Okay, so I still haven't threaded the sewing machine that a friend so graciously gave to me. I still want to learn to sew, but this same friend was also trying to get me hooked on knitting and she has succeeded in that respect.
I learned how to knit when I was a child and tried briefly to take it up before my first was born. I decided to try again with a kit designed for kids. Hey, if it can teach kids to learn, why not me? The yarn was thick, the needles were big, it knit up quickly. I have knit two of them, one for each daughter and have started a poncho for myself. My friend also gave me the link to knitting help, which has videos of knitting and is very helpful to me when I get confused.
Other than the frustration of trying to learn to throw the yarn more quickly and pondering whether I should go "continental" rather than "English", I am finding knitting to be meditative and an opportunity for personal growth. I can be perfectionistic, but I can also be a slob (you'd have to see how I keep house). I was relentlessly counting my stitches after every row (well, with the adult poncho, I am actually counting mid-row using my handy-dandy stitch markers. Hey, it's easier to fix a mistake if you can identify where it happened).
I am now working with "eyelash" yarn that was on sale at Michael's. This is like the spiritual retreat of my knitting. I am often off count because it's hard to see the stitches clearly and I'm always picking up an extra stitch or not fully dropping one as I knit. Very frustrating. But, the yarn knits up very fluffy, so instead of being perfectionistic and trying to fix the stitch immediately by undoing and redoing it (or going back and ripping out the stitch), I simply leave it and note where the mistake occurred. On the next row, I just knit the extra stitch with another and away it goes. The fluffiness of the yarn makes the mistake impossible to see. I'm even thinking of renaming the "eyelash" yarn "Jesus yarn" because it's so forgiving. But is that too irreverent?
So the moral of this story is that with eyelash yarn, you need not go back and fix every mistake, you can move forward and fix it as you go. Or should I leave the mistake where it is and just live with it? I tried doing that with a broken kitchen drawer, but my mother-in-law fixed it when I wasn't home. So much for Zen.