I want to help you spark knitting joy, but first, this.
Spark Knitting Joy: Prince
I can’t help but mourn Prince’s death, but mostly I have such great memories of his music and his person. He was definitely all about sparking joy! I am old enough to remember when he burst onto the music scene. He was so talented, and pretty, and quirky, and sexy, and wrote such great lyrics. I haven’t listened to him in a while, but we were recently watching a George Harrison tribute, and I was so struck by his performance (it starts at 3:30)–among a lot of really great guitarists. Of course his outfit was perfect. This morning I remembered this:
We went to a 50th birthday party for a friend years ago–before we saw that birthday ourselves, so maybe it was in 1999? Anyway, it was a dinner party in a hip new restaurant’s private room on New Year’s Eve. Good food (I ordered antelope), lots of wine, and we ended up in the nearly empty bar of the restaurant with the birthday boy and his spouse at midnight. I am guessing that other patrons were celebrating outside or elsewhere in the restaurant. When they started playing 1999, at midnight, Stephanie wanted to dance on the bar. She and I took our heels off and did! I’m not really a dance-on-the-bar kind of gal, so it was fun! Thanks Prince. Anyone can dance to you.
Yay. This was before everyone had a camera in their pocket.
Spark Knitting Joy: Jane
As my mother was lying in the ER after breaking her leg on Saturday (wheelchair accident, she is 93) and the doctor started talking to her about her medical directives, risks of surgery, and extent of medical care, apparently he was referring to “passing”, to which Jane replied “don’t use the word ‘pass’ with me, just say DIE”. She doesn’t recall this as I think she was in shock and had received narcotics, but now Prince dying and this incident are entwined in my mind.
Jane will be discharged to the skilled nursing part of her retirement community today if she passes her EKG. Jane is a skilled people-person and it is interesting to watch her charm each person who happens into her orbit. She will know all about you, at the level of detail she wants to know, before you exit. If you say to her query that you are, say from Fresno, she’ll say “no, what is your ethnicity?” She goes deeper after she settles that. Cringe-worthy to me, but somehow she gets away with it.
I grew up with a father who was a hobby-conservationist. We did all kinds of things that our friends and neighbors thought were odd, designed to make us stewards of our environment, rather than consumers. He was in his element during the energy crisis of 1978 and we did all the things to save energy. As a result, Earth Day has never really interested me. I’m glad we have it as a way to remind people. I think it is a bit like diet: be mindful, do as much as you can, and do what sparks joy for you. I love carrying my cloth grocery bags, I am overwhelmed by plastic bags, I have used the drought to challenge myself to use less water (I love running water!), I love being able to easily compost my organic waste.
Some days I’m really good. Other days not so. I hated having to spend $0.10 for a bag at Whole Foods last week because I forgot to bring my purse. Not because of the money, because I felt like a slacker. I use everything to the last drop. Here’s how I get the most out of tubes of stuff. I cut them to get inside. Toothpaste is pretty much gone by the time I do it because it squeezes better. My moisturizer I can get almost a week out of after I cut it open. And I do!
Spark Knitting Joy: Dorothea Visits
I met Dorothea when she was an attendee of a knitting retreat in Italy I put on–probably 2010. She and I have stayed in touch as she is a careful editor and I have used her critical eye more than once. Dorothea is visiting SF and came by to see our house and to have lunch. I was interested in her experience of San Francisco; she lived here in the early 70s and hadn’t been back. We spoke very briefly of knitting but mostly about the other things that we share interests in. I failed to take my phone when we left to go to lunch, so I have no photographic evidence. I had nearly forgotten about the project which Dorothea diligently knit and completed–this is just one side of the pillow.
Dorothea was interested in being given a cloth shopping bag by the friend she is staying with. I pulled out my three to show it is what you do when bags are restricted!
Sparking Knitting Joy: Crushing-It Report
I don’t make resolutions, but this year I had the intention of doing “all the things” I’d been putting off. High on the list was taking care of things around the house. Mitch is a noodge, but not in the complaining sense; he reminds me of things because I tend not to keep track of what isn’t interesting to me. So I decided that 2016 was going to focus on me just doing things in a responsible and timely way. I have been “killing” my list lately. This is part of the planning I have been working on for the past year or so, and a result of sorting through methods to find what works for me.
Mitch has been very encouraging, and like anyone, I respond to positive reinforcement. Mitch is always funny and he began referring to it as me “crushing” the list. A little nicer than killing. I tend to report what I get done every day, so when I sent him an email of all the things that had gone on here yesterday, he dubbed it the Crushing It Report (CIR). I soon received this in a follow-up email.
I thought it was hilarious. I am, of course, Lucy. I am loving getting all this stuff done so I don’t have to think about it again! Everything but the handyman has been sorted out and scheduled. Why are handymen so hard to pin down?
Spark Knitting Joy: My Knitting This Week
I tend to observe myself, always looking for clues. My knitting observation actually came from my coloring pages. I started the most recent page thinking it would be easy. I didn’t have quite the right colors to do what I envisioned, but it fit okay for having a lot of different greens. But I have had little time to focus on my drawing and so was sneaking in coloring a shape here and there, not able to really work a plan. I got bored and frustrated. I finally scheduled a nice block of time to focus on it and to formulate a plan. It started to feel fun and enjoyable again. I also watched the next video and realized this week was watercolor pencils so I have that in my future.
- Use new projects–unstarted–to spur action on things that feel stale.
- Make a list that gives you a clear plan of action to help you see the end.
- Put down a project that is frustrating you, pick up a small, easy-to-execute project, then return to the other project after making a list.
- Reward yourself when you finish. Tomorrow I buy watercolor pencils!
This morning as I put away socks I took these ill-fitting footies out of my carefully arranged sock drawer, and replaced them with my new Bombas footies. These ill-fitting ones sparked no joy while the new ones are joyful. I think you can use the KonMari question with your knitting to tell you how to proceed. Sometimes it is just not right. Other times, it needs some rethinking to make it right. Let it Spark Knitting Joy or let it go.