Today, I am supposed to be putting together photos of my stash and my WIP’s that I took yesterday. I should be declaring my devotion to finishing the projects on the needles and to not purchasing any new yarn until such a time as I have a) finished some of the ongoing projects and b) gotten some of this yarn out of my living room. Well, that is just not happening.
Instead, I have chosen to go a little to the right… or left… or whatever… in true Back of the Bus style. (I never could turn any homework in on time in high school either.) What happened is this. I was taking lunch in my living room away from my office in my kitchen and knitting the band of a hat. I have several episodes of the podcast Cast-On in my iTunes library. I am a recent convert to listening to Cast-On and have been doling them out like lemon drops – one over the course of a couple of days. I am now caught up to 2006. Today’s lunch listening was Episode 41 with a hilarious conversation between Brenda and her sister Pam. But then there was the guest essay about when did knitting become an obsession. I found myself nodding along with the essayist and thinking about my own fall into fiber obsession.
I like to blame Sue, my sister-in-law, as she is the person who taught me to knit. However, my knitting bug has far surpassed hers. What is different between her and me? Why is knitting to her a hobby and to me a full out passion to Knit. All. Things? I have a theory on that. It is that knitting was waiting for me. Stalking me. Standing back patiently until the time was right. I can remember being exposed to fiber craft as a child. My mother made many, if not all, of my clothes when I was small and continued until I got married – making all of the bridesmaids’ dresses. She did macrame when it was popular in the ’70’s and I knew a little bit. I started young, sewing and embroidering, playing with string, yarn, beads. In college, I drew and painted, getting my degree in Art. In my 20’s, I taught myself to quilt. It came to me as if I had been doing it my entire life. In quilting, art and fabric combine in a very logical and mathematic way. But I stopped when I had children. Quilting with 3 small kids is not practical or easy. So I stopped. And I did nothing artistic for several years.
Then along came Sue, with yarn and pointy sticks. This knitting – it was fun, it was portable. I could make gifts for people, hats, scarves, mitts. And one project may take less than seven years! Once I got on Ravelry, though, the game was changed. I found people like me, smart, creative, funny people who had the same hobby. Ravelry gave me friends with things in common from around the world. People who knit things I had never thought of knitting. They made me think … could I do that? People who weave, who spin, who crochet.
I find myself looking at my stash laid out on my living room floor, posing for photos. I do want to knit it all. I want it all to be finished objects, but first I want the fun of choosing what it will be when it grows up. Because before it can be a finished object, it has to pass through me. And that, my friends, is where the fun is. It is the middle part – not the yarn on my floor and not the gift given, but the part where it is on the needles, where I get to see it as it is something in between. More than mere potential and yet less than useful. It is, if anything, a dream – so real you can touch it, feel it. But it is not yet reality. And so, I find that my obsession is with that middle part. And I give myself the freedom to have works in progress, to savor that middle part. And obsess about what will go into that limbo next. I am unrepentent.