July 28, 2020
I can not recall when I learned to knit. Fingering knitting with my cousins in the arid Oklahoma shade? Clumsily knitting alongside my mother with her scrap yarn using her click-y aluminum needles? I just don’t know. It must have been sometime in early elementary school, knitting blankets for my Barbies or a long scarf for Ken. In my memory, I’ve always been a knitter.
Like with many things I’ve adopted from my mom, she was a pro at knitting. I can picture her velvet chair in the living room, tall back, that luscious green tufted velvet, those slim arms and that bag of knitting left next to the chair. I don’t think her hands were ever still, always knitting, stitching… page-turning. As with everything, my first “Martha Stewart” excelled. When I cleared out her house after her passing, I brought those aluminum knitting needles home with me along with a beautiful cream colored hand-knit afghan she had draped over her couch. It’s draped over mine now, worse for the years in between that day and now.
With that in my heart, I tackled the bureau in my office. The first three drawers are knitting materials, smooth bamboo knitting needles, haphazard patterns hastily copied, printed, or ripped from the pages of this or that, stitch markers, measuring tape, and so many skeins of yarn- three drawers full… Perhaps I should just pitch it. The thought flitted through my mind. It would be easier that dragging yourself through the organizing… again… I am not, by nature, a ‘pitcher’ so I began to organize the drawers.
The top drawer wasn’t too difficult, all the needles were easy to organize. Straights together, double-points, circulars, all rounded up together in various containers. Stitch markers, cable holders, and sewing needles together in a pouch from some long ago visited knitting shop. Patterns sorted through, saved, discarded, or collected in a folder. The basket for current projects emptied and waiting.
The next two drawers held the yarn. Remnants mostly of long finished projects along with some just-have-to-buy-this purchases from vacations, quick pull-over-there’s-a-yarn-store, or a find or a gift from yarn-crawls designed to orient myself to familiar landmarks in early New England days. Baby knits in pink and blue, skeins of bulky yarn and their remains from dozens of scarves knitted for friends and family tossed in from finished projects. Soft alpaca, silky exotic yarns in mottled hues, wild sock yarn, and tiny balls of left over domesticated poly yarn nestled together in the wooden drawers. What to do?
Having been considering this clutter-y stash for some time, I had saved two patterns for ‘stash-busting’ knitting, a common malady for long-time knitters. I began to organize the bulky yarn. Two skein bundles in this bag to make scarves for someone who needs a hug this year…enough for three. Oh, that pink one will be sweet! The stray balls from that scarf Christmas several years ago in this bag for a new afghan for Bob. All of this fingerling weight yarn for an exotic wrap. Who will that be for? All the pink strays together. All the blue strays together. A pre-made baby gift for some future baby perhaps.
Did I throw away much? Not really. I did make a workable plan for the resources I had wasting space in my drawers. That first project, the afghan. I’ll be finishing that today.