Monday, April 11, 2022

Progress Markers

I remember going on a tour at a rug factory, and they showed us to a woman hand weaving a rug, and asked her how long each rug took.  They took between one and two years. Walking away I said something foolish to the effect that, I could never work on something where your progress was so infinitesimal, that you were dedicating over a year to doing one thing.  I know.  I was young.  
Because so many projects unfurl over long stretches of time.  This is why we have all these things like word counters, and task lists, why we get into micro-tasking, and breaking tasks into smaller parts.  
It's true of social justice - where sometimes there are great leaps forward, and often slides back, and the periods in between where many people think nothing is happening, even though people are pushing each day. 
I thought of this as I worked on a knitted on border on a shawl.  For those unfamiliar, knitting on a border, basically means after knitting the shawl, you knit a border on sideways, along the longest edge.  So the rows are shorter than the shawl, but now you have to repeat that over and over, and you start to wonder why you decided to do this, haven't you been doing this forever, or maybe that's just me.  
And so I plunked a bunch of stitch markers along the length, so that I could pause and cheer each time I made it to one.  It's still the same number of stitches and rows, but it helps make my progress a little more concrete.  And sometimes being able to see those markers along the way, help me keep going.