Over the weekend, I had a touch of "the depression" *.
Specifically, I had the knitting depression.
I didn’t have a single decent current project, the UFOs were one big pile o’ crap, I hated everything in my hotlist **.
I HAD NOTHING TO KNIT.
If this sounds to you a bit like closet angst (I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR), you are absolutely right. It’s exactly the same thing, only at the other end of the house.
For some reason, it never applies to the actual yarn, though. I never look at my stash and think, "I have nothing to knit."
(It’s more like, "I have way too much to knit." That becomes a different type of the depression.)
The more obvious reason is that it would take someone completely and utterly deluded with respect to the physical world to be able to stand in front of all that yarn, and think or say that with a straight face. I have
more than my share of issues, I admit, but I do have a relatively firm grasp on physical reality. OTOH, I can stand right in front of a closet full of clothes, and say with complete sincerity that I have nothing to wear, so maybe I’m full of hooey.
The less obvious reason, I think, is that the yarn in its un-knit state is still full of possibility and promise. It can be ANYTHING – maybe even PERFECT.
The recent completion of the Nutcracker lulu – though successful – seemed to have left a big void in my knitting world. Kind of like the usual annual post-Xmas letdown.
So there I was, sitting on the studio couch,
sort of sulking. DH wandered in, in his bare feet. He did try to help, which was very sweet. He pointed to various bags of yarn and made some vague suggestions ("Why don’t you knit something with that?"). Just like a man, trying to solve the problem. Useless. Sweet, yes, but useless.
I mean no disrespect here, I’m simply stating the truth. I’ve already explained that he doesn’t understand about stumbling upon old Vogue Knitting mags, so how on earth could he expect to actually solve the problem? He’d have to say something like, "Why don’t you swatch for that Missoni pullover you’ve always wanted to make? You know the one. Or how about that off-the-shoulder Audrey Hepburn-ish one that was in the Then-and-Now from Spring/Summer 1988?"
And then of course he’d have to hit upon just the right one — from dozens, maybe hundreds of potential projects that I intend to knit "someday".
Of course, if he had brought up any of those "someday" projects, I’d probably have just gotten more depressed, or maybe mad. The true answer is that I don’t KNOW why I don’t ever actually knit these blasted things. For crying out loud, who waits 20 years to start a project?
I suspect the root of the issue lies in fear of failure, and/or fear of success. I got all the bases covered.
Seeing that he wasn’t making a dent in my mood by pointing at all the yarn I still haven’t knit, DH then made the strange suggestion that I should knit myself some socks. He said, and I quote: "You don’t have very many pairs of socks for yourself."
First of all, he is wrong. I have more pairs than he does, although you may not want to mention that if you see him. Second of all, I don’t really dig handknit socks for myself, which he knows.
But then he pulled out a bag of pink MOHAIR and waved it around at me and said, "Socks! Mohair! Pink! What’s not to like?"
I had to laugh at that one. And I admit, he has a point: I’d probably love, and maybe even wear, a pair of handknit socks if they were a pretty pale pink. (Bonus points for MOHAIR, and if I can work in some sequins, so much the better.)
But, I was still a little grumpy, so I pointed at his bare feet and pouted that "well, YOU aren’t wearing any handmade socks."
His answer was that this was because he had a dilemma. He really wanted to wear handknit socks now, during the day, he explained, but he was also thinking ahead to the evening when he expected to want to wear his felted slippers, and "well, they’re both great, but together they’re just a little too warm."
Awwwwwwwwwww. Cheered me right up, I tell you. What a guy!
The end of this little vignette ought to be that I immediately lost my knitting funk and cast on another pair of socks for him – but it isn’t a perfect world, now is it? Least of all in my studio.
I did, however, resume work on yet another UFO, and actually made some decent headway on it — so there is a happy ending, sort of!
* the depression: in memory of my friend Steve in Texas, who had several Hispanic girlfriends, and their command of English varied. One of them used to say she "had the depression." For some reason, this one stuck with us, and we used it at work a lot.
** hotlist: part of my project management scheme; it is one of the piles o’ stuff in my studio, consisting of all those patterns that I must-knit-right-now! or intend-to-knit-one-of-these-days, and which I allow to age for a while before casting anything on. It’s saved me from many a serious mistake, although maybe it has kept me from knitting some great stuff, too.