Mind boggling

April 10, 2009

I started to post yesterday; but, I caught myself just in time. I don’t think anyone wants to read about how I’m bored with stockinette on the mom sweater or how difficult it’s been to motivate myself to work.

The attempt at a lame post was all it took. I pulled myself up off the pity pot, got to work and accomplished a tremendous amount yesterday afternoon. I even got the sleeves on the mom sweater close to the half-way point last night. Why the trauma? Why the urge for an “I want to whine” post? It’s been a wild week. Right. It’s been a wild life.

In the back of my mind though, some knitterly questions, possibly worth writing about, have been rolling around my brain, largely based upon the thought-provoking post by Yarn Harlot on the 8th.

The key thing that post dredged up for me had to do with my knitting monogamy. YH talks about switching from project to project to keep her brain engaged as if this is normal. I believe the phrase she used is, “An hour later . . . I just need another knitting project.” (emphasis mine)

Wow. Am a freak or what? I can’t think of any other knitters I know who, like YH, don’t have at least a few projects on the needles at any one time. Like C in Germany, who often tells me how having multiple projects to choose among inspires her creativity and allows her to pick knitting that suits her mood and situation. I get that; I can’t do that.

And K, right here in Colorado who may have socks, a sweater, a hat or two and even a pair of fingerless gloves going at any one time and who says, much like YH, she just needs another project. The urge to cast on overwhelms her. To me, it’s unfathomable.

I start a project — and baby — I’m in for the haul. Thick or thin. Till it’s done. Boring, interesting, challenging, easy, creative, or as mundane as molasses. Don’t like it? Frog it and put it the yarn away. No languishing WIP on needles for me. No second sock syndrome in this house. Without this approach, I have this sense it would take years, maybe decades, to finish anything. Yet, this isn’t the case for either C or K. They both finish what they start faster than I finish my monogamous little efforts.

Knowing this, how is it I don’t have this “need” for another project? How is it I am compelled, even perhaps to the point of irrationality, to exclusively finish what I start?

The story I tell myself: it has to do with work. I have so many projects rambling around for my clients I have convinced myself my knitting has to be the one thing in my life that’s in control. One thing that has a start, a middle and an end. One thing where I can see definite progress. One thing where I can set goals and actually accomplish them.

But in truth, it’s not just work. My whole life seems to be in a perpetual spiral heading rapidly toward chaos. Knitting is the calm center in the crazy storm of me. I have a perpetual habit of walking up to the cliff, looking over the edge, and instead of making the choice the rational person might, saying, “No thanks. Great opportunity, but, I think I’ll stay on firm ground,” I say, “Great, I’ll jump.” There I go, in mid-air all over again.

Two careers. Two significant others. Two continents. Not that big of a deal, given that I am an old fart. But just space those things out and put one major life change every few years, and you’ve got my pattern.

I guess I’m just proving YH’s ultimate message: knitting can be many things to many people. And for me, perhaps, knitting offers an element of sanity in an otherwise crazy existence.

It is amazing isn’t it? One simple action, two sticks pulling loops of yarn through other loops, and there are as many thoughts, ideas, inspirations, meditations and reasons as there are knitters.

Mind boggling.


2 Responses to “Mind boggling”

  1. Chrissie Says:

    Here’s the proverbial C. I think I need to correct some idealized image of me. Not all my projects end up as FO’s and some take decades. But I still manage to fool myself that I will finish them all in the end.
    And I have to point out that the two continents, careers and two significant others have not been “on the needles of your life” simultaneously either LOL. But your explanation makes perfect sense. With an 8-5 office job knitting allows me space to be erratic and not logical. And as for getting more finished than you – I don’t have two dogs, a cat, a horse, a house much less than a RNK who would keep me preoccupied. LOL

  2. Kimberly Says:

    Well now, I feel I have to add something here too! I think if I had as much on my mind as you do lately, I might find myself staying with one project as well. Really, I admire your stick-to-it-iveness very much, and am often surprised and embarrassed by the number of wips I have laying around, not to mention the duration for which some have been wips. Finally, I seem to recall you finishing an ape sized sweater in record time recently – much faster than I would have, ha ha.

    p.s. Thanks for the great robin watching Opal pics in the last post. K

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