I find myself becoming obsessive about the work, longing for a free hour or two to sit and pass the time drawing. I absolutely love working on these knots. They're so soothing and relaxing, almost meditative. There are a few simple principles of design when you're first putting down the pattern (patterns I'm still decoding and mastering), and then after that it's almost hypnotic repetition tracing and retracing and weaving the lines together.
You get this weird kind of trust about it because it's almost impossible to actually see how all the lines interconnect, especially as the patterns grow increasingly complicated. When you're working on one part, your focus narrows to the intricacies of that (for lack of a better word) "moment," and the whole of the thing kind of lapses out of sight for a while. You follow the curve of each line, and it's almost impossible to keep its entire path in mind at once. Yet, if you're faithful to the pattern and careful in the detail, when it's finished it's this coherent, intricate, balanced whole that you perceive all at once as something complete in itself.
There is certainly a metaphor here. But I'm not going to bother delineating it. Suffice it to say, the work is enjoyable and comforting, it keeps my hands busy and my mind sharp, yet rested. It's a good exercise in maintaining focus and cultivating patience. I'm looking forward to the exercises in the rest of the book, and I may have to find one or two more to see what other approaches might be useful. Eventually I hope to begin creating my own designs, and working on more elaborate drawings as well as possibly dragging out my simple wood-burning kit and seeing what kinds of plaques and decorative boxes I might be able to fashion. I love craft projects!