…I have been considering what to get for myself to celebrate, umm, something majorly good coming up in the next few days (I’ll tell you what later). Oddly, I’ve discovered that there’s nothing I really want. There are lots of gadgets that I’ve been vaguely contemplating, but none that I can see becoming part of my life, as opposed to a passing fancy. I haven’t enough closet-space to afford clutter, so I don’t want to accumulate things I won’t use. This keeps me (relatively) honest.
But it reminds me of one of the things my career coach suggested: do not confuse intellectually interesting things with where your heart is. He was talking about jobs, of course, and my tendency to bound into positions that engage the mind, only to move restlessly on again once the intellectual novelty wears off. But the same thing can be said for hobbies as well. There are things we try for the novelty value, to experiment with different things, and then there are the things we do for comfort, which are a part of our lives.
For me, knitting is a part of my life: I don’t do it every day, but it’s something I enjoy doing, and will do to calm myself down. Weaving is not part of my life–at least, not yet. It’s something I do for the intellectual engagement, but which doesn’t engage the calmer parts of my mind–I have the feeling I’ll get bored with it once the initial buzz wears off. It’s not that weaving is inferior to knitting, it’s just that the Zen of weaving isn’t my Zen. I like small projects that are portable, that I can sit on the floor cross-legged and still work on, and which involve doing small fiddly things with my hands. That’s where my Zen is. Things that do not work well with that may be interesting, but will probably not be in my life long-term.
But I like the advice of my career coach: do not mistake something intellectually engaging for something that will be a permanent part of your life. I could have saved myself buying a lot of gadgetry just by recognizing that, and sticking to those things that engage the heart as well as the mind.
(Interesting thought: one meets and develops a relationship with something because it’s novel and interesting; then it becomes familiar and boring; then it becomes familiar and Zen, a part of your life. Works for careers, hobbies, and people.)
By the way (and speaking of intellectually engaging), I LOVE the idea of Fair Isle knitting with a white/black background, and all those skeins of color: that’s a brilliant idea! It will let me show off the shading nicely. The only problem is, that sweater’s going to be too hot to wear anywhere in the Bay Area (it’s a bulky merino yarn)–but what the hell, I knit theoretical socks, I can knit theoretical sweaters. I really love the idea of Fair Isle patterns.
The only catch is, I can’t knit with two yarns just yet…but this can be corrected.
And I’ll look up the weaving resources–thanks! I have been muttering and muttering, “There must be an easier way.”
Now I just have to wait for the white yarn to come in…I ordered another 2 lbs of the same white yarn I’ve been using for dyeing, it just hasn’t arrived yet. Or can you mix two different yarns gracefully?
Tien, who knows virtually nothing about Fair Isle knitting