I'm knitting again, an indication that systems are returning to normal. For the most part, I'm able to live by Elizabeth Zimmermann's wonderful exhortation to "Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises," but there were several days when I picked up the needles only to drop them again.
I said that after staring exclusively at white for several months that I craved color, and sweet Minerva's dye pot did I get it.
It's the now-ubiquitous Tulip Jacket from Dream in Color, which took off in a big way after Stephanie Pearl-McPhee knit one, and loved it, and so then she knit...I can't remember...what was it, something like 22 of them in a week?
Arcadia Knitting has made up kits for the pattern,* which is a boon because to buy full skeins of all those colors in any decent yarn would push the cost into the "when monkeys fly out my butt" category. I bought my kit on the day of the 1,000 Knitters shoot. After a few awkward lunges (imagine Karl Rove on a first date with Gisele Bundchen) the jacket and I found our common groove and it has flown pleasantly along.
When it comes to shaped garments I'm still a novice, and I know it. So I meekly followed the pattern to about row 25 or so, and suddenly found myself looking down at a recognizable neckline and shoulders. I got quite excited. I wanted to hold it up and show it to the lady next sitting next to me on the train. Look! Shoulders! Little baby shoulders! And the neckline! Squee!
I remembered in the nick of time that people who don't knit never understand the thrill. (Poor bastards.)
I think this must be one of the finest aspects of knitting. A person could knit for an entire lifetime without reaching the end of the techniques and sleights-of-hand that make up all things that have ever been, or ever will be, fashioned with yarn and needles. No matter how much you learn, you never lose the potential for amazement.
There's an old Peanuts strip wherein Linus, I believe, quotes somebody's aphorism that happiness lies in having "three things to look forward to, and nothing to dread." That might explain why knitters generally can get through rough patches in life with equanimity, or even cheerfulness. While there may be much to dread, we always have far more than three things to look forward to.
*To give yourself a creative jolt, check out the multiple colorways they've come up with at Threadbear. No wonder that place has become a Destination Shopping Experience.