Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Anybody recognize this yarn?

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I can't imagine why you should; the last time you saw this was back in the spring, I think. Which brings us to today's subject: Guilt and the Knitting Thereof.

Back in March or April, I ran into Noah, an acquaintance of mine, on a field trip to a vernal pool. Noah knows everything about mushrooms, at least those species found hereabouts. So, while we all were tramping about admiring wood frogs and looking at salamander sperm packets (I kid you not), he pointed out various fungi. He also happened to mention that last year he dyed some yarn with different mushrooms and got all sorts of colors. I pounced, of course. "Send me a photo! Bring some yarn to the next time we meet!" that sort of thing.

So he sent me photos. And I oohed and ahhed and said, gee, if I knit you a hat, would you give me some of the yarn? He graciously said yes. Now, our story so far covers several months; there are, after all, other important things in life, particularly in spring, than yarn and the knitting thereof, not that you and I would have any knowledge of such things.

So, maybe in early summer I got the yarn. And there it sat.

And sat.

And sat.

And every so often, I would pull it out and wind a skein into a ball and fuss over it a bit. But no casting-on ensued. Meanwhile, guilt did ensue. It is now at least six months later, you know. Guilt is an awful thing; it eats away at my happiness, it colors my pleasure in knitting and spinning, it takes joy out of my life.

I don't want guilt to rule my life, especially my knitting, so I have cast on for Noah's hat and I hereby solemnly swear that it shall be cast off by January 1st, and that the hat and all the yarn shall be given back to Noah by then. I want to go into the new year with a clean conscience.

And in the future, I shall try to think before I commit to a knitting project, even if it's something for me. I want to begin to make my own designs and, if I knit the lovely and compelling designs of others, I won't have time to make my own. The fact that life is short has been weighing on me recently - I may only have thirty or so years left! - and guilt is an unnecessary weight to drag around.

Of course, then there's Liam's baby blanket, lying there half-finished, occasionally reproaching me. Liam just turned five, I believe.

Nonetheless, onward!


Joanna said...

Haha, at least 1) hats are fast, and 2) you can get it to him in time for the coldest months! I mean, if you had turned right around and given him a wool hat in August, it would have sat. and sat. and sat. anyway... just in his house instead of yours. :)

Elizabeth said...

Isn't amazing how we spend more time feeling guilty about some knitting projects than it would take to just knit them??