When you lose your mojo it’s not always an easy thing to find it again. I know how to find my car keys. Either on top of the fridge, or in the pocket of whatever I was wearing yesterday, but mojo is a lot more elusive.
I’ve tried diving head first into the Ravit hole and checking out all the fabulous things I could make. That ended up with that drowning feeling though, which is what I am trying to avoid. So, I’ve decided to KISS it. Keep It Simple Stupid, and for a knitter the most simple thing ever is a garter stitch scarf.
I have a particular love for The Knitographer’s Camp Fire Scarf. Jo published this wonderful simple and striking design on her blog about two and a half years ago, and she knitted it in Vanitas. It was one of the very first (if not the first!) patterns designed for an Outlaw yarn by someone else. It’s always exciting and wonderful to see a project that someone has made in your yarn, but nothing quite beats the feeling of having a designer create something because your yarn inspired them. It kinda feels a bit like Michelangelo painted a portrait of your baby!
Vanitas will always be special to me. It was the first Outlaw Yarn released just in time for Knit August Nights three years ago. In fact we only saw it an hour before all of you since the boxes were delivered straight from the mill to East Pier. Opening a box full of those smiling, happy little faces was such a thrill! Those of you who did a mill tour that year didn’t know it, but the yarn that you were looking at in the middle of production was the very first run of Bohemia Sport.
There’s something very soothing about garter stitch. I know some people find it boring, but to me it’s like meditation. I don’t have to think about it. I can just concentrate on the feel of the yarn and the needles in my hands. My mind can wander, or I can watch TV without missing anything. There’s no pressure, just simply being in the moment. One stitch at a time. It’s tiny moments of peace in the middle of the life chaos. And gradually those little stitches become a lifeline. Add in those colour block changes that happen just before I tire of looking at the same colour and suddenly, there it is...
A tiny spark of joy.
I might not have fully grasped it yet, but it’s a relief to know the mojo is still there.
I did something crazy… No, before you ask, it wasn’t breakfast bourbon! Also, there’s nothing crazy about that - it’s delicious! I went to the Summer Woolfeast… and I didn’t buy any yarn...
It wasn’t even a conscious decision! Maybe it’s my #nofomo at work. Or maybe it’s a byproduct of the no mojo. The funny thing was I still found plenty of things to spend my money on, (including a new Crafty AF tee-shirt from Ngaire at Little Radiator), and it actually wasn’t until I got home that I realised I didn’t buy yarn. That’s got to be a first. Even though I am not usually a huge spender at events, (I tend to buy small and often!), I always come home with more yarn to add to the stash.
I was really worried that I would wake up on Sunday morning with a bad case of needing to buy ‘ALL THE YARN’, but the funny thing was I didn’t. Instead I felt relieved. I had a fun day, talked to lots of people, spent some cash, and ate more dessert than was strictly necessary. It was great party and I didn’t wake up with a yarn hangover!
Let’s face it, I do have more yarn than anyone could possibly use in a lifetime (and that’s just my personal stash - we won’t even think about what’s in the warehouse!). And I often buy yarn knowing that I am probably never going to knit it, but it’s so pretty I have to have it anyway! Then when I get it home and put it in my stash instead of feeling excited and happy about it, I just feel overwhelmed by the pressure of another thing I don’t have time for, and that’s not a great place to be. Has anyone else had this feeling?
Now, I know a few people will be reading this and thinking that I have lost my marbles! After all my whole business is to sell you yarn! Why on earth would I advocate for NOT buying yarn??? Believe me, the last thing I am ever going to tell someone is not to buy yarn if it makes them happy! But if you get to the point where buying yarn isn’t making you happy, then maybe you need to check your #fomo levels, like me. Your stash should be a wonderful treasure trove of inspiration, not a source of guilt and obligation.
When you take your Outlaw Yarn home, I want you to be thrilled! I want you to revel in the anticipation of casting on. I want you to be delighted every time you make a stitch. And you’re not going to feel any of that joy if you’re crushed under the #fomo.
You know I’m not good at following rules, so ‘cold sheeping’ and stash downs aren’t great ideas for me. I am much more likely to buy more and knit less! So, I am just taking a breath and realising that it’s okay if I don’t buy it today - there will still be more wonderful yarn tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, and when my mojo returns I can shop till I drop and cherish every skein!
Is it too early to have a New Year’s Resolution?
It feels a bit like a new year to me at the moment since it was my birthday a couple of weeks ago. I am now 47, so not one of those big zero (or even five) birthdays, but in some ways this is one of the biggest birthday’s I’ll ever have. You see, my mum died 5 weeks after her 47th birthday, which means that by xmas this year I will be older than she ever was. And the truth of the matter is I still don’t know how to process that.
Should I be writing a bucket list? I’m bombarded everyday with a constant stream of things I could miss out on (thank you social media!). I’m sure I read somewhere once that we are exposed to 2,000 advertising images a day. Well, that was before Facebook! I’m sure that now I have fulfilled my daily quota before I have even finished my first cup of tea in the morning.
If only my life was as beautifully curated as my Instagram feed. I posted an image earlier this year and was asked by Heather if I have just one beautifully decorated, well organised room in my house, or does the whole place look that nice? Of course I fessed up that it was taken in the showroom and my house looks like a bomb site. The truth of the matter is often the one square metre of shelf or table that you can see in the photo is the only pretty spot in my life at that moment!
My resolution for this year was to learn to knit garments for myself and the Oatmeal sweater I started in January is still on the needles. I need a new resolution! I still want to knit sweaters, but the long queue of them on my Ravelry list is daunting. I am not a fast knitter.
I’ve lost my making mojo. In fact I lost it a while ago. I haven’t lost my love of yarn (god forbid!), but I have so many things I need to be making that I am totally overwhelmed by the list and can’t get started, or finished, with anything. I think the problem is #fomo. What if I don’t join that KAL, make that fabulous project that everyone is talking about, buy that yarn before it is gone? When does all that inspiration becoming so overwhelming that it’s paralysing?
I think my resolution this year needs to be to focus on the journey, not the end project. I need to live in the moment and keep celebrating where I am right now, the good, and the bad. So, I’m going to mix that fantasy perfect life that you see on your screens, with a dose of good old reality. If nothing else it should give you a laugh (I am the queen of frogging and I always lose at yarn chicken!).
My resolution this year is #nofomo. Life is short. Use the best yarn first and enjoy every single stitch.