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.


Sus said...

Nothing like a promise of a link to ME to get me to click over. Sorry, Kate, I was busy meditating and never checked your post last week. Just kidding, I'm just a loser. See, here's the trick to NY's Resolutions: Pick ONE. Set your expectations very, very low. (Are you kidding? Learn a new SKILL? No, no, NO.) Tell No One You Know about said resolution, unless you have nothing else to blog about. Definitely don't tell your husband Or mother. But you can tell me of course because I will support you and bring you cyber wine and say What the Hell You are Too Good for Knitting, Kate! And life will go on, in a resolved sort of way.

Anonymous said...

i hope your kids are better. i can be glad the flu hasn't visited us. that rap is high-larious!

i just learned to knit last friday, but screwed up and don't know how to fix it w/o tearing it out. and i refuse to do that since i have 7 or 8 rows. i love your yarn.

i stay stick with one craft to start. i have a tendency to try to do it all and kill myself in the process. enjoy it!

and, oy vey! 5 teeth?!?

Joy said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog! Good luck on the resolutions. I avoid making them for the fact I'm annoyed with myself for not keeping them. I see you're a Soulemama fan as well; that is one inspiring mama! My hubby bought me Apples for Jam for Christmas because he heard me rave about it every time she mentioned it. It is, of course, as fabulous as she said, which means I'll be now needing every cookbook she's blogged about. :)

Robyn said...

An ideal post about resolutions. I bought all those home organizing books last year and just loaned them (unread) to my mom for her resolution this year. And while I'm not ambitious enough to try to teach myself to knit, I am harboring a resolution or two of my own. But I think I'll take Sus's advice and tell no one what they are. I just hate disappointing people.

edward said...

great to read your post, your words always bring a smile to my face. i'd say your doing pretty well on the rest of your resolutions; your a great mama, and incredible wife and a wonderful best friend. you can do anything you set your mind to, im sure the knitting will happen, if not, I hear yarn tossing is making a comeback. besides I need that hat you promised to knit for poor head in this cold weather.

*tiffany* said...

Yeah, I agree with Sus. Never tell your mother. I've already gotten screamed at for ordering McDonald's french fries by my mother when I was on the phone with ehr, because I resolved to give up fast food. I should have said, except for when I'm having hormonal cravings for salt. But, I find the trick is, not to go overboard. Don't buy EVERYTHING you need for a new hobby; buy the bare minimum you need, and then, as you get better, or expand your talent, you can reward yourself by building your stores of supplies.

the mama bird diaries said...

Good luck with your endeavor. I did buy a sewing machine last year in the hopes of learning to sew but somehow I still haven't quite made it happen. Sigh...

Woman in a Window said...

Wonderful you. I wish I had just a couple ounces more of you in me, it might just tip the balance. As it is, ugh, I think I might turn the tv on later. But I do totally get the BEING with the little ones and not just being with them. I get it but it's not easy, is it?

Christia said...

Hi Kate!
So I learned to knit in July of 2008, so definitely a newbie knitter! What really helped me was having *someone* to help me. If I had a question, my teacher can look over my work and tell me exactly what I did wrong. Also is a lifesaver! Good luck!