If you’ve ever left yourself a problem to deal with later, this post is for you.
- A button band that needs to be picked-up
- A sweater that needs to be blocked
- Ends that need to be woven in
- A hank of laceweight mohair that got tangled to oblivion
- A pile of unsorted knitting needles
You know the drill.
Sometimes we give ourselves a problem to solve later. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Just as easily as we can make something Future Me’s problem, we can also give ourselves the gift of solving a problem now (or avoiding it altogether), so that Future Me won’t have to.
It’s what I like to call the You’ll Thank Me Later approach to life (and knitting).
A few weeks ago I grabbed a two-color shawl that had been sitting in a basket, covered in loose ends. Imagine a shawl with fringe, except all over the place and in no particular aesthetic order. Super cute. Frankly, Today Marie didn’t have time to deal with it, so it was Future Marie’s problem.
Future Marie caught up with me, and now it was time to pay up. I poured myself a cup of tea, put on a crime documentary and set about to weaving in all the ends. It’s not so bad once you make the decision. It’s avoiding the decision that really nags at you.
Chances are there are tedious parts of knitting that you don’t mind doing – things that other knitters avoid or dread. I love picking up stitches and blocking my projects; two things that lend themselves to quick, obvious progress. You can see the results of your effort right away – something that my Today Self really appreciates. But weaving in ends is a lot like unloading the dishwasher – it needs to be done, but you can’t tell that you’ve done anything unless you look inside. And that’s probably why I don’t love that part of the process as much as the rest. (Yes, I know you can weave as you go and spit splice and all that jazz, but frankly – I don’t like any technique that slows me down while I knit. For as much as I complain about weaving in the ends, I’d still rather do it later.)
When w put off weaving ends or organizing my needles or any such thing that feels too tedious in the moment, it means we’re going to have to deal with it later. Thanks for nothing, Past Self!
I’ve started thinking about what Future Marie would wish I had done now. She would wish I had gotten on the Peloton sooner. She would wish I drank more water yesterday. She would wish that I had just taken the two extra seconds to put my knitting needles in the right spot so that she didn’t have to sort through a pile of a dozen needles and run them all through the needle sizer to figure out where they go. She would wish I had unloaded the dishes last night before I went to bed and hadn’t had that one late cup of coffee.
What are the problems you often leave for your future self? Instead, how about giving Future You a little gift by solving one of those problems now? You’ll be glad you did.