February 26, 2008

Is it serendipity if you go looking

Yeah, well. It always happens like this, doesn't it? I've made this wee promise to myself that I'll use up a cubic ton of the stash before I make any more serious yarn investments, and already it's not going well.

Let's look at the thing. I don't think I have too much yarn. I think there's no such thing, as long as you aren't spending the rent money or the little bit of cash you have set aside for your kids retainer, and as long as you have room to store it. I think if you're totally broke and still buying, or if you've got so much that you can't see out the windows in your house the emergency exits are blocked, you might want to assess your material yearnings and figure out whether you're transferring some problems you have in other areas of your life to your relationship with yarn, but I don't want to say too much about that, since who among us hasn't bought a little skein of something to take the edge off of a bad day?

That said, (and knowing that my stash is not as big as you think it is, and that it doesn't block my escape from my home) I do think that there's a lot of great stuff in my stash and I don't want to never get to it because of a stream of new things are burying them in there, and while I don't think I physically have got to much yarn, I can feel that for me there might be a place (eventually) where I spiritually have too much yarn, and I don't want to get there.

The upshot is that I'm not on a yarn diet (they go just as well for me as real diets do), instead I'm just trying to adapt my attitude toward food and exercise to yarn. I eat well. I'm active. I walk or ride my bike everywhere I can. I turn up for a yoga class at least three times a week and (despite being just a tiny bit dumpy) I think I'm in pretty great shape for a woman cruising up on her 40th birthday. I'm a vegetarian, I eat whole grains. About 60 percent of our family diet is vegetables and fruit, and they come from an organic service that buys as locally as they can. This is, I think, all pretty darned good, and since most of my life goes like that, I do not feel even the tiniest little bit bad about the occasional beer and nachos, or my natural proclivity toward chocolate and red wine. Moderation, my friends, moderation. Translated into yarn behaviour, I am trying to do my best to use the stash when I am able to do so and only buying when it is something that I really think is beautiful or unique, or would make me very, very happy or if I really, really need it. Almost everything I've made for the last many months was stash, and as I go through my records (not looking too closely) I think that I might have achieved my goal for a little while, which is more out than in.

Then on Friday I wrote some fateful words. Allow me to quote me "The pattern book also has the Urban Aran in it, which Brooklyn Tweed cardiganized and put on his blog. ... What a great sweater. Maybe I should make that next.... " and frankly, though I just sort of threw that out there, it stuck. Totally stuck. Half an hour later, on my way downtown to have lunch with a friend, I should have known I was sliding when I put the pattern book in my purse. After lunch I should have taken the hint when I couldn't get to Romni wool (big sale on just the yarn I wanted) because of the fire. (Have I mentioned the fire? Big fire, nobody hurt.) At that point, I should have gotten a grip. I should have understood that blocking me from getting to Romni was the planets way of telling me that if I didn't have enough chunky yarn in the stash to make that sweater, that I should choose another sweater....but did I listen? Of course not. What sort of blog entry would that be. "I did the right thing" has never been a good plot. A good idea maybe, but not a good plot.

Thwarted, I came home and phoned Lettuce Knit. I made Alexis and Laura go through the whole store looking for something that would work, but alas, nothing spoke to me. (This should have been my second tip.) I did slow down briefly then, but moments later found myself online at Elann. I resisted everything though, (translation: they couldn't get me what I wanted fast enough) and was on the very brink of calling myself a paragon of virtue, when Joe called and the door of possibility opened wide before me.

Joe was just calling to see if I needed anything on his way home, and I said something along the lines of "nothing but 1200 meters of chunky wool in a nearly solid colour, but that's my problem" when Joe revealed that he was actually, as we spoke, about 10 metres from The Purple Purl.

That's got to be a sign. I phoned the shop, talked with Miko, who after scouring the store, totally didn't have what I wanted. That's a sign too, and I was totally prepared to take it as such and admit that this idea was doomed and I needed to go to the stash and make a different sweater, when Miko said that she was pretty sure that they were about to get in what I wanted. She made a quick phone call, called me back and lo and behold...

The yarn I wanted in the colour I wanted was on a truck from the north part of the city, on it's way to the shop and would arrive within the hour.

Now, that's the planet practically THROWING yarn at me (if we overlook the part where I spent a whole day trying to buy it) and how am I supposed to resist an opportunity like that? It was clearly (once I hunted it down) my destiny to have this yarn, and that puts in a whole other category.


I thought you'd understand.

PS. Philadelphia on May 18 and London, England on September 6th have both been added to the tour page. Don't thank me, remember, my power is the same as yours, and where I go is not up to me. I, like you, have only the tools of begging, suggestion and bribery at my disposal. Thank Jayme-the-wonder-publicist, or as we like to call her around here "She who is the boss of me".

Posted by Stephanie at February 26, 2008 2:01 PM