Thursday, January 15, 2009
Yule balls are replaced with yarn balls: welcome 2009.
There is a ball of yarn with two knitting needles sticking out, like hair pins, lying next to my great aunt’s secretary in my living room. They have been there since last night, when, after two hours of attempting to teach myself to knit via YouTube, they got tossed, er, hurled across the room.
Knitting is a New Year’s resolution. As is learning embroidery, and how to sew, and how to bake more varieties of bread so I never have to buy a store loaf again. Unlike my good friend Sus, however, I am not so good at keeping resolutions.
This week, I bundled up with Lizzie and braved the cold just long enough two hit up the two craft stores in our area. I bought needles and thread, hoops and yarn, wool felt squares and fabric printer paper. It’s like I’ve become possessed by the crafting demon (which, as I type this, I am picturing as having a giant thimble head and those weird scrapbook scissors for arms). Partly, I will admit, I have been bitten by the creativity bug a-la Amanda Soule, both because of her blog and her amazing little book The Creative Family. The truth is, I find myself fighting the urge to make every single project she describes. By next week.
When I walked back into my house after my crafting spree, my arms full of batting and stuffing, fabric and enthusiasm, Justin looked at me in that head-cocked, here-we-go-again way.
“What?!” I said, with righteousness oozing from my lightened wallet.
“Nothing, nothing,” he responded. And busied himself with unloading the dishwasher.
I know what the look was, however, because it happens every January, when I spark up a bunch if important resolutions: i.e. “I must buy everything else I need for yoga because I am going to get serious about making time for me to practice at home now” (blankets and blocks are currently collecting dust in my closet); I am going to teach Noah everything there is to know about Shakespeare (kids Shakespeare books were just rediscovered in my quest to create a closet just for, uh, crafts); I am going to get nifty gadgets and read great books about organization and home management (oh, bother, I don’t even know where that stuff went). You get the idea.
So I get why there is some, um, doubt when it comes to my ability to stick to these silly little resolutions. Except for one thing: I need them. It occurred to me, during the whole if-you-rub-a-neti-pot-will-a-genie-appear plague weeks at our house, that I was amazingly happy to not be running around, on this committee or that one, or spending oodles of energy outside our four walls (although a little fresh air would have been nice). And because of that, I’ve cut. And cut. And cut some more. I needed the space to just be with Justin and our three little people
—whom I am always with, but not with, if that makes sense—and to get back to that basic love of sharing time, and discovery, with my family.
Enter knitting and all the rest. I still need something to do for me, some time to sneak in a project or create something new, and these artistic (or not-so artistic, if you look at my attempts) outlets just may fit the bill. I am envisioning nights by the fire: baby asleep, boys tucked into their rooms, just knitting away as Justin reads beside me.
And I am leaving out how the baby will always wake up crying until she is nursing and the boys will come down once, or six times, needing water and more toast or just another hug until I’m too tired to make even a stitch.
And I am leaving out the fact that I will probably hurl that insolent ball of yarn across the room many more times before it is over, because tonight, in this quiet house, the snow is falling in huge flakes out my window. I am warm and still by the fire.
And I am okay taking a deep breath and saying, I am going to try.