Creatives. You know, those people you see at the coffee shop with acrylic paint pushed so far under their fingernails there’s a good chance their hands will never know clean again. Or the woman sitting at the table next to you snapping 93 photos of her beautifully plated food, oblivious that the temperature of her grilled polenta is dropping dangerously close to room temperature. Maybe he’s the mohawk-donning kid with the skateboard that he’s “tagged” to match his political views/philosophy on life.
Either way, when I’m in the presence of creatives such as these, I feel at ease. I know they understand what it feels like to be aware, mindful and ever-searching for answers in the complexity of a flower, the fragrance of a tomato, or in the lyrics of a Slipknot track. I appreciate them.
My creative friend, Shannon, has recently set off on a yarn dying journey. She blends subtle colors using plant materials that she grows in her garden: dahlias, walnuts, moad, indigo. Or she uses mushrooms she has found while her family is out foraging for wild food. Once back in her kitchen — her laboratory of sorts — she boils and stirs and tests, creating a palate of lovely colors that would enchant the pickiest fiber artist.
This past week, my knitting group gathered at Shannon’s house to celebrate a knitter friend’s birthday. As we honored Angie’s special day, we feasted on a tasty, garden-fresh meal and oohed and awed over Shannon’s hand-dyed yarns. Being one who cannot pass up a chance to work with something handmade, I bought a few skeins of Affiknitty Yarn and took them home to wind.
Cranking away, I got a little carried away winding the first ball (my arm was just too swift for the swift — I wanted that yarn wound!). Consequently, the ball of Sea Glass flew off the winder and fell apart, landing in a tangled heap on the floor. There were so many knots!
Normally this sort of knitting calamity would prompt me to cut the skein to shreds and toss it into the garden for the birds to use as nesting material. But because I understood all the thought, time and effort Shannon had put into her project, I plopped down on the ceramic tile floor and went to work untangling the mountain of quiet blue chaos.
After about two fun-filled hours of deep breathing and the occasional metaphor for life floating through through my mind (I’ll spare you), I prevailed. Although I had just told my concerned husband that I was not going to touch another piece of yarn for at least a month, I took my silky soft yarn, found a quiet corner in the office and began working on a simple, stripy shawl.
Knit, knit, knit. Create, create, create. Ahhh.