09 February 2008

Searching for Simple

Homespun Afghan
Originally uploaded by ldgraffnu

When my mind starts whirling, I feel a choice… go with it and spin wildly out of control with possibilities, questions, ponderings, excitement and daydreams… or block it all out, looking for simple, predictable, easy, steps from here to there. I suppose I run by oscillating a bit between the two, riding the high that comes with big, huge change and chance while searching for the stillness to figure it all out, make sure I’m going about it the right way, think through my thrill. Is it odd to accept that manic is part of my nature? I do sometimes wish it was a little more even keel around chez Leslie, a little more routine and consistent but that’s just not in the cards right now. No, it’s all jokers and aces around here, no stable 8s or anything of the sort.

The past few months have been all about this oscillation. I’m either running like the wind on adrenaline, stress and caffeine or lying on the couch, regretting that I ever discovered coffee. Well, actually, that lying on the couch… um, not so much. Not nearly enough, that’s for sure. I guess my polar opposites are more like freaking out about all the stuff there is to do and just buckling down and working through one step at a time into the wee hours of the morning. Let’s just say I know the exact hours that the local Kinko’s and Office Depot open and close.

There’s a significant chance that this whirlwind will die down in a few days, something I’m hoping and praying for, honestly, but until then, the winds of chaos stream ahead, disturbing everything they touch.

After I finished Lady Eleanor, I had to do some searching for a new project. I’ve got some simple ribbed socks on the needles as my travel project but here at home, I’ve had a strong desire to tackle big projects, not complicated, just big in terms of yarn used, space they’re taking up in the stash. Part of it is a desire to be free of this stuff, clean out just in case I might actually get to move in the coming months, have fewer obligations on my needles.

Odd how hobbies can start to feel like obligations. How we turn things into projects that we work on with deadlines and goals despite the fact that for most of us, knitting is a way to relax and forget deadlines and goals. I know that having goals is a kind of motivating strategy so we finish things rather than dallying around or picking up new yarn to start something else. But how often do we substitute our yarn projects for our “real” work as a way to legitimize our procrastination?

Well, I suppose I don’t want to really answer that because I’m afraid I too often use my hobbies and the demand to finish a project as a reason to avoid work I should be doing.

Much better to just keep to my procrastination strategies in ignorant bliss…

But I have been feeling an overwhelming desire to finish things lately, have them out of my possession. I’ve been looking for gift projects to work on because then I can have the release that comes with dropping off a package at the post office. Probably doesn’t take too much to figure out that I’m searching for a sense of “done-ness” in all areas of life, from the diss to the job search to my stashed projects. I’m also being practical in wanting to have fewer things to pack and haul across the country. But it’s become a kind of strange obsession that I haven’t quite figured out, the urge to pull out projects and be done with them right now…

Anyway, the first “big” project that I grabbed was this crochet afghan, a simple zigzag pattern out of Lion Brand Homespun, a little cheesy, a little tacky, a little cozy. I started this years ago with the intention of giving it to one of my male friends so I kept it color neutral so it could be gifted multiple directions depending on who needed to receive a present. Of course, I never managed to finish it on time so it’s been in storage, waiting on the impulse to do crochet with acrylic yarn. Can’t exactly say that the impulse was particularly for the crappy yarn, but it has been a pretty pleasant, mindless project.

And in this whirlwind of stress and anxiety, mindless is nice. I have a list of things that I’d like to be working on, some lace, a new hat or two, but for now, I’m looking forward to finally gifting this to someone and having it out of my house, out of my stash, and off my mind.

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