Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Socks & Sentiments, Bitch.

Let's get sappy here for a moment.

About a year and a bit ago I got a tattoo on my arm. It was my first one and I doubt it will be my last. I sketched what I wanted & my artist made it even better than I could have imagined. I was initially concerned that the knit stitches would look random and out of place, but she turned my drawing into something organic and beautiful. The quote is from a letter Virginia Woolf wrote when she was locked away and though she wrote it in a fit of desperation and melancholy, I gained my own interpretation from the words. I studied English in college, so while the words may have garnered me flack from some, I don't really care. Saving may have been more literal to Ms. Woolf, but it can still save me as well.

Whenever I look down at my tattoo I am reminded of so many things. The initial thrill of getting my tattoo, which started "the most exciting month of my life thus far," and the mundane not-so-exciting moments that have brought me to where I am now. Every night I've spent knitting in bars with friends or driving to yarn festivals with friends or watching stupid tv with friends or playing Dance Central and knitting with friends. Every trip I've taken has been documented with photos and souvenir skeins of yarn purchased in Seattle, Hanalei, Paris, Portland (Maine), etc. Knitting has saved me in many ways.

I'm the first to fess up to being a yarn hoarder. I used to be frugal and more money savvy, but then I got passionate and lost my mind a little. I like to joke that I'm setting my future daughters up with stashes they can't even knit, but let's be real (I'll probably have all boys): I just really like to buy yarn. There is always something new to see and something new to knit, so why not? This was never an issue until recently, when I moved across the country and gave up what is probably the only retail job I really enjoyed. I really had a hard time leaving, despite all the recent internal developments that weighed me down (COUGHugh*THAT*coworkerCOUGH).

Despite all the yarn hoarding I've done over the years, I just can't feel that bad because so many of those skeins are special to me. One of the special memories I have from when I was younger is looking at my mother's charm bracelets. She had a very different childhood than I did and she had so many charms from her birthdays and family trips that she needed two bracelets to hold all the charms. For me, yarn is like those charms. Each skein I collect when I travel or go to a Fiber Festival holds those memories as I knit with them.

This week's WIP is from a skein of yarn a friend gave me long ago, around when I first moved to Philly even. These were the slow days at the shop, where we would wait and wait for customers to come in. Sara gave me this yarn after deciding the colors weren't really her and I, being the yard hoar(der) than I am, snatched it up to cast on for a sockhead hat. But I never did, because I got distracted by something else, as I tend to do.

I am not a sock knitter, but I mean to be. For some reason I packed this random skein of yarn with me when I moved to California, when yarn space was a premium in the one suitcase I allowed myself to bring with me. I thought I might use it at some point and yesterday I just decided that I wanted to cast on for some socks to bring with me to Portland this weekend. And, as I worked on my other WIP for the week (Breaking Bad, what what!), I got sucked in and knit most of the first sock. Whoops.

Project: Vanilla Sox
Pattern: Adapted from How I Make My Socks
Yarn: Bitsy Sock in Lover of Art
Needles: Size 1 Hiya Hiya Sharps

Whenever I'm feeling blue I can put on these socks and think of different times. I can think of that first winter in Philly, when I was having the time of my life and meeting so many great people. I can think of Sara, who gave me this skein for no real reason, and all that knitting and enabling we have been through. And I can thank her for showing me another new indie dyer I never would have known because you know I love that shit.

Now back to Breaking Bad, bitch.

(<3 <3 Aaron Paul <3 <3)

1 comment:

  1. i love your tattoo! how beautiful!

    i'm a huge fan of hording away stash and tourist buying yarn to hold on to memories of trips. it's a fun challenge to try to find the right project to live up to the potential of the yarn. and sometimes it fails, but... that's okay, too. that's life, right?