I never got into the whole scrapbooking thing. Although I admire those lovely testaments to life and times, it was not a hobby that called to me. And yet, the idea of collecting and displaying mementos is enormously appealing. Whether it's a lovely decorated album, a playbill collection, or a shelf of travel souvenirs, we all want to find ways to commemorate our special times. Souvenir is French for memory after all.
As knitters, we often buy souvenir yarn, seeking out the nearest yarn store wherever we travel, and finding that special skein of hand-dyed or other local confection. It's a happy connection to our experience as we knit that memory into a new one. Our knitting is always with us. It is by our side as a source of calm, or celebration. And so, even ordinary yarn takes on its own special souvenir qualities. We spend such extended, intimate time with yarn we knit that it becomes the very thread that travels through our experiences, good and bad. Like Proust's celebrated cookie, the yarn from a time in our life has the power to transport us back to that place in our memory. Show me a piece of yarn from my leftover stash, and I can tell you where I was and what I knit with it. Even now, 16 years since my father's death, the half skein left from a sweater I knit him conjures his image in my mind's eye with visceral clarity. We remember what we were knitting during a period more sharply than almost any other aspects of that experience.
Rather than filling an album to capture and preserve memories, I knit them. I work my scraps into beautiful, evocative throws that display, in a way both public and private, the times of my life. The colors and textures and memories are not only meaningful, but beautiful. I've developed a kind of recipe, based on a simple pattern with a straightforward lace stitch, for combining yarn bits so they move and blend in subtle, undulating waves, rather like our memories themselves. It's a fun and creative process, and you can do it.
Join me for the Stash Series, Entropy Throw class this Saturday. I'd love to hear your stories and help you get started using your memories to knit a beautiful new one.
I look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table. You are always welcome here. ~ Ellen