I’m not good with choices. Have we ever talked about this? A few choices are just fine, but as the field grows, so does my anxiety about choosing. It’s one of the great things about being a vegetarian in a restaurant, most of the time there’s very little choice. There might be one or two things without an animal in it, and usually the other thing has eggplant, and there you go. Choice made. (I have a fragile relationship with eggplant. Something about the difference between the firm, shiny skin and the mushy insides gives me the heebie-geebies.)
Vital, important decisions I can manage, because I am a grown-up and that’s part of the rules, but small decisions like what to have for dinner? What wine should we order with our meal? Which skirt should I wear today? May the goddess of wool preserve me, I hate it. I hate it enough that most of the time I’d rather opt out entirely. Many’s the time that I’ve let someone else order my dinner or drink for me, or asked my kids what I should wear and then put it on. “You pick” is what I say most often. The element of surprise is just fine with me, and I enjoy it more than trying to figure it out for myself. (This only works if you’re with someone who has decent taste and understands about eggplant, that Kahlua is pretty dodgy, and that I don’t like turtlenecks.) Generally, my zeal for decisions and choices is directly related to how many of them I’ve made lately. If I’m burdened by larger life choices, small things like what sock yarn to cast on next seem impossible, and I’ll let you choose my cocktail. I’m used up, I can’t decide.
Such was the place I found myself in today. I’d finished a pair of socks over the weekend, and I’d grabbed another ball of yarn at random and cast on, just to have something in my bag, but today (after I sat at my desk all day writing which is nothing but making big choices) when the time came to pick my next proper project, I couldn’t do it. Completely stuck. Here’s a whole house full of yarn and patterns and after a few hours of research (that’s what you call hopelessly pulling skeins out of the stash, waiting for them to speak their destiny and then putting them back which they refuse to tell you) I gave up. I decided I’d go into my office and the open the yarn bin by my desk (judge not lest ye be judged) and the first yarn that I saw, that would be the yarn I used.
Theoretically, I like everything in my stash, so I couldn’t see any way for it to fail. The first thing was the handspun that I finished right before The Rally. Long, uneven stripes of colour, in silk and polworth. Fine, I thought that’s fine – it even helps a bit, actually. Mittens are out, because they won’t match in a horrible way that will make me wild, socks can’t be undertaken for the same reason (also, it’s worsted weight-ish, and socks that don’t fit in shoes are awkward.) A scarf would be too short (I only have about 200m) A hat wouldn’t work because it’s handspun and I’d want to use all of it up, so… that sort of left cowl, didn’t it? I put out a plea on Twitter, and then I took the first reasonable suggestion.
It was Ghazal. Comes in a bunch of gauges, easy to change for however my yardage works out, has a little slip-stich thing that should look great with my yarn. I cast on (provisionally, which was fantastically ironic to me) and began. I feel good about it. I think it’s going to work – which is great, because I’m not sure I could face the trying to choose if I was going to rip it out.
Now. Will someone tell me what to make for dinner?