Thanksgiving was great, complete with a visit from Sara and family, as well as both sets of grandparents. I managed to burn the rice dish as I blogged about it on Wednesday, plus, note to self, people don't eat beet-apple salad when their plates are full to overflowing with things slathered in fat. So Wednesday was pretty much a waste of time. At least I got a blog post in, right? I'll post the recipe for the chestnut thingy soon, I just can't cope with even thinking about complicated holiday food preparation right now. But it's coming, promise.
But that's not what I want to talk about today, doc. I want to talk about my closets. I spent yesterday, late into the night, doing a deep stash cleaning and purging. There are a variety of things motivating this, not the least of which being the fact that the closet is getting a little, um, full.
So down I dived, and I'm not just talking about the top layers. I pulled out the ancient stuff in the rubbermaid containers at the bottom. The stuff in the old gray bags from Webs (I can now date my stash by what color the bag is; they changed a few years ago). The UFOs, and oh but there are UFOs.
The following main themes emerged from this in-depth research:
- I have a lot of yarn.
- Also spinning fiber.
- Brown Sheep? Yes, plenty.
- Brown Sheep labels used to be printed in red and had a silhouette of the state of Nebraska on them.
- My knitting habits have not improved; I have a lot of unfinished projects.
- No, I didn't count them.
- I don't want to know.
- But despite frogging a few particularly unfortunate examples (I had another, non-matching sock for that Yeti until last night), there are, let's say, a GOODLY number in a rubbermaid bin.
- By GOODLY I mean that they have their own rubbermaid bin.
- Hoarding disorder? Shut up. It's not full.
- Those two balls of DB Cashmerino bulky that I got to make a charity hat were kind of redundant.
- Even I have trumped my "boyfriend sweater" of 1988-89 to find half a glove in lovely alpaca complete with receipt dated 1987. I need to do some thinking on that one, since it's clear that I will run out of the main color if I try to make, you know, a pair.
But all self-mockery aside, I went to bed last night strangely unsettled by the whole thing. Partly it was the realization that, while I may not have reached SABLE (NB: many female relatives lived well into their nineties and my great-aunt is the oldest living Maryknoll nun at almost 105, so I have to plan for the long haul), I have a LOT of wool and all this gallivanting around fiber festivals and fondling of fleeces is pretty much patently ridiculous.
Partly it was the stark reminder that some of my wool-hoarding behavior is about a wish for the time to do this work, and that until I change the time equation, I will wind up with nothing but piles of unfinished and unstarted projects. This is not news, but seeing my scattered life laid out before me in wooly metaphor was a bit much.
Partly it was a journey into my creative history of the last couple of decades. I even came across the baby booties I made for Henry & Eleanor and apparently forgot about, because there they were, one pair unseamed, deep in the stash (there's a whole other post about knitting while pregnant after infertility and miscarriages, but let's spread out the heavy weather, shall we?).
I came away from this exercise with the desire to GET REAL. I don't know if anything is going to change, if I have any chance of resisting temptation when, as Risa puts it, the next fancy yarn shakes its ball band at me. But it reminded me of the ways I've given up on balance these last few years; that I haven't meditated since the kids were born, that I've gone back to drinking coffee (and how), don't get enough exercise, knit and blog instead of sleeping, eat too much chocolate, and generally spread myself too thin. Knitting and spinning have meditative, nurturing qualities for me, to be sure, but there is a real monkey-mind aspect to this stashing and ADD knitting and casting on indiscriminately when I'm feeling out of sorts.
If you hadn't guessed, I've been reading about buddhism and sheep farming, and through Mary Rose O'Reilly I'm remembering a bit of what I'm missing.
So it's the whole spiritual and physical health thing that's motivating this stash sorting, cleaning, and organizing. That, and the fact that I bought a loom. (Like how I just snuck that in there? Yup.) I didn't mean to, but someone who lives mere blocks from my house was selling her entire weaving workshop, everything I need, at a very reasonable price, and I couldn't pass it up.
So, you know, I had to figure out what yarns were suitable for weaving. I'll be winding my first warp tonight, with STASH yarn. Two steps forward, one step back, right?