I have on occasion entertained the possibility of starting a blog but in the absence of sufficient confidence and anything of interest to say, I have always been quick to dismiss this as a silly notion. The rest of this entry was written two days ago as a sort of exercise for myself and I had no intention of posting it if I didn't like it upon re-read. I re-read, felt too iffy about it and I didn't post. That might have been my last blogging effort for the next few years but events in the last 24 hours inspired me to write my first real blog post (edit: which is now posted, for better or for worse) and now the contents of this test-post seem relevant to those events and as such, possibly worth posting. Enough disclaiming? Here we go...
May 29, 2016
I consider myself a knitter even though I don't share that information with anyone unless I happen to know or guess the other party is also a knitter. I'm not ashamed of my knitting, but I just never see a reason to mention it to anyone who doesn't relate to the joys of playing with yarn. I'm sure my eyes glaze over (in a similar manner to the non-knitter who is confronted by unsolicited knitting testimonials) when someone launches into an extended description of their cat's adorable antics. (Don't misunderstand, I love cats. I love a good cat video like any real human.) The trouble is, there are no words which sufficiently describe the cuteness/derpiness/beauty of cats. A similar argument could be made about knitting, or rather, the practice of knitting.
Words cannot really capture all the elements of knitting which could make a person sacrifice time, disposable income, and sometimes sanity with such happy abandon, regardless of the absence of certainty that the project in hand will be completed or finished with perfectly satisfactory results. On the other hand, the mere fact that while some people fall directly in love with knitting and yet others develop a deep loathing of string suggests to me that the joy of knitting is neither inevitable (if you would only give it a fair chance!) nor is it necessary for personal fulfilment. Yet, I find myself wistful about my prolonged lack of knitting motivation--which has gotten me thinking about why I haven't been knitting much in recent years.
There are a few theories that I abandoned as quickly as I suggested them to myself because I know them to be demonstrably false. For instance:
- I did not stop loving the process of knitting--the few times I have picked up needles and yarn in the last two years were moments of pure contentment
- I did not run out of yarn--I once calculated that this event will occur sometime in the year 2082 assuming I do not obtain another yard of yarn in the intermittent time. This turns out to be an absolute impossibility (not just a statistical improbability) since between the time I wrote the previous sentence to the time I write this one, I have bought yarn. Albeit, it's the first yarn I have bought in ages, but yarn all the same. If you are not a knitter, you're asking yourself how this theory had the audacity to suggest itself to me. If you are a knitter, which I presume you are if you have somehow stumbled on this blog, you know it is entirely believable that a woman standing in front of stacked bins filled with yarn can declare with perfect sincerity that she has no yarn to knit. Because you know that she means she hasn't got the right amount/right weight/right colour/right fibre content of yarn for that exact pattern she is going to knit right now
- I did not spread myself too thin over too many hobbies. I've been avoiding all my hobbies and things I consider pastimes, with the one small exception that I try to force myself to pick up my camera something like every day. I do pick up my camera most days, but most of those days, I'm just shuffling it to another spot on my work table. (My 365 photography project attests to the general lack of drive I'm suffering from. I should be on day 118 and I've only posted 22 photos. Granted, I don't post everything I've done but I think if I did, I'd average three days per week. Dismal.)
So my more plausible theories are as follows:
- Guilt. I feel too guilty to be sacrificing time to knitting (or any other of my self-sanctioned* hobbies) because I have accepted, nay dove head first into, significant responsibilities which other people are depending on me to see through
- Pursuit of perfection. I don't actually believe that everyone needs to drive themselves to the edge of madness in the pursuit of perfection but I firmly believe in a job well done. I consider a useless, ugly object to be a waste of my time,** probably because I'm closer to the product-knitter end of the spectrum. (That said, I have wasted a lot of time during the course of my life. I have plenty of evidence because after procrastination, hoarding is my next major vice.) This irrational fear of mine, of not producing something that will knock my socks off and the socks of all who behold it, is silly at best and at worst, paralysing***
Knowing these two things to be true about myself, I have to ask: should I just light a bier upon which all my knitterly ambitions are lovingly laid out and move on (after I've auctioned off my yarn stash on Ebay) or should I just make a few compromises with myself and get back to knitting without further excuses? Or, do I just start knitting while catching up on the last season of iZombie?
* My completely unsanctioned hobbies would be the truly time-wasting activities of internet surfing and the CW. Somehow, I can't recognize that these activities result in the utter annihilation of time and brain cells until after said activities are concluded.
** This particular footnote is sheer optimism on my part because I'm preparing for the possibility someone is offended by this sentence, meaning someone is actually reading this post. My note here is that my own standards of utility and beauty are not in anyway implied to be universal or even applicable to anyone beyond me. What works for you might not work for the next person and that's just the way it goes.
*** It's irrational because, really, who but the truly gifted (which I don't count myself among) can create such magnificent things? Does that mean the rest of us should just pack it in and call it a day? I'm thinking maybe the answer is "no".