One day, if I'm feeling brave, I might actually take out my stash in its entirety and photograph it for you to see. Most of it is already allocated to projects as you know this is how I buy my yarn: Pattern and yarn together. Single skeins of yarn beauty don't attract me in the way they do others as I just can't handle the uncertainly of what to do with them. So yes, I'm aware that I have a stunning wardrobe of knitwear just waiting to be knitted. And yes, while the autumnal weather settles in nicely for the duration, and I'm forced to wear fleeces for the want of a knitted jumper, I again feel the disappointment of not having knitted more, of not feeling ready for this change in weather. But I'm well used to such emotions: I experience them at least twice a year, usually around this time and probably about six months earlier. And yet I still haven't knitted my trans-seasonal garments.
As frustrating as this is, it isn't these projects that give me the most angst. It's those that have been wonderfully and oh-so-thoughtfully given to me – and that still remain in a state of unknittedness. For example, I stumbled across some gorgeous Exeter sock yarn, especially chosen in a blue and green, along with a pattern for a lovely shawl – all to co-ordinate with my blue and green tartan skirt that was a staple in last year's winter wardrobe (and will, no doubt, be making a repeat appearance this year). How perfect would it have been to be able to wear both skirt and scarf together (obviously with a few more items of necessary clothing!)? But instead I just feel regret – and worry that the present giver will think that I don't like present. But I do, I really do.
This is just the tip of the proverbial gifted yarn iceberg: There are other scarves and socks and hats and bags just waiting to be knitted. Sure, they're in good company but these gifts weren't purchased to spend their lives hiding away in a chest, they're supposed to be knitted, worn, cherished and loved. And I can't tell you how sad I am not to have fulfilled this intention.
My time, just like yours, is limited - and I have chosen to use some of this time to knit for my work. This means that when the boys are in bed and I pull up my needles while Husband and I settle down on the sofa, it's for work that I'm knitting. Granted, I'm still knitting. And granted, this is still pretty brilliant – but I would like to be able to make a start on some of those gifts. I could, of course, re-prioritize my commitments to make more knitting time. I could, for example, not post blogs as frequently as I do – but I really enjoy my Monday morning natter with you (and secretly hope that you enjoy hearing from me). I could stop volunteering in school – but helping establish the new library is important to me as I believe it's important for my boys and their school-mates. I could stop offering my knitting classes but, err, I don’t want: It’s the foundation of "Knitting with Katherine". I could stop going to yoga but I've only just found this class and, for me, it's the perfect tonic for my Friday morning: It helps settle me for the onslaught of Friday afternoons (and the roller-coaster that comes with two very tired little boys), sets me up for the weekend and supports my own private practice. Of course I'll have more hours available when Youngest Son joins his older brother at school but I'm not going to let myself fall into the trap of wishing away our time.
So, what is the solution? Firstly, I'd like to apologise to everyone who have gifted me yarn: I'm so, so sorry that I haven't knitted your beautiful and thoughtful gifts to their end. It is not because that I'm ungrateful or that I don't like what you've given me. Far from it: I am spoilt because you know me so well as to tick all my yarn boxes. Thank you.
Next, and if you allow, I will try to stop seeing your stashed yarn with regret, instead relishing the textures and colours that you have chosen, and embracing the promise of project's end. I will try to feel less shame for my tardiness and apparent idleness and instead take pleasure in your kindness and love. For if the tables were turned, I would be devastated to learn that my gift to you could cause such heart-ache.
And I will start to knit some of those wonderful treats that you have given me: You cleverly chose projects that are small and portable so I will select one, cast on and then it'll be ready to accompany me where ever I go (knitting on the move, ahhhhh). Yes, there will always be work knitting. And yes, there will always be a desire to knit for my boys. But you have given me a most cherished gift: Permission to knit for myself. And not just the knitting – or even the finished garment – but you've widened my yarn world (you know how I tend to shop) and given me the opportunity to experience other designers. So thank you, thank you ever so much.
Should you wish to treat me again, might it be possible for you share a little of something too precious to measure: Your time. Wouldn't it be wonderful to sit together awhile, perhaps catching-up over a cuppa – and maybe knit a couple of rows of your gift in your company? Sounds pretty perfect to me.