Friday, June 13, 2008

how to love your knitting, part two

It has been a hard few weeks around here, and especially for handknits.

Some personal events have recently made it obvious to me that too many people put themselves last in their own lives. We pile on lists of duties for both our professional and personal lives, ignoring the question whether those chores will make our lives better or worse. Seriously ridiculous things get added to these lists, like saving up piles of fabric for that mysterious day when we'll actually have the time and motivation to make that perfect postage-stamp quilt, or keeping disturbingly ugly or hole-y knitting around just because at some point you had thought it was a good idea. Not only is it mental clutter, but it can take a serious toll on the state of your living space, as well. Some things are just better thrown out or donated.

You can see where this is going.

After staring at my own post for a few days I realized that that mitten was a bad idea. It was the wrong shade of red to match my red cashmere winter coat, and frankly I'm not throwing away that coat just because the mittens aren't working. They were floppy. They were embroidered with little stars. Do I even wear things with little stars? Have I ever owned anything with little stars?

Goodbye, single mitten. I have warm thoughts of you becoming a little home for a mouse in a dump somewhere.

Throwing out that mitten suddenly made me feel much better. I no longer had to think about eventually finishing the embroidery or making the other mitten. In fact, I could now throw away the scrap yarn that I had made with it, anyway. Do you know where that yarn came from? It was 24" long pieces from when I frogged Crichton. I didn't deserve to knit with that kind of pilly, old, short yarn. Goodbye, yarn. And goodbye to the rest of the frogged Crichton, too. (It didn't end up being much - only about one large Ziploc baggie.)

Now that I was digging around underneath my bed, searching for the rest of the Crichton yarn, I came across a whole container of yarn that I'd been saving up for a tesselating fish blanket. It was all acrylic and from the 1980s. Enough said. The potentially useful and un-knitted yarn was donated. The rest joined the now half-full bag in the garbage. Suddenly I had a whole empty container for my worthwhile yarn, and thus a storage problem that has been going on for about seven months was resolved.

At this point I was tired and pretty dusty, so the knitting massacre was, for the time, done. Before the end of the week, however, I went through my drawers and threw out all of my stockings, these green socks and the red/white socks, all because of truly disastrous holes. I also donated some mittens that had been accidentally shrunk in the wash. I find that getting rid of things actually makes you feel like you have more, because now all your nice stuff is easily accessible. My sock drawer is looking pretty well-dressed right now. For good measure I unraveled the very first project that I posted to this blog, too, because I'm kind of over frost flowers and leaves and the whole double-thickness lace scarf thing right now. Now I have two skeins of laceweight to use for one of the Victorian Lace Today scarves.

And, finally, after months of procrastination, I ripped out my Hourglass Sweater. I think I wore that sweater three times before it stretched out of shape permanently. Alpaca was a poor choice for that sweater, especially since I knitted it kind of loose.

For a little bit of time it was turning into a Vogue Knitting sweater.

However, I wasn't really sure that those cables were going to do anything for me, and by the time I got to the sleeves and realized that the pattern was completely wrong, I really didn't care enough to continue.

So, frogged again, this time in favor of the sideways-knitted cardigan from Poetry in Stitches. And there we have success. Although right now it just looks like a whole lot of garter stitch.

And finally, I feel like knitting again.

Join me, knitters of the world, in ridding yourself of too many duties, whatever that means to you. You're worth it.

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Anonymous Carrie K said...

Sometimes you just have to admit you don't want it around anymore and need the physical/mental space.

I hope the mouse likes his new house. That was a cute mitten, even if it didn't quite work.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Hege said...

You are so right, it is hard, but it lifts a load off your shoulders! I feel unable to do it myself, but I admire you for getting rid of things that clutter up your life!

6:15 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Actually thought that mitten was cute but made of 24" lengths? I would totally have saved the pieces but never made anything. Congratulations on your clean-out. I get as far sometimes as making a pile but just can't do it.

5:51 AM  
Blogger rebecca.hunt said...

I stopped by tonight, knowing of your summer hiatus, hoping that you'd resumed.

8:21 PM  

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