The best laid schemes of mice and men

In Robert Burns’s poem “To a Mouse, on Turning Her up in Her Nest, with the Plough,” he sums up the crafter’s dilemma in the following verse with exquisite elegance.

But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

My crochet day did not go as was planned, and it seems that the promised joy of a finished afghan is 24 hours farther into the future than I had anticipated.

The day began well enough; I got everything done that needed doing before lunch, leaving my afternoon free to work on the afghan-that-has-eluded-me. I laid out the completed squares and began joining some of them to one another and weaving in ends where I felt certain the squares were in their final form; I also budgeted 90 minutes to work on Square D-5.

As it turned out, Square D-5 required more time than I had budgeted.

Sometimes the only way to learn is by doing, and much of what I did was wrong the first time I did it. I removed stitches as needed and reworked the swatch proving myself able to learn from my mistakes and move forward. But trial and error can be a time consuming and seemingly inefficient way to learn. I say “seemingly inefficient,” because at this moment, I don’t know how the lessons I learned today will translate to a future project. It could be that I learned a skill or process that I will use at some point in the future, and that lesson will end up saving me more time one day than I spent learning it today.

However, I am not yet to that future moment; I’m hoping that both the mouse and I have a more productive day tomorrow.

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