My last semester of college was spent near Florence, Italy in a study abroad program offering a steady diet of art history. We regularly ventured into the city to spend hours within the chilly confines of chapels more ancient than I could comprehend. I met Michelangelo there and read, for one of my courses, some of his homoerotic poetry. I became immersed in his world, his ideas, his Florence. Looking back, I’d venture that the single greatest takeaway from the trip was in learning of his philosophy as an accomplice to The Creator. To paraphrase, Michelangelo believed that each block of stone already held within it a perfect, divine design. His job was simply to free it. Magnificent sculptures like the Pieta, then, were not works of his own genius, but that of The Divine which he skillfully uncovered. The force of his humility blew me away then, as now.
My brain exploded upon receipt of this concept of an inherent potential lying within a simple raw material. What does this ‘want’ to become? I find that the question of what to make becomes less block-inducing when I approach it from the context of Facilitator of Creation instead of The Creator. And it might be blasphemy of a great degree to transfer Michelangelo’s concept of inherent design to a skein of yarn, but I can vividly relate to this role of Facilitator as I sit before the enigmatic skeins of my own yarn. Of all that I produced for From Drought, I only got to keep two small/odd-size skeins in each color. So I’d better make them count, right? “What do you want to be?” I ask these brilliantly-colored gems, grouping them into inspiring color combinations. It’s so much more freeing than asking myself, “What shall I create from this yarn that is brilliant and worthy?”
A few of the colors have spoken to me. A hat. That Mister who’s recently adopted a haircut strictly enforced by a clippers needs a hat to buffet him from the winter world. A hat.
Mittens, I think. The world needs more mittens. I need more mittens. These colors in mittens would make the world a better place. Mittens.
But first, I must FINISH. There are sweaters and stockings and shawls and garments-already-forgotten that I’ve previously cast on with great intention that must be finished. Or abandoned, as the case may be. To answer your question: yes. I will abandon this sweater frogged and cast on anew, now that I’ve done a burn test and discovered the yarn to be acrylic. Life is too short; I have too much not-acrylic yarn to take that any further. Also, I’m an incredible snob about such things, as I think the sheep in my backyard justify me to be, in defense of their honor.
The shinynewexciting must wait quietly in the wings while I finish things. Finish things. That is the calling I shall answer now. Finish.