Year end tally

I live with a man who understands fiber. He weaves, dyes and actually spun a few times. He learned to crochet from his French Grandmother at a very young age. The day he learned to weave, I knew that 1/2 my stash was his. Kinda like the division that occurs during a divorce without the pain of separation. So between us, we have a LOT of UFO's around the house.

But I don't know if I could list them or even count them. Can you? It would take me hours of valuable knitting time alone to mention those in the living room, let alone the loom room (major fiber storage area) or machine knitting room (formerly painting studio).

I see a lot of people count their ufo's and I think "Pikers". These people don't know what it is like to be swayed by that pure angora, then called by my handgrown colored cotton or my best friend's Rambouillet. I don't think I want to be numbered among the counters who tally for the new year.

Ok, I am fickle. I LOVE fiber - all fiber. I am a fiber slut of the greatest magnitude and I am not ashamed. I spin without a project in mind most often. I swatch for the pleasure of the alpaca running through my fingers and not necessarily for a project. I knit for others, but also for myself and 95% of my socks are handknit. Only 10% use commercial sock yarn and most use handspun at some outrageous gauge. Fiber that leave this house in a project is rarely the color that it came into the house. I don't care if my dye spots. God, I am all that you all don't like about fiber people, right?

The thing is, I don't see why counting all those UFO's matter. I don't see why I can't knit with 8 strands of cashmere yarn or one ply of merino. So many people have fiber rules, and I guess that there are reasons for them. I just don't seem to care. I don't mind pills if I can get loft. For years, silk neps were BAD BAD BAD. Dye them and toss them in with some wool and you have a lovely tweedy yarn. Last year bad, this year good.

I think this all comes from the fact that I haven't stepped foot in a mall for over 5 years and even then it was only to get my driver's license renewed. I don't have a clue about fashion. As a geologist, I was taught to examine life in Geologic Time and fashion doesn't mean anything if you are looking at 10,000 or 10,000,000 years. I am here for the pure sensual pleasure of fiber passing under my fingers and don't mind who knows it.

So if I don't have a roll call for projects finished this year, or last, it is because I am so fickle. But also because I treasure them all so much. My husband's vest is done after 5 years. It was his music vest. 'Here you can see where we were at the John Prine concert'; 'Here is Bob Dylan'; 'This section is where we saw Reeltime Travelers for the first time - I must have liked them a lot - look how my gauge changed'. His music sweater was not due to be done for at least 5 years of concerts and all that great music is in there. It is harder than you think to save a lovely project that long and only for music. To finish it was so sad. I really love my knitting projects and how they fit into and capture our lives. I love to hear the big guy say 'This sock was made from the first Indigo dye class that I had with Judith MacKenzie McCuin", or "I dyed this with a plant that Rita Buchanan pointed out to me". The joy that I learned some technique in a class with Stephenie Gaustad or Alden Amos means so much more than any label from any designer out there today.

I give up a nice neat house for a lovely pile of fiber near me. I relinquish my hopes for order in order to wallow in interesting fiber. If you ever visit - good luck on finding chairs without needles protruding or tables without a spindle. I forever give up all chance to count my ufo's and give to to the fun of fiber.

My new year's wish to you is to do the same.

1 comment:

Marcy said...

I think I love you, P. This is fabulous! Thanks for the antidote. :D