It’s official. We turned in the paperwork at 6:57 last night. We’re moving. To Ellicott City. In about a month.
In my short life, moving is probably the most stressful category of thing I have encountered. Clearly, I need some perspective. A major illness, or possibly a flood in which most of my possessions are destroyed. (Then I wouldn’t have to move them.) This is probably the most stressful thing I’ve done since planning a Skate Jam (yes, I planned a skate jam. I ceremonially carry a skateboard around in my backseat so this seems less incongruous).
“Sure, moving is stressful,” you say. “How are you going to move all that yarn!” Then perhaps you have a little chortle to yourself.
hahahahahaha. HAAAHAHAHAHAhahaha. haha. ha.
It took me about a half an hour of organizing yesterday to go through our yarn collection, pull out everything that needs to be donated (because I will never, ever knit a scrap sweater), and fit all of the yarn and fiber we own into 1 chest, 2 small shelves, 1 decorative laundry basket, and 4 small-ish roughie tubs. The yarn is contained, folks. The yarn will fit comfortably in half a car load. It’s ALL THE REST OF OUR CRAP that’s inciting a new tic under my left eye.
That’s why I’ve started compulsively giving stuff away. Freecycle is my friend. I hate moving so much that I would rather not own most of my stuff than think about moving it to a new location. WHY did I Get into the habit of collecting books?! Books are HEAVY. At least yarn is light and squishable, and should you ever get around to using it, it no longer takes up bookshelf space. (I’ll explain later why there’s yarn on my bookshelf.) Right now I’m like a reverse spider – I lure people into my house, and rather than suck the life-juice out of them, I chain them to a box of bantam classics that they have to take with them if they want to leave. If they threaten to just stay, I’ll start cackling maniacally again.
It’s during times like this that you’d think knitting would be really helpful. Knitting is supposed to be calming, soothing, good for the blood pressure. But, like so many coping strategies, knitting is only useful when used with care. If I am not careful, I become obsessed with the product, really wanting to finish, to accomplish something. I am a product knitter, so you’d be surprised how often that happens. On the other hand, I could develop a massive case of start-itis, compulsively casting on ten projects until my roughie tubs are empty and I’m lying in a heap of expensive wool on the living room floor, trying to garrott myself with a 40″ addi turbo.
Right now, the only way I can knit is as an exercise in constancy. I have two projects – one for concentrating on (lacy shawl) and one for dark places / important meetings (stockinette sock). They are both small. They cohabitate in a ziplock in my purse, and they go with me wherever I go. They don’t take up any space in the house. They don’t create any extra mess. They are both on freakishly small needles (I actually dug out my reading glasses yesterday for the shawl), so they will take a really long time. I can’t be about the product; I will have to just knit because I like knitting and enjoy the process. Casting on anything else right now would be too much. But having these two little projects is a comfort. They’re a security blanket – they come with me everywhere, and I can work on them or not, but they are there, happily waiting for me, whenever I get twitchy.
Yes, I just finished a circular shawl. Yes, this is also a circular shawl. It’s TOTALLY DIFFERENT. (a) The yarn is totally different. This is laceweight yarn, not fingering. Many more stitches. Much smaller work. Also, this yarn is self-striping, adding a whole new level of entertainment. (b) I’m not on a deadline. The last shawl was attempted in under three weeks. I won’t even get the complete directions for this shawl for another two months. (c) The reason for that is that this is a mystery shawl. Not just because I need a magnifying glass to work on it, but because the final product is a mystery. Every couple of weeks, everyone who signed up gets a new clue in their inbox to knit the next part of the shawl. The first clue is for the middle, then successive clues are for the concentric rings of the shawl as we knit outward. (The picture above shows the first clue and about half the second clue, in case you want to know how big a spoiler you’re getting). (d) As a result of this, I have no idea what the final product is going to look like. I picked this project on faith in the taste of the designer, and in the fact that nothing inspired by Arwen Evenstar could be lame without spontaneously combusting. The diamond with the little star in it totally looks like the Evenstar pendant. Cool, yes? Nerditude!
The good news is, I have one less reason to totally freak out about moving. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks transforming our house into a mad assembly line of recycling and dyeing yarn, and I’m way ahead of schedule. Otherwise, moving all our possessions right smack dab in the middle of my preparation for the Sheep & Wool Festival would probably have given me a stroke. As is, I have high hopes of getting through all my prep by Easter. Cross your fingers for me. So far, you’ll be pleased to know that I’ll be debuting three new colorways of sock yarn at Sheep & Wool, and using those same new colors on some recycled lace, DK, and worsted weight. Now if I can just get the turmeric-dyed yarn to stop smelling like dal…
Things must not be as bad as I’m making them sound, if for no other reason than that I succeeded in vacuuming yesterday.