Friday, April 30, 2010

Stressed and Productive

I must be stressed, because I'm knitting socks like winter starts next week. Apparently my fingers don't care that it's only April.

At the end of March I picked up the souvenir yarn from last summer's vacation down the west coast of Lake Huron. There was a lovely, lovely yarn shop in Alpena in a gorgeous downtown, and I had the luxury of hanging out there, sans child, for a whole two hours! While that might seem a bit on the winpy side for a week's vacation, let me tell you that when you're living in such tight quarters belowdecks on a sailboat with three other people, even showering alone feels like a luxury of privacy!

Anyway, I grabbed the yarn, which had been sitting on my nightstand since August of 2009, all caked and ready to go, and I cast on. Within four days I had these:

Sorry the pics are so dark - it was evening and I was taking them anyway. The pattern is Friday Harbor from Nancy Bush's Socks for Travelling Knitters. Seemed appropropriate. The yarn was chosen for its resemblance to Lake Huron waters out in the deep parts, the blue skies, and the odd greens and browns it turns after a storm.

Well, then I fell down and these hopped onto my needles.

Leyburn socks, in Shibui Knits yarn.

Those were done in a little over a week. Which puts us in what? the middle of April? When these found their way onto my needles. Pomatomus by Cookie A. in Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn. The colors reminded me of goldfish, and so the decision of pattern was made for me.

Now, the oddest thing of all this, is that I like to knit plain, boring, stockinette socks. Whatever is going on in my head has me knitting intricate, fiddly, and attention-grabbing socks. Am I bored? Am I shifting my attentions from other things that need more of it? I don't know.

As for the decluttering, I'm almost through with the first floor of the house - there's only a little left in the dining room and kitchen, and then I move on to the basement, where my fiber studio is trying to be. And which was walkable until the cats climbed onto a precarious pile of baskets, boxes, and bags and dumped yarn, beads, and whatever else was in there onto the floor and made an enormous mess. (Think bags, yarn balls, yarn cones, patterns in plastic sleeves, and five pounds of loose vintage beads all strewn about on, against, and under a table. It's bad. Really bad.)

So I'm still here, still kicking, and starting to dream of regular postings again. Speaking of: I'm imagining a series of posts on living small - taking lessons from our great-grandmothers on living low-impact. Most information out there seems to be about living grandly (Ms. M.S. comes to mind) or living back-to-the-farm, which most of us can't (or won't) do. but what about living simpler, with whole foods, right where we are? What about living lightly, without deprivation, by taking what we have and getting the most out of it? Can we really and truly lessen our needs for consumer products without turning into hermits wearing clothes that have been patched into oblivion and eating squirrels and raccoons that wander into our yards?

I'm thinking in terms of really and truly doing something to make a difference in our carbon footprint - making an effort. Changing lightbulbs and carrying cloth bags and buying "green" products is a feel-good non-effort, and doesn't really change anything fundamental about what we're really doing in this world. It's easy, and that's why they tell us it "makes a difference." but if you carry cloth bags and change out your cell phone every year, then you're really still a part of the problem, and your cloth bag is really just a feel-good measure to make you feel better about trashing the planet.

I think our great-grnadmothers had it right, and I keep reading and looking, and the more I read, the more I see that we're coming full circle. Modern writers are telling us to eat more whole foods and grow our own and recycle and reuse and buy less and make do. Aren't these all things Great-Gramma would have told us if she were here? I want to explore some of the ways in which she did this. GG wouldn't touch some of our modern cleaning products, so why should we? She certainly wouldn't eat rubbery grey meat-like stuff in a plastic dish that gets zapped and called "food" either, would she? Why are we?

1 comment:

Kate said...

Lovely socks, all three pairs!

I also appreciate your comments about green living, but don't think you should discount the impact of carrying cloth bags and other small steps. When a lot of people do those things, and make them a part of their lifestyle, then it can have a HUGE impact! I do agree with you about the "green" products, though - there's so much greenwashing going on that it's pretty ridiculous - every company is trying to figure out a way to promote how green they are, and many of them aren't changing anything significant about their products and practices.

Hmm...this may have inspired me to do a post of my own! :-) Thanks for the idea!