A couple of days ago I was in a beautiful shop full of high end beautifully colored yarn, of masterful knitted samples to show how the yarn looks made up, and wonderful people making beautiful things in a knitting class. My eyes were full of happiness.
Beautiful as it all was, I didn’t buy anything. I had no vision for how, or what, I would make with any of it.
At home, I have four imaginative projects underway, two un-begun sweaters and a lap robe waiting in the wings, and an array of materials intended for learning how to make socks and knitted lace shawls.
But it wasn’t this sufficiency that held me back from buying more yarn.
It was, quite simply, that beauty alone is no longer enough to entice me; I couldn’t imagine how I would use any of that beautiful yarn so there was no attraction.
Forty years ago, after my grandmother had passed away, my aunt and I came across a basket filled with a project in progress. There were little knitted swatches with notes pinned to them: “snout,” “paw,” “ear,” and so forth. She had been making a toy… We sensed her spirit so alive in those bits of the project. My aunt could see how it should look and took it to finish up.
A couple of years after my mother died, my father enlisted my help to empty his hall closet. He’d saved aside the linens that were in active use. But what, he wondered, should be done with all the other stuff?
My mother loved to sew. After a particularly difficult day at her office, she would stop in at a fabric store near her office. The hall closet was chock full of lovely fabric samples… But I don’t sew.
A colleague of mine’s eyes lit up when I described the stash. She took it all to her sewing circle where the fabric samples were snatched up by the ladies who each knew exactly what she would do with her selection.
A couple of days ago I began talking to a guy who owns a bike shop. He had an absolutely perfectly beautiful “Brooklyn Cruiser” on display: a floor model marked down to half its original price. One glimpse of this marvelous machine and in my mind’s eye I was tooling around bits of California on that so very aptly named, strong-framed, three speed with coaster brakes.
I’d probably have bought it on the spot, but the dang thing turned out to be too big for me …. So he’s going to look around to find me something that will attract my love, suit my height, and fit the pocketbook.
I asked whether I might talk trade with him about my dusty old ten-speed racer…
“Sure!” he said, “Bring it by. You never know what might be worth something…
“One man’s junk is another man’s treasure!”