Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A good yarn

Happy 2008!

In the days leading up to today I have been sorting through the many piles of magazines I have, ripping out articles, recipes and other things I want to remember for the meantime (until I throw them out). I will recycle the magazines on Friday. One of the articles I saved was about a mother whose child died very suddenly of a high fever. She wrote about working through her grief by knitting. She included an excerpt of a poem by a woman named Judyth Hill, called "Wage Peace." I also include a bit of it here. Her words really speak to me:

...Remember your tools: flower seeds, clothing pins, clean rivers.

Make soup.

Play music; learn the word "thank you" in 3 languages.

Learn to knit: make a hat.

Think of chaos as dancing raspberries.

Imagine grief
as the outbreak of beauty or gesture of fish.

Swim for the other side...

I've learned to chill a bit since taking up the hobby, although I sometimes feel it causes me to be in more of an agitated state rather than Zen-like. That's my struggle with perfectionism versus creativity. It's hard when those demons compete. On the trip to England for my husband's funeral almost 4 years ago now, I brought a skein of nubby acrylic yarn and some straight needles and the scarf I had started with it. It was an attempt at trying to distract myself. The knitting was pretty bad. Both my mom and my grandmother helped me fix it a couple of times, taking out rows and giving it back to me when mended. For a while it seemed to be a game of expand and subtract. Once I finished it I wore it a few times but now it's been seen more recently as the main accessory on the annual snowman I make. When not around the snowman's neck it hangs on a wooden peg on our porch, a daily reminder when I come home. Since those scarf making days I've mastered hats, so I've been going with that.

The truth is, I am a collector. I collect aprons, cook books, baby clothes, Sesame Street themed books, Pez dispensers, buttons, fabric (never been a great one for sewing but I love the palate of colors found in fabrics), knitting needles, knitting books, and yarn. I should try to do more stuff with the yarn, rather than collect it. I use it mainly for motivation, I guess. I had to buy a wicker basket to store it, so I can see what I have more clearly. Otherwise I buy more of the same thing, forgetting that I already had it. I have a ton of baby yarn my mom gave me that's packed away in a bureau, away from the cat. Someday I'll have a studio where I can store all this stuff. I envision a garden shed with a wood stove, my real hermitage. Until then, the spare bedroom gets to house this stuff.

The yarn...

My patterns, needles in their cases, tools, and another project in the works.

My buttons. I sometimes buy these in lots at the local Goodwill.


Patty O said...

I know the perfection versus creativity struggle. Especially in my job, everything isn't going to be perfect, no matter how hard to try, so you kinda need to just go with the flow and relax.

Malathionman said...

Two words- pack rat :)