Monday, August 24, 2009

Multiple Projects: The Quite Sane Rationale Behind Them

I’ve never thought of myself as a priest, but there are days when I’m working in the yarn shop that I certainly feel like the receiver of confessions. One of the most common is something like this. “I really shouldn’t buy more yarn. I haven’t finished the sweater I started last winter.” As the tortured person looks longingly at a skein of yarn I do my best to give her absolution. I believe every knitter deserves freedom from this needless knitter’s guilt. Here’s my sane and coherent rationale for having multiple projects. Caution: Do not let your spouse or significant other read this.
Knitters are moody. This has been researched by the finest institutes in the world and it is a well-known fact that knitters need different projects to match their moods.
Knitters are creative. Another overlooked, but well-studied fact is that creative individuals must be fed a diet that nourishes the senses. In the case of knitters, this diet must include a variety of colors, textures, weights, scents, and sounds. You’re probably wondering about the sounds. By this I’m referring to the whispered swish found in mohair, the varied percussions of needles, e.g., bamboo versus metal versus rosewood versus size, the purring of the knitter when the yarn smoothly knits itself into the planned object and the guttural utterances of the knitter when they don’t. Without this sensory input chaos can abound in a creative person’s life and only another project can put things right again.
Knitters are generous. Look over the to-be-completed projects in most fiber lovers’ closets and you will find knitters’ better natures such as a nearly finished baby blanket for a co-worker, a purse waiting to be felted for a good friend, a sweater for mom that must be reknit because it’s the wrong size, yarn for a husband’s felted slippers (its just waiting for the soles to arrive), pink almost-ready hats for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and more. Generosity is virtue, not a sin!
Knitters need challenges. The brain of a knitter is vast and it needs to be constantly stimulated with new ideas and ventures.
Knitters need rest. People who wrap two needles around yarn are busy people. Some projects are more restful than others. While the knitting brain percolates over a challenging project the fingers need to pick up a “no brainer” such as an all knit project. This prevents brain overload and must be taken very seriously.