Nick Offerman is talking about marketing, and he’s mostly agin it. “The secret is to turn a blind eye to all of that information and look to the billboard in your head, ” he says. “Mine says, ‘Hey, Jasper. You should build a kayak and then paddle it in the ocean.'” If he does, he continues,
I will be feeding my soul a hearty meal of satisfying hand-skill development and execution, appreciation of centuries of cumulative design, and finally, countless hours of reverie in nature.
He’s right. You can see that I’ve completed the top ribbing of my second Boxy Sock, and it is evident that these will indeed be Boxy Socks, because the slip stitch pattern just doesn’t have the elasticity you need in a sock, but there’s still a lot of satisfaction in making them. I can go back with crochet hook and elastic thread and get some distance toward solving the problem, and I can also wear them in the winter at home where a pair of wool socks, slouchy or not, will be very welcome.
A tangentially related piece of news is that there is a monster sale at KnitPicks. I can pick up enough yarn to knit a sweater for under $40 right now, in colors like Mai Tai, Blossom, and Solstice Heather. I can also get knitting books for 40% off.
The knitting books in question include things like numerous ways to make socks (ignoring the appreciation of centuries of cumulative design which have pretty much perfected the sock in the traditional form seen above) and a startling number of collections of hats and hoods with animal ears, including one book entirely on hats for cats. There are books for arm knitting, that complete perversion of a perfectly good method of making things, and a book on ancient Egyptian knitting.
I’m tempted by that book. I am in fact tempted by a lot of those books. And the yarn. But I have a lot of knitting books. Lots of knitting patterns there, more perhaps than I will ever be able to make. I have a large stash of yarn at the moment, too. And I have so little time to knit that I have been working on a pair of socks for many weeks now.
Not to mention the sewing and quilting projects already in the queue. I have two quilt tops ready to be quilted, two sewing classes at Craftsy with the materials already bought, an embroidery machine which I still haven’t learned to use but for which I’ve spent a lot on patterns, and several household sewing projects ready to start, as well as the 2015 SWAP, which is limping along at the rate of about one piece per month.
But books and yarn are wealth, aren’t they? Books of essays on knitting or historical information about knitting can be read with pleasure just like any other book (leaving aside the 90 unread books for review currently sitting in my Kindle and the books I bought in KC). Yarn contain the potential to become a sweater, a Christmas present, a lovely warm afghan, all stored in the skeins like electricity in a battery. Why not stock up?
I can buy several books, a new set of needles in a favorite size, and enough yarn for three sweaters for a price equal to one or two ready-made sweaters at the price I normally pay for them. And, if I stay on track with my health practices till the cold weather arrives, I will need a new, smaller sweater then. More than one, in fact.
Offerman says nothing about giving in to the lure of the marketing of craft materials.