Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.
It doesn’t get much better than this. I sit writing to you from a country cottage on hill, bathed in what my grandmother always called a “million dollar breeze.” A breath of fresh air so sweet, so soothing, that it couldn’t be bought for any amount of money.
The generous friends who rescued me from a weekend of swampy heat in my city neighborhood have given me the perfect place to hammer out resolutions for the coming year.
No, I’m not six months late. I know resolutions are supposed to be a January thing. But January in Chicago never feels like the start of something new. The winter howls along unchecked. It doesn’t care that I’ve flipped a page in the calendar and frankly neither do I. I can barely get out of bed in the morning, let alone muster the energy to reupholster my life.
Early summer, with the buds and the windows wide open, feels like the season of possibility. This is when I make plans.
Here’s what I have so far.
- I will play with at least one yarn that’s out of my comfort zone. It will not be difficult to find this yarn, because my comfort zone would fit inside a broom closet and still leave room for a couple of armchairs and a credenza. My stash is chock-a-block with quiet, solid, predictable skeins of wool and wool blends. This year–who knows? Texture? Sparkle? Leather? Dog hair? As my mother said of green beans, “You don’t have to like them, you just have to try them.” (I did try them. I still don’t like them.)
- I will weave in all the loose ends inside the sweater that I have been wearing for eight months without weaving in all the loose ends.
- I will always swatch, instead of just telling people that I always swatch.
- I will unravel the half-finished sweater with the fun repeating skull pattern. It seemed like such a good idea seven years ago, when I was trying very hard to be a different sort of person. I will wind up the yarn and pass it along to someone who will use it. I will make peace with the knowledge that I am never, ever going to be a fun repeating skull pattern sort of person.
- I will knit outdoors as much as I possibly can before it starts to snow again.
- When I am knitting outdoors and hear, repeatedly, “Wow, I’ve always wanted to try that–but I don’t have the time to just sit around,” I will remember that I am an Ambassador for My Craft and smile and say something encouraging. I will remember that throwing punches is not encouraging.
- I will finally try entrelac.
- I will stop saving the Really Good Yarn in my stash for an imagined Someday that is never going to come. I will use the Really Good Yarn, enjoy working with it, and enjoy the things I make with it. Nobody knows how many productive days they have left. The time for the Really Good Yarn is right now. Summer doesn’t last forever–and neither do we.
What am I forgetting? What’s on your list?
Writer, illustrator, and photographer Franklin Habit is the author of I Dream of Yarn: A Knit and Crochet Coloring Book (Soho Publishing, 2016) and It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008) and proprietor of The Panopticon, one of the most popular knitting blogs on Internet. His publishing experience in the fiber world includes contributions to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Ply Magazine, Cast On: A Podcast for Knitters, Twist Collective, and Knitty.com.
He travels constantly to teach knitters at shops and guilds across the country and internationally; and has been a popular member of the faculties of such festivals as Vogue Knitting Live!, Stitches Events, Squam Arts Workshops, and the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat.
These days, Franklin knits and spins in Chicago, Illinois, sharing a small city apartment with a Schacht spinning wheel, two looms, and colony of sock yarn that multiplies alarmingly whenever his back is turned. Visit him at www.franklinhabit.com