Magically checking off my to-do list

Making time to spin and knit slowly

Amy's daughters as a pumpkin and an ancient Egyptian mummy last week for Halloween.

Just last week I was helping my eight-year-old put the finishing touches on her ancient Egyptian mummy costume and heading out the door for trick-or-treating. She really wanted me to dress up, too, and was listing the costumes we have in our Halloween box that I could wear. But we were running behind, so I just wore what I already had on. As we were headed to my sister's neighborhood (where there are a lot more kids and of course, cousins, to trick-or-treat with), I thought about what I'd dress up as—if unfettered by time. As I fantasized about changing my outfit with a flick of a wand and mentally trying on different costumes that would illustrate my alter ego, I also started thinking about who'd want to be. And of course, some of my favorite literary characters came to mind: Elizabeth Bennet, Elinor Dashwood, Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley.

And from there, I imagined being able to magically complete some of the projects that I've started from Jane Austen Knits and the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits. I'm nearly done with the Barton Cottage Shrug that I started spinning for in 2011 right after we completed the first issue of Jane Austen Knits. During Spinzilla at the beginning on October, I made huge progress on making yarn that might just turn into the Owl Cardigan (the cover piece on The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits).

Amy savoring the process of knitting the Barton Cottage Shrug, which she started spinning for in 2011.

However fun it would be to conjure my spinning and knitting projects instantly and see them completed as I imagine them, I think that I'd feel a sense of loss, too. All that time of spinning and knitting would be lost—and what would I fill it with? Instead, when I look at my partially formed projects slowly evolving over time between my hands, I have a tactile memory of the moments that I slowed down and enjoyed the chatter of my children, the breeze of a summer day, the conversation with a dear friend, the peace of snow building up on a window ledge while I snuggled with my sweetie. When my hands are busy crafting something, my mind has a chance to ponder the more important things, rather than obsessively going through the never-ending to-do list. So maybe I'd use that magic to complete some of the tasks on my to-do-list, to give me time to complete my spinning and knitting projects in my own slow and contemplative way—just the way I like it.

Happy spinning,

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