Monday, April 7, 2014

Stagnation and Rust

Well hello there. Here we are, almost a month of silence. March was a super busy month for me, with the North Shore Yarn Crawl, the collaboration with Thea, and an anniversary event at JP Knit & Stitch. But in the middle of the bustle I also started to feel a growing weight, and a creeping sense of stagnation. Then my friend Liz of Made in Lowell started talking about clutter busting.

Her post resonated with me so much that it felt like I had written these words myself: "I have always been what I consider a pack-rat. I knew I collected too much stuff, but I didn't understand how living with so much stuff that I didn’t love or use was crushing my spirit, quietly, daily." She talked about her positive experiences with Brooks Palmer in re-evaluating the objects in her life. This is the part that really got to me: "Brooks tells us that when we start to let clutter go, any amount, it creates room in our heads for new ideas to come in. That clutter, even clutter hidden away in boxes or closets, emits a low distracting hum that fogs our thinking, saps our energy, and makes decisions difficult." And so I realized that I had to come to terms with my own truth: we moved into our home 4 years ago, but gave up on the process when we became overwhelmed by clutter. We sort of hid it away, and lived with boxes of unknown stuff weighing on us. I did something I hadn't done in years: I put my knitting down for a full 8 days, and started sorting and purging. I tackled all the boxes I had been so afraid of. We've taken away several carloads to donation centers. The work is far from done, but I finally feel the fog lifting. I've picked up my knitting needles again, but I am working on the clutter daily. It feels great. If you're looking for a push to get some purging done too, Liz did a great interview with Brooks.


So with much ado, here is what I am working on. My love of wool is no secret, but this spring I am allowing myself to play with some different fibers. I'm embracing my affection for rusty colors and doing two projects in similar tones. The first is with Quince and Co.'s new linen, Sparrow. This color is Paprika, and I'm working on the Lida shawl, which is also by Quince and Co. I admit I miss the natural friction of wool whenever I put this project down and the stitches slide off my needles, but the linen is lovely and has been softening up the more I work with it. I look forward to wearing this soon.


Right now it looks like a scrunchy mess, but I have faith that it will be perfect after a good soak and block.

This week I start my second rust-colored project. I am re-evaluating my dislike of knitting with cotton to work on a Spring Garden Tee. If you're local, I am leading a knit-along for this project, which you can check out here. This week I'll be doing every knitter's favorite activity: gauge swatching (and if you're one of my students: I know it's boring, but it's important. Trust me.). This yarn is Cascade Ultra Pima cotton, also in Paprika.


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