Crocheting upon a painted ocean

Sometimes when I pick up my hook and ply my yarn, it is as if nothing can get between me and my chosen craft. My stitches are sure and quick, and my progress is certain and readily evident. It is, in my estimation, the crochet equivalent of smooth sailing.

Other times my crochet does not go at that same pace; it is slower and more deliberate, refusing to be rushed, which is, as it happens where I found myself today, and as I uploaded my photos for today’s blog post, I was reminded of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”

This particular poem was one that I read in college, and for whatever reason, the lessons in it have stuck with me through all of the decades since I first studied it, and today as I reflected on the more thoughtful pace of my crochet, I was reminded of the part of the poem shortly after the albatross has been shot and the Ancient Mariner describes his plight (and that of his shipmates) as follows:

Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
‘Twas sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea!

All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

And that is what my crochet felt like today — as if I were living in a moment perfectly preserved in pigment on canvas having completed one stitch and eternally preparing to work the next.

But how I felt about my crochet and the reality of it were, thankfully, at least a bit different.

To get started, I picked up the red crochet circle I had made the other day:

A double crochet circle with ends still to be woven in
A double crochet circle with ends to be woven in

It still needed the ends woven in, and I knew that it wouldn’t take much time at all, so with my bent-tipped yarn needled at the ready, I carefully wove in the ends and trimmed them:

A double crochet circle with the ends woven in as if on a painted ocean
A double crochet circle with the ends woven in as if on a painted ocean

And while it did not unleash a flood of crochet activity, it did lead me to sort through my things and identify nine new crochet remnants for rehab:

nine more crochet remnants in need of crochet rehab
A new nine-patch of crochet remnants

Normally, if I were feeling efficient, I would get out my yarn needle, weave in all of the ends, trim them, and take a second photo. But I wasn’t feeling efficient, so I woven in ends here, crochet a round or three there, and wove in more ends:

The new nine-patch of crochet remnants after late afternoon crochet on a painted ocean
The new nine-patch of crochet remnants after late afternoon crochet on a painted ocean

and while the progress was measurable, it was more modest than what I had set out to accomplish.

However, after taking a few minutes to organize the squares into piles that neatly fit into a literal “hole in the wall”:

filling a hole in the wall with crochet squares
Filling in a nook in the wall with crochet squares

I could see that my progress over time has been substantial, and all of it was accomplished one stitch at a time.

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