As you know, I'm currently living the struggle between knitting and everything else I want to/should be/have to do. Probably you guys are too because quite apart from schedule: who has the time, lack of eyestrain, ability to remain awake for three days at a stretch, and wrist strength to knit as much as we want to for reals?
The other day I stumbled across this disturbingly familiar description of writing by C. Wright Mills, on the subject of creating his book "White Collar":
To write it you have to wind yourself up tight and unwind for four pages; then depression for a month, then whip yourself up and unwind. Repeat. Repeat.
And then, he adds, even though you think it might be good, it's probably awful. A sentiment with which one of his reviewers agreed to the tune of truly crushing enthusiasm. Owie.
Okay, so ask yourself: What knitter has to go through that to come up with a perfectly fine mitten? I'm asking myself, and my depression phase lasts only a few hours and I write through it anyway. Clearly, I'm better off than Mr. Mills.
So: that's work. What about leisure?
When we first started to have gorgeous weather after the horror that was this past winter, a friend and I were drooling over its sudden arrival. I confessed I was trying to enjoy the fact that I can sit out on my porch without a coat on but feel guilty about all the Things I am not doing while I am sitting. She wisely pointed out that there will always be Things, no matter how many Things I might get done in an effort to quell them. The porch, however, will not always be available. There might for example be rain. Or, I added mentally, its now-rotten boards might suddenly collapse (the renovation - it can't come too soon.)
Knitting on the porch, however: perfectly acceptable use of time. After all, the bathroom will only get dirty again and even if I find that elusive but essential article of clothing today, I will only misplace it tomorrow in the vital ten minutes before I need it. I blame poltergeists, but it may only be a memory issue or a sign that I really don't get enough sleep.
(still: must confess I would feel much better about my porch time if I had a suitable setup for weaving out there.)
I'm sure you don't need me to argue that knitting is also better than laundry, dealing with bits of paper that float through the door and collect in piles, and preparing meals that you may not even get to enjoy eating. However, let me try:
Knitting is so much better than housework.
Seriously, it doesn't smell of cleaning fluids or even vinegar, usually (I mean, some of the hand-dyed stuff might still carry more than a memory of some that was used to set the colour, but that's a fair trade for hand-dyed.) And if knitting piles up, it makes a much more comfortable pillow than paper, assuming you are able to push any in-use needles out of the way. Bonus: unlike cake on your birthday it really doesn't have any calories in it.
I don't have a solution to this problem of knitting being the best way to spend time, without being quite so pressing as the things that are less fun and yet necessary. But I think establishing an International Day of Knitting would be a good start, don't you?
Especially if we experiment with a few different days before settling on which one is the right fit for everybody because Yum: guilt free knitting!
Maybe the International Day of Knitting should be a floating holiday, available to any one of us at any time during the year, as many times as needed. I call next Tuesday. What about you?