Sunday, May 18, 2008

Not intended for the "shrine of precious yarns"

I've been knitting dishcloths. Cotton dishcloths, in bright hot colours.


These dishcloths are not ultimately for me (ballband dishcloths from Mason-Dixon Knitting, using Sugar'n Cream cotton), but they got me thinking about "precious" yarns and knits that are "too good" to use. I've developed this pattern with my knitting -- I'll knit something that I absolutely love, wear it proudly for some time, then I'll put it away and start having thoughts like "well, now I can't wear it too much, because then it will get worn and old and it won't be pretty anymore". And then it just sits there in its plastic bin to be periodically admired, but not taken out into the world where it might, heaven forbid, get dirty or ragged.

Even worse, I have handknit socks that are just sitting in my drawer unworn, because I like the yarn too much to stuff it into shoes where they will smell like feet and get pilly at the heels. Not to mention all the yarn that I don't want to knit with because it's "too pretty to disturb" or "too discontinued".

All of which is silly, right? I mean, there will always be more nice yarn (the rate at which I buy the stuff definitely attests to that), and as for not wanting to wear out the things that I've actually managed to make, I DO intend to be knitting for a good long while, and absolutely DO intend to make many more scarves/socks/hats/sweaters/whatever. By no means do I intend my current knits to be the pinnacle of my knitterly achievements.


I guess it all stems from my packrat tendencies, which in turn stem from a sense of scarcity that I often tend to feel. I'm always thinking "but what if there's no more? What if this thing I love is the thing that I love the most and always will, and what if I never find anything else to love better ever again?" But the thing is, I've always found more things to get excited about. My favourite yarn/colourway is always changing and evolving. Last year's favourite scarf is not this year's favourite scarf. That thing I thought was the most flattering garment ever looks weird on me now (am I the only one this happens to?). So what am I saving up for, if I'm just going to move onto other things eventually anyway? Why can't I have faith that there are indeed so many better things to come?

(we're talking about yarn here, but obviously this could be applied to other Life Issues, which we won't get into).

So anyway, dishcloths (and boring navel-gazing). Not for me, but perhaps I should knit myself some eventually as an exercise in using-the-handknits-already. Hopefully they will at least brighten up the recipients' kitchens and put a smile on their faces, if nothing else. =)


Marie said...

Wow! Those dishcloths look spectacular! I love the bright colors you used.
I have the opposite problem that you have. I never knit myself any sweaters. I fall in love with a million patterns and yarns, but eliminate one after another because surely when I finish knitting it, it won't look as good as it did in the picture. Silly, I know.

Karen said...

I totally understand about the whole "it's too nice to wear" thing. After all that work, you don't want to have to watch it fall apart with wear and tear. But on the flip-side, if you never wear it, I guess there wasn't much reason to knit it up other than for the joy of knitting itself. And since I'm pretty sure you and I aren't going to stop knitting, there will be lots more items in the pipeline.

I dunno. I try to wear my knitted items, and just try to take care washing them. But at the same time, I've never knit something out of, say, cashmere.

Nell said...

Those colors are perfect for the hot weather we have been having lately. Bright and very useful.

And there's always more yarn!