I’m sitting on the couch on this overcast winter day, knitting. I am not knitting to fill a boring day. I am not knitting just to keep my hands busy while watching television. I am knitting because I love to knit.
I am so fascinated with yarn and the colors and textures of yarn that my dining room buffet is filled with yarn. There are new skeins of yarn, partial skeins of yarn, and almost used up balls of yarn in there. I am ALMOST, but not quite, embarrassed by the amount of yarn that I have stashed in the dining room buffet. Last Thanksgiving I made the mistake of asking my husband to find a tablecloth while I was busy cooking. He went right to the dining room buffet and looked in there for a tablecloth! I heard him open the drawer and exclaim, “What the heck?!?” and then he came into the kitchen and said, “I didn’t find a tablecloth. I thought we kept them in the buffet in the dining room. But what in the world are you doing with all of that yarn?” I just changed the subject by asking if he would look in the sideboard out in the living room. What a silly man, looking in the most logical place: a tablecloth in a dining-room buffet?
I was relieved that he didn’t look in the appliance cabinet for the food processor, as the bottom shelf of that has bags of yarn in it. Or in my closet next to my shoes. Of course THAT would be really silly: why would he be looking in my shoe rack? He said years ago that my shoe rack scares him because he thinks that they multiply when he is not looking (well, yes, they did multiply when he wasn’t looking, they just did it with my help on shoe sale days, not by spontaneous reproduction). I’m lucky that my husband doesn’t do a lot of hunting around the house for things and looking in drawers and cabinets and armoires, because then he might see how much yarn I really have.
Yes, I have an obsession with yarn. I admit it. But luckily they don’t have a twelve step program for yarn, so I don’t feel SUPER guilty about it. If they ever start a yarn-twelve-step program, then I might reconsider this addiction. But notice that I said I am ALMOST embarrassed by how much yarn I stash around the house? I don’t feel bad, yet. And stash is the right word to use. I’m not a hoarder, I’m a stasher. I do use the yarn. I really do.
My fascination with yarn is deep. I look at sheep in a field and find it hard to believe that we wear the same coat that a sheep does. I understand that millennia ago after slaughtering an animal for their meat, man used their skin for coverings. But which man looked at a sheep’s fleece and thought to him or herself: If I pull this off in very thin strands and roll it, then I can weave or knit it to make clothes or blankets? In the same vein, I wonder which man took a boll of cotton and said the same thing? Those seem like ideas that are a huge leap from the normal kill-and-skin-it-then-wear-it thinking or harvest-the-plant-and-eat-it mentality.
Yarn stores are heaven for me. I wander through and have to feel all the different kinds of yarn, and brush it against my face to see how soft it is. I can spend hours there. I peruse pattern books and imagine all the fabulous things I can make. The sale shelves at my local yarn store are my best friends.
My dream is to make a hand-made sweater for everyone in my family, and I have a very large family. So I shop for the right yarn for each person and buy it. Buying enough yarn for one sweater is no inexpensive thing, since you need around eight to ten skeins (or balls) of yarn to knit one sweater. So picture all those balls of yarn stored all over the house.
I am making fingerless gloves today with some leftover yarn. These are not for anyone in particular, so when they are finished I will find someone to give them to. Knitting in the winter is comforting to me. Giving knitted gifts in the WINTER is key: who wants to receive a pair of wool mittens or a wool scarf as a gift in the summer?
So here I sit, on the couch on an overcast winter day, knitting, happy as a clam, smiling as I knit.
Copyright © 2011, Maura White. All rights reserved.