Lessons in Patience and Persistence

I have a lot of patience. I am also very persistent. I think of all my characteristics, they are probably the most helpful and have been behind almost all of my successes in daily life. From earning a college degree to be trusted at work to marriage to knitting to spinning to parenthood, patience and persistence lead the way toward constant improvement. Unfortunately because they are so ingrained in who I am, as is often the case, I find they are kind of hard for me to teach.

The past week has brought this to the forefront of my mind as we work on a few challenges in this department with our beautiful daughter. Bright, intelligent, and a quick study, patience is not necessarily something that comes easily to her unless it is something that greatly interests her. As we all know, when you are 9 years-old and in elementary school, there is always something that just does not and this week we hit a wall with math. With zero patience, persistence was all but absent and sadly even my well of patience ran dry. They say that with homeschooling you’ll have good days and bad and this one, I won’t lie, was not our best.

Suffice to say, my thoughts have not been here or with my knitting or spinning beyond going through the motions while my mind was elsewhere. It’s one of the wonderful aspects of these crafts and part of why I appreciate having them in my life because I spend an awful lot of time reflecting and that only increases with things go a bit awry. I am beyond thankful to have Mr Knitting Sarah as my partner because when I get stuck, he can always see a way through. I’m also thankful that our impasse was reached on Friday so we could talk it through, but then had the weekend to regroup.

We spent most of Saturday on a very well-timed and much needed visit to our good friend’s house. And Sunday, with Mr KS at home, we hit a favorite local trail…

16603144_10154044208737000_8486075770123991667_nI really needed that. It was a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively.

And I absent-mindedly spun.

img_5845I finished the first 4oz bobbin of this colorway and this is the start of the 2nd 4oz. I had meant to be very particular and spin this just so, but in light of the timing, I am spinning for comfort and kind of just melting into it. Sometimes you just need a spin like that.

And I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t channel my stress into cleaning. Remember the small truckload of baking goods we ordered last week?

img_5848I may have gone a little over-board re-organizing our cupboards.

With the whole family doing more to take part in the cooking and baking, I realized that as I was adding ingredients it might make sense to label things to make it easier for everyone to use what we have. In the interest of full disclosure, on our trip to Missouri I noticed my mother-in-law has her things labelled clearly as does my friend we visited over the weekend, so I had no shortage of inspiration. The labels are nothing fancy, just made with the free template I found on Microsoft Word on my computer and taped on with packing tape I had on-hand. A number of the containers could be sized better to fit the packages, but they are what I had and I’m on a budget. The little quarter cup overage of bulgar I just tucked into a little snack baggie and set it on top of the jar. The extra pecans, I just sealed and set with the extra grains. It’ll  work. First on agenda, I will whip up a batch of granola and then I’m going to try a new oatmeal chocolate chip recipe. It’ll be a day or so before I can get there, but I am very much looking forward to it.

Somewhere in there, I got a box of inspiration from Three Waters Farm

img_5846One of those braids is a destash braid I found to add yardage to this spin from September…

night-light-twinsI’m hoping to spin this 2nd 4oz the same way and then actually have enough yardage for my original plan of stripey socks. Or at least have a little more yardage because I love the colorway.

I also have made serious progress on my socks…

img_5847In fact, I should be binding off momentarily — just one decrease round to go. And then voilá! They’ll be done. The only thing remotely equal to melting into a spin, is knitting a vanilla sock. This week is living proof of that, I think. As an aside, at the recommendation of a spinning friend, I got one of these Tom Bihn Travel Trays. They sell a lot of travel bags as well as actual knitting accessories, all made in the USA since 1972. It has proven a fantastic knitting bag! I love that it’s a little more structured that most knitting bags — it’s especially handy when traveling, of course, as everything stays put very nicely with the robust sides, but it’s also just a darn nice take-everywhere little bag. The sides actually fold up and have a drawstring close. And it’s the perfect size for a sock project. The only recommendation I have is that if you have super pointy needles, like my Signatures in the picture, I would use a needle cozy. As with any bag the needles will poke through this ripstop nylon if you apply enough force and really, needle cozies are not expensive, so they are worth it to keep your bag in top notch condition.

Of course, we’re a couple days into the week now and I’m happy to share that so far the week is going much better than the last ended. We’ve all grown, learned a lot, and are making forward progress. Patiently, persistently, we will get there, of that I don’t doubt. I will just keep my knitting and spinning nearby and take it one deep breath and baby step at a time.

8 thoughts on “Lessons in Patience and Persistence”

  1. I have serious cabinet envy:) All the containers so neatly labeled. I love them!
    Patience is not one of the traits I am long on. Persistence (or stubbornness depending on the view) is my best trait:)

    1. I’m getting the feeling it’s kind of lucky that I like to clean when I feel stress. It gives me that sense that I can fix *something*. I kind of love it, too — my baking cabinet has always been kind of a mess and with two young bakers-in-training in the house, this productive of my brand of crazy will definitely make their assisting in the kitchen much easier.

      Patience is a hard one. I think the fact that I’ve been forced to slow down physically has made me learn to exercise a lot of patience. I think maybe I always had the potential, but rarely exercised it.

  2. I envy your well of patience, Sarah! I have like zero patience and my father had even less…he is a mathematician/chemist and there were sooooo many nights in middle/high school spent at the kitchen table with me in tears and my dad frustrated as he** with my inability to understand something math-related. Keep up the good work, homeschooling mama/teacher! I applaud you! xx

    1. Thanks, dear Ruby!

      You know, I don’t remember my parents helping me with schoolwork, so it must have been uneventful — lol! For us these days, there’s some content stuff involved, but mostly it’s lessons in taking time and focusing on doing our best every day. I suppose you could say it’s working on living up to potential. I’m glad I have a good partner to help work through it. Learning concepts I can do, this type of stuff is harder for me.

  3. I, too, have to work on patience. I have a prayer that goes, “Dear Lord, give me patience and give it to me NOW!” 😂 Your daughter will learn patience by your example. Deep breath…

    1. We’ll see which of us she takes after. 😉 Aside from Moose, I definitely have the most patience in the house, although our son is a close second. My girl might take after my husband… this is a big reason he’s a tremendous help with her!

  4. I feel for you on the math issues. My poor daughter…. she was like the movie 50 First Dates, except with math. Daily tears, anger, frustration…. At 12, she was reading on a college level but couldn’t add 2 +2. It got so bad our homeschool evaluator suggested we take a full year off from trying to learn math. Instead, we played games, gave her cash to spend at the store, taught her how to use a calculator & did our best to make sure she could function in life. She was 18 before she was able to multiply double digit numbers. While it took forever for her brain to mature on the math side, she did eventually become capable. She will never love math, but she’s in a medical program at school & has a 4.0 average now.

    Sorry – that dragged on longer than I meant it too. The point was, there’s hope, girls mature slower math-wise (just like your son probably doesn’t like to write – yet) and a great book for math game ideas is Games For Math by Peggy Kaye.

    1. Thanks for this! And I’m sorry you & your daughter had this struggle! And kudos to you and her for hanging in there and a million congratulations for her current successes!

      With us, it’s more of a focus and neatness issue. The concepts & understanding are there, but it’s careless handwriting and blowing through things just to get them done where we’re struggling. This week we’ve seen improvement — still some struggles — but improvement. We just have to remain vigilant and I think we’ll get there.

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