Monday, April 25, 2011

Time to Unravel

A couple of years ago, I learned to knit...not a common hobby in an area of the world where it's 70 degrees or higher for much of the year.

Still, I love it. I love the fibers, how they feel to the touch; I love my wooden needles, the low clicking sound they make when I'm working; how it feels to have a few skiens of yarn and a pattern for some warm, cozy thing.

I also love taking a pre-existing knit item, unwinding it, and turning it into something new. As a matter or fact, I make a majority of the things I knit from this 'repurposed' yarn. I'll find a sweater for just a few bucks at a resale shop, or I'll eye the older ones in my own closest, and begin the slow process of unraveling them.

It's a bold move, because I am taking something that seems fine as it is and completely undoing it in the hope that, from what I've unraveled, I can create something better. The bold move is taking that initial step to start the unraveling process, because once that begins, it's not reversible. You can't undo the damage of can't leave something half together and half apart. Once you've began to unravel, you just have to keep going. You have to complete the process of letting it all fall apart until what once was a perfectly fine garment is now a pile of loose yarn at your feet.

As you slowly wind the 'repurposed' yarn onto a skien holder, you're thinking about where to go from here. You don't think about the sweater you unraveled, there's no reason to, because it doesn't exist anymore. But you still have have the transformative force of creative alchemy, and enough material now to make something even better than what it was before.

It is bold to intentionally unravel. We often do it without even realizing it. We know that something in our lives, for whatever reason, just isn't working. And so we unwind it, step by step, until it's in a pile at our feet, and we're sitting there wondering where to go from here.

There are two choices: You can leave the unraveled yarn in a pile and forever know that you completely destroyed something that, while maybe not perfect, was still good...or you can use what you now have at your feet to create something new, something even better than you had before. It may take time. That's okay. You may not have a plan at first, and that's okay too. What you do have is the power within you to transform what was simply good into what will become amazing.

And you do have this power. We all do. We just have to be bold enough sometimes to unravel.


  1. I heard Oprah say that "The Wizard of Oz" is her favorite movie because the Good Witch says at the end, "You had the power inside you all along. We all do."

  2. What a nice comment. And so true! Thanks!