All of my recent knitting, since February or so, has been projects for publication. As such, I have not shared them online, or even, really, in person. Publications prefer that they get the first crack! at revealing new things, and I am happy to oblige. But this has meant that everything, spinning, knitting, planning, designing, ripping and re-knitting (whoops!) has been done off-camera, so to speak.
Well, I finished the last project on Friday and mailed it in. And then? I started in with the crazy! Mitts? maybe. Gloves? maybe. Mittens? maybe. I don't know yet. Just cast on, grab a color at will, knit on until "done", and then do another. Will they match? I doubt it. Some yarns are variegated, some are not, some are 2 ply, some are 3 ply, fiber content varies....in short, break all the rules. Wear them happily when done, or, if they are totally fugly??? Overdye!!
It is such a change from following the plan, writing everything down, making sure things work and are not just fudged for convenience, etc. etc. etc. I do love designing and sharing those textiles, don't get me wrong. I think that's my best-textile-purpose, if I had to define it: sharing what I know.
A few weeks ago, a local friend thanked me for sharing dye information, and also my time and energy. She asked why I did it, without payment, since my time is valuable and we all have busy lives and things we need to get done. I told her I love textiles, I wish more people did, and wish more people understood what makes a good textile, what makes good technique, and in support of that, I am willing to share what I know. I know a very small portion of the textile world, but I know my part very well! It's likely what keeps me writing this blog, that desire to expand our base of spinners, dyers and weavers. That, and the wonderful feedback I get from readers!
Sharing is what we try to teach in civilized cultures. We start children young, in pre-school and at home, showing them, willing them, admonishing them, to share. We preach it from pulpits, the best of us share our time and resources with those who have less, and we know, as adults, from experience, that it feels better when all of us have a piece of the pie, when there are no faces standing out in the cold, looking in at the window.
It's a hard lesson, but I think it helps define us as civilized: not Me First! but We Are All In This Together. Much of what goes wrong in our common everyday lives can be put down to the prevalence of competition for ...everything from food and shelter, to money and power. My piece of the pie. I want what I want and I don't care how it affects you, either the individual or the collective you.
I have a dog in this fight, so to speak. I have grandchildren. I want them to learn that we can share as adults. I want them to grow up civilized, and in a world where people care about each other.
The concept of sharing is weighing heavily on my mind, because I have recent experience with the reverse: someone for whom I did a favor, whom I included in a project, has excluded me. They have chosen not to share. They have chosen to be selfish. It hurts, that a kindness was not reciprocated, but what does it demonstrate? The worst of our culture is the person who thinks of Self above all others, who will not give an inch, even if that means others can be included, who will not share.
My first reaction was to think "wait until next time". But that is everything I don't want these children to learn. That is not sharing. I hope I can be big enough to extend a hand again next time, because their participation, their joy, enriches mine, enriches all of us. Sharing the big events and the small is what makes us a community. I can relax in the knowledge that I did the right thing, no matter what the recipient did in return. This is not a competition. If it is, we all lose.
In this hectic season of preparing for winter, preparing for holidays, of shopping and parties and dark nights and treacherous weather, I wish you the equanimity to deal with the troubles and troubling people you too will encounter.
I wish you sharing and laughter, I wish you peace, and Peace. I wish you grace. I wish you Joy.