At first, it just felt like I was getting organized, and that made a lot of sense. September is a “get it together” time of year for me, maybe some weird holdover from when I had to get all my ducks in a row for the kids to go to school, or maybe it’s just a response to the end of the more relaxed systems of summer, but planning and getting thing orderly in the fall has always been my modus operandi, and like I said, at first it felt to me like just the start of that.
It was little things in the beginning. I started paying a little more attention to what people were knitting on instagram. I followed a few new yarn makers. I scanned the “hot right now” pattern list. I watched some knitting podcasts and thought about joining some knit-alongs. Just planning my knitting, you know what I mean? That makes sense. It’s about to be fall. Then I started taking yarn out. I didn’t really cast anything on, I just thought “oh I should knit a short sleeved summer sweater, and then I went into the stash and pulled out the yarn for that, and then put it on the table downstairs. Then some yarn arrived in the mail and I didn’t put it away. I put it on the kitchen counter by the stove – just… so it could be around or something? I can’t explain it. Then a yarn club came and I put that on my desk so it would be handy, and also I brought down a sweater quantity of another yarn to consider and positioned that on the dining room table. The next week I thought that it would be a good idea to think a bit about socks, and so I put a skein of self-striping next to my laptop and also one extra one in my bag so that if I went somewhere I would have it. Then we went away with the family and I inexplicably brought a yarn store with me, along with most of my needles, and when we came home I didn’t put any of it away.
Today I looked around and realized that I really do need to get organized. The whole house is in a tip (and slightly sticky, thanks Elliot) and if the winter is coming I suppose I should get this all sorted, and as I started to clean up, I realized that a lot of what I needed to clean up was yarn. For the record, I stand by every previous statement I have ever made about my believe that yarn is beautiful and ornamental and that having a bunch of it around isn’t really problematic, but I also think that you should be able to do things in your house without having to move yarn every single time, and that some degree of tidiness is good for the soul. Now thing is, when I put my hand on the first skein of yarn to put it away, a part of me said “Oh it’s cool leave that there, I’m going to knit it in a minute.”
I pulled my hand back and reached for another, and that same knitter in me said “No, leave that too, thanks.” I looked around and slowly it dawned on me. Without a shadow of a doubt I have the early symptoms of an absolutely raging case of startitis and that would be okay if I hadn’t just spent a year and a half locked in my house using yarn to mitigate the emotional effects of personal and global tragedy.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it was smart and I highly recommend it, knitting is enormously helpful when things are difficult, and knowing this, I haven’t limited my access or made any rules about it at all for the last while. If I get a hankering to knit a pair of socks I have simply cast on and gone with that urge, even if there are other socks on the needles. If I want to buy yarn and I can afford it, boom. It’s in the post to me. These are extraordinary times and I have been as kind to myself as I need to be in order to maintain something that remotely resembles my own nature. (Related: my current relationship with cleaning and pants that aren’t elastic in the waist. Whatever gets you through the night, baby.)
Still, at some point I feel like it stops being therapeutic and starts being… well. A mess really, and I realized the other day that as I rifled the hanger for a missing circular that I am not “low on needles.” They are just all… in things… and that means that I need to get a few things done before I add more, so before I start anything else I’m going to go through all my little hidey holes and figure out what exactly is lurking around here.
Buckle up. I’m going in.
(PS it is the one by the stove that really gets me. It’s been there for 3 weeks. What emergency do I think I am preparing for there?)