A variation on Zeno’s paradox of the tortoise and Achilles

In the original paradox, Achilles who is swift of foot and slow of mind, is basically one upped by a tortoise who challenges Achilles to a foot race (you can read a more complete version of the paradox here).

Achilles offers the tortoise a head start, and from there the tortoise explains that since he — the tortoise — has a head start, no matter how fast Achilles runs, the tortoise will always be at least a little bit ahead, and because of that, Achilles can’t possibly beat the tortoise.


And as Achilles’ mind is not as quick as his feet, he concedes the loss without ever running the race.

In this version, I am Achilles, and I am racing two tortoises: the heart festooned bag and the donut bag.

Each day I get up and work on one or the other or both of the bags, and each day I make forward progress, closing the gap between me and a finished bag without ever quite getting there.

After I finished my blog post on Tuesday, I went to bed with wild fantasies of finishing one bag on Wednesday and one bag today, but because of and despite my diligent efforts on both days, I have made progress on both bags, but neither one is done.

I started by sewing the seams that join the two linings of the heart festooned bag into one large fabric puzzle, then I turned it right side out and pinned it into place:

fabric lining crochet bag
The double lining pinned in place and ready to be sewn

Then, once I had the lining securely sewn in place, I began appliquéing little hearts to the handles/edging to be for the heart festooned bag, and I got this far before sunset:

heart festooned crochet bag
One side of the nearly completed heart festooned bag
heart festooned crochet bag
The other side of the nearly completed heart festooned bag

When I was not working on the heart festooned bag, I was busy doing what I could to finish the donut bag, and while I got all of the pieces of the body of the bag joined:

crochet donut bag
One side of the nearly completed crochet donut bag
crochet donut bag
The other side of the nearly completed crochet donut bag

It turned out that in stuffing the donuts, the squares became just a bit smaller, and those bits add up, and the template that I have been using for the lining of my large bags is a little too big, so before I can cut out the lining, I need to make a new template.

Like Achilles I have made progress, but I have not yet reached my destination; so, I will continue to work one stitch at a time and trust that eventually I will reach the end of not just one, but both of these projects.

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One thought on “A variation on Zeno’s paradox of the tortoise and Achilles

  1. They both look so good! Do you have a pattern for the donut bag?? It looks so cool and if there is a pattern, please post it!

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