet teacher's advice was one of the few specific teaching moments I remember from college.

So, I think I've hit a plateau. I've certainly been trying hard on many fronts for quite some time now, and I'm not seeing any progress. I'm cranky. I spend too much time list-making and quantifying (see Elizabeth's spot-on comment yesterday) and not enough time enjoying life.

Tonight I'm absolutely sure I'm on a plateau. I finished the bottom ribbing on my Sloane and tried it on. It's too small (or I'm too big). Damn! I can get it on, but it's too form-fitting to be flattering. I had even added one more set of waist-shaping increases than called for, but no go.

So, here are my options: Frog and reknit in a larger size. Lose weight till it fits. Finish it and give it to someone dear whom it does fit. Add it in its sleeveless form to the UFO bin(s).

For tonight, however, I went with Option E: I wound the Great Adirondack Sirino yarn I just bought, I dug out my copy of Evelyn Clark's Swallowtail Shawl, I got the last beer out of the fridge, and I'm going to go cast on something that doesn't need to fit.

I will be very, very glad when this plateau is breached, and I bet you all will be, too.

3 comments :

Bezzie said...

Oh it doesn't fit???? I'd set it aside. My disappointment would be too great to make a rational decision right now.

Elizabeth said...

Set it aside for now. See how it fits in late August. Also, think about how it fits in the area above the bust. If you have to frog, but only to the bust, and maybe cast on a few extra stitches in the underarm area, it won't be as bad has having to frog the whole thing. Right?

Anyway, we saw many dragonflies on our camping trip the last couple days and I thought of you.

Erica said...

"I spend too much time list-making and quantifying...and not enough time enjoying life."

There seems to be a whole lot of that going around these days, along with a healthy dose of kvetching. Curiously enough, my twitchiness drove to me purchase, among other things, Great Adirondack Lolita "Foliage" and 2 balls of Jojoland Harmony last week. Must be the weather.

And an early "Happy Birthday" to you. May your plateau be breached sooner rather than later.