I got a call from my husband Saturday while I was at the shop. I don't typically take calls while I'm teaching, but he doesn't typically call me while I'm teaching, so I knew something was up.
Me: Hey, what's up?
Bill: Um, I was putting the clothes in the dryer and there's something that doesn't look like it ought to go in the dryer.
Me: What is it?
Bill: I dunno. It's a sweater-like thing. It's white.
Bill: It's really small. It kind of looks like a child's sweater
Bill: Are you there?
Me: expletive deleted
Bill: What should I do with it?
Me: expletive deleted.... it doesn't matter.
Bill: I'm so sorry
It wasn't even his fault. I'm the one. After carefully soaking my lovely Trace in Eucalan, I carried it gently to the washer and put it on Drain and Spin, the most awesome cycle ever. It takes my clean sweaters and spins them until they're nearly dry, and then I lay them out, shape them to size, and let them air dry. Except, I was busy Friday morning. Lots going on, and I forgot about my drained and spun sweater waiting in the washer. As I rushed around Friday night, I shoved a load of towels in the washer - two Tide pods, one white pod, hot water, and an hour and fifteen minutes. Sigh And no one to blame but myself.
I loved that sweater. A beautiful design by Shellie Anderson knit with luxurious Shibui yarn. I wore it all the time every winter for three years. Like all perfect clothing, it made me feel beautiful and powerful, and as a hand-knit, it made me feel accomplished. And now it's gone.
Am I sad about it? Of course, but at the end of the day, a sweater, even a hand-knit one, is just a thing. And stuff happens. Anything could have happened at any time. During one of its many wearings, I could easily have spilled a bite of curry and stained the front. I could have caught a thread and ripped a big hole in it. Right? I guess my point is that if you are going to knit things to wear, you are going to expose them to all manner of opportunity for disaster. Because what else are you going to do? Knit stuff and lock it up in a drawer? What good is that? I hear knitters talk about the beautiful things they knit for their grandchildren, only to have the mothers carefully fold them away, and the child never gets to wear it. That's not what knitting is about. It's not what life is about.
My mother died with boxes fine British hand-milled soap stacked in her closet and a bottle of Suave in her shower. Monogrammed engraved stationery, she didn't use went into the recycling. Saving it, she was, I suppose, but for what? For when? I am of the opinion that if you have something so valuable that it cannot be used or enjoyed, donate it to a museum, and get on with your life. Use the nice stuff. Set the children's table with china and crystal. Wear your hand-knits and other lovely things. Even if they're super special - especially if they're super special, because why else do you have it if not to enjoy it? And if not now, when?
Soap will get used up; crystal might break, and you might stain your sweater, but life is short, and nothing in it is permanent, save the memories we make.
I look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table. You are always welcome here ~Ellen
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