Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Wednesday, September 07, 2005  

Stash Lament, part II - Long

Ahh, LWLY, sweetie - that’s just the point. I don’t want any more yarn. Or fiber. I didn’t actually want any more yarn or fiber when I was at MAFA last July, or at the little yarn/t-shirt shop in Irvington, where the silky wool was 50% off, or in Richmond at Lettuce Knit, where the sweetest lace weight mohair was available at $5 for 250 yards. Honestly. I did NOT want more. No more than I want to over eat, do I want to over consume other things, and yet, blindly, mindlessly, when I am out there in the Land ‘o Shops (a.k.a. any where else but home) I buy. And buy and buy and buy.

I buy because I am there. I buy because I get caught up in the excitement of shopping with friends. I buy because I feel obliged to - or maybe the shop will go out of business - and then I’ll never be able to buy any yarn again as long as I live world without end. I buy because it is on sale and it’s that red that looks so good on me - even though I already bought that red that looks so good on me. I buy with no idea of when I’m going to use it - because who knows, the economy may implode and I’ll be left with no money to buy any yarn and then I’ll have to spin milkweed down and dog fur to knit my socks.

These are all negative reasons for accumulating. They are what I think of as Black Hole Purchases. I’m no enemy of therapeutic shopping. At several times in my life when the deep pit beckoned, I shopped for stuff and threw it in the pit in some futile effort to fill it up before I was lost in it. Some of that kind of behavior is perfectly harmless, like some chocolate eclairs are perfectly harmless. But chocolate eclairs do not a nourishing diet make, and negative reason shopping is not a solution to the Black Hole of Bad. It’s merely a distraction.

The comparison of mindless shopping to blind eating is so apt. In neither case does the action cause the desired reaction. Too many eclairs don’t make me feel well nourished, which I’ll admit, was not what I was hoping for. But they don’t either make me feel happy, loved, or indulged. Mostly they make me feel bilious - and guilty. And I can promise you - one more yarn purchase would not cause any desirable reaction. I won’t come home with the yarn, pull up some needles, sample for a stitch and calculate a design. I’ll stuff it in the box/bag/cabinet/wardrobe/under the bed for later - when I am what? ready? needy? bored? Sheesh. I don’t feel happy with all this accumulation spread about me. Especially the unfinished knitted projects - which highlight another serious character trait that is not always admirable - the inability to finish things. Oh yes. I can abandon a sinking ship - but I am far too likely to also abandon a ship 5 yards before we reach the shore. On a hot summer day it’s all right - but by golly - there are way too many abandoned knitted projects in my house.

The Icelandic sweater that has only the neck and button bands to go.
The hand dyed hand spun slipped stitched vest that needs the shoulders altered and a button band.
The angora/mohair boucle pullover that needs only a neck band and the ends woven in.
The 4 single socks - and the two sock cuffs.
The rolled brim hat with stranded color work.
The mohair blend lace sweater knit up to the armhole bindoffs (even the sleeves!).

Now - as I type this list out I see that all these projects have a common thread besides their state of languishment. All of them are completed up to a math problem. The Icelandic sweater was knit when I was 40 lbs heavier and the neck opening is so big I haven’t a clue quit how to fill it in. Even when finished it won’t fit. Perhaps it ought to be sent south as a relief donation. The handspun vest is flat out in need of alteration and I may just knit sleeves into it instead of fiddling around with shoulders. Besides, I never wear vests. The angora/mohair sweater I will finish - this weekend. The socks I will mate, the cuffs of socks I may rip. The stranded colorwork hat - I don’t know. The mohair lace sweater - I just don’t know. It’s beautiful knitting - but I’m so nervous that there won’t be enough yarn to finish it that I am having a hard time committing the time to a completion that may never occur. That one’s a Think About It at Tara project.

The trouble with so many large, close to the end, but unfinished projects is that it makes me afraid to begin Another one. Which means that the boxes and bags of yarn bought in quantities large enough to make whole sweaters (translate: real projects) languish and gather dust. And of course that also means the boxes and bags of wool to spin into boxes and bags of yarn in quantities large enough to make whole sweaters clamor unheeded from behind chests and doors and within drawers. The cacophony is deafening. It’s discordant as well, making bad vibrations of karmic distress in my house. It’s time to address the problem with all the feng shui I can muster. I want the energy to flow. I want my chi to be clear and free to create harmony and productivity and peace.

Ahh. I knew my inner beauty pageant contestant would soon emerge. Give me World Peace, please. And longer sentences for felons. And give Sandra Bullock long life and a happy marriage. Look! A bird!

posted by Bess | 7:15 AM