May all the gods help us.
A non-knitting friend of mine was asking questions the other day. He didn't quite understand why I was so down about the loss of so much yarn out of the stash. Sure, he understood the lost money, but he didn't quite get the sense of loss. And he wanted to know why I knit in the first place.
I had sort of a 'duh' moment at the start, but eventually I pulled it together, and I think communicated some sense of the knitter's reality. At least enough that he got a glimmer of why I felt how I did.
I'll stick to one example on the stash issue. See this?
Three balls of Kauni Color Effects (however I'm supposed to spell that in, what is it, Danish? Norwegian?) It survived the Great Purge because I'd bagged it to avoid cat hair contamination. Looks like three balls of yarn, doesn't it? It's not. It's pure freakin' creativity. So far, I've decided to knit this yarn up into four or five different projects; a sideways-knit cardigan, three different types of stranded-color pullovers, a humongous shawl. I'll come up with another five ideas, at least, before I eventually do knit it up. I dream over it, I scheme, I jot down ideas, I think of all sorts of creative outlets, all inspired by these three balls of yarn.
Now imagine all the other ideas that lurked in that closet, sparking and sizzling in the dark, that had to get thrown away ignominiously, without ever reaching its full potential. Well. You guys get it. You're knitters.
As for why I knit. Well. Everyone always gets into process vs. product, and whether we knit for the joy of doing it, or whether it's all about the finished product. For each of us it varies, and there's no right answer. I'm not claiming there is. But why do I knit?
I made this with some sticks and string. THAT'S FUCKING COOL. I love looking at it and thinking "I did that." I love that it's POSSIBLE, that someone sat down and figured out not only how to do it, but figured out how to communicate to me how to do it, too. Sure, it was fun to knit it - there's satisfaction in the process, in knowing you're doing something fucking cool. And when you're done, there's just that much more satisfaction, knowing you made something with some sticks and string.
The Hex Jacket is one of my favorite knits of all time. It's not flattering on me. It hangs kinda funny due to the cut. Doesn't matter. The variegated yarn I hand dyed, hand spun, and knit up into the bodice. The semi-solid yarn I hand dyed. I put it all together like a jigsaw puzzle, and I am damned smug about the fact that I DID THAT. Aren't I clever? Aren't we all clever? We make stuff with sticks and string!
So, that's where I'm at lately. At least in my head. Getting philosophical over why I knit, and why I like it. I've been flipping through knitting books, waiting for inspiration. So far, nothing, but I've got out "Unexpected Knitting" by Debbie New. If that doesn't light me on fire, nothing will.