I have an inner knitter. I’m sure you do to. It’s the part of every knitter that has a pure and unreasonable love for knitting and yarn, but, unlike the rest of you, lacks any sort of maturity when it comes to getting what it wants. My outer knitter is what shows after personality traits like patience, self-control and reason slap down the inner knitter’s impulsive wants and desires, although I only try to control her when I need to.
If my inner knitter wants to cast on another pair of socks and there are already four pairs on needles? I don’t stop her. What does it matter? It’s only knitting. It’s supposed to be fun, and I can cast on as many pairs as we want. This assumes of course that I’m not on a knitting deadline – in which case I’m probably going to end up talking with my inner knitter about commitment and responsibility. If my inner knitter wants to buy a skein of yarn, and there’s room in the stash and her plan is good, we buy it. If my inner knitter wants me to bail on cleaning the bathroom and knit instead, we might do that. I only have to wrestle her to the ground and hold her there by the metaphoric throat when she wants to buy eight skeins of cashmere or take a week off work or tells me to screw off when I suggest we might want to get off the couch and get a little exercise. (My inner knitter likes knitting, TV and chips. We discuss this often.)
This brings me to something interesting I’ve noticed about my inner knitter. We’ve had a few weeks of relative silence. This is totally normal for us. It’s not like she doesn’t want me to knit, she’s just laid back about what. It’s probably because my inner knitter is about 14, and like many teenagers, has her periods of intensity punctuated by periods of complete apathy. I’m walking around saying "What would you like to knit?" and she’s lying on her bed wearing black clothes and too much eyeliner and listening to Fall Out Boy really loud, and whenever I check in with her she just says "Whatever. Why are you always talking to me? Close the door… Wait, do I get the stash when you die?"
At that point I just wander off, acknowledge that while we still love and must knit, my inner knitter doesn’t have an agenda right now. I actually like these phases. They let me finish up projects that have been languishing, clean out the stash (you can’t do that except while your inner knitter is checked out. They don’t like getting rid of stuff) and catch up on spinning or weaving. It’s never permanent. When she’s done pouting because I made her clean her room and get off of Ravelry, she’s see something or want something or be on fire for a vest. No way to know. Usually, I just wait her out.
Today though I figured something out. Inner knitters want you unemployed. That must be what’s going on, because after about a week of lying on her bed wishing her bangs were longer and she had more black nail polish, my inner knitter has suddenly perked up. I have three writing deadlines that I’m thrilled and happy to be working on, and bingo. There’s our girl. She wants to surf patterns. She wants to rip up the stash. She thinks everything we’re knitting right now is crap and wants nothing but new stuff. Out of new yarn. I’ve explained that I have a lot of work to do, and it’s not working. The more interested I am in writing, the more interested she is in knitting. This morning, when I told her that there was no reasonable way that we were getting up from the desk before I had met my word count and written a blog entry, she screamed "I AM SO SICK OF YOUR STUPID JOB, YOU NEVER CARE WHAT I WANT."
I took a deep breath and reminded her that without a job, I can’t buy yarn, and I like buying yarn and that we are actually on the same side, and then I realized that I was arguing with the part of my brain that’s a teenager, and I quit.
Now I’m just sitting at my desk, trying to write, and my inner knitter is totally carrying on in a way that makes it really hard to work, but I’m pretending that I can’t hear her.
I’m a woman of some fortitude and I’m proud of what little self control I have, but dudes.