My symptoms – I was feeling sluggish and bloated. I was feeling dull. My complexion was sallow; and it wasn’t due to the lighting (see It’s not easy being Green…post).
The diagnosis-lack of fiber.
Do not click away. I’m not about to share my bathroom habits with the blogosphere. Metamucil can’t cure this condition. The fiber I’m lacking is yarn.
Hi my name is ATreeGrowsinBklyn (you can call me Tree) and I am a yarnaholic. Let the blogosphere say: Hi Tree!
Here’s my back story. Three years ago (I remember it like it was 3 years ago) I took my first stroke of the soft stuff. It was good. It was very good. It was the cheap stuff; 3.5 ounces of foreign produced acrylic. It was in a garish shade of green not found in nature (see Gee Wiz… post). The first strokes were rough. It should have made me stop but, I didn’t stop. I couldn’t stop; because the transformation was amazing. My hands were no longer hands. They were magic wands. They moved through the air giving off Technicolor sparks and leaving a swatch of tactile bliss in their wake. A chain stitch. The chain that linked me to all the crocheters in the cosmos. I was connected; yet I was free. I was more creative than ever before. You might say I was (crochet) hooked.
At first I just needed more yarn; any yarn really; to make the magic but, one day I coped a feel of some baby alpaca and cashmere yarns in my LYS (local yarn store). Suddenly I needed better yarn; not the synthetic stuff made in back alley petrochemical labs. I wanted the yarn that was farm raised by Tibetan monks adorned in saffron-colored robes. I needed to get my hands on some of the organically grown cotton; dyed by those hippy dippy white chicks with the dreadlocks. I wanted the silk yarn produced from reclaimed antique saree; worn only by Indian maidens who died tragically. That yarn is expensive. I needed a connection.
I found that connection in, let’s call her, Randy (because that’s her name). I identified her as a user immediately. It’s easy to do once you know the signs. From across the subway car I spotted the telltale pocket marked tote bag. Randy’s face was a sketch of concentration, her eyes sparkling with an unnatural level of alertness; given the early hour. Her hands were engaged in a flurry of activity.
Yeah; she was into yarn; big time. All the signs were there. To me, it was as if she were bathed in the rays of light from, what my cousin calls a “Jesus sky” but, is actually called Crepuscular rays. She was in sharp contrast to her fellow morning commuters. They were ashen, sunk eyed and their shaky hands clutched cups of coffee. They were addicted in another way.
I was both eager and anxious to make contact. Here was someone who feed the fiber addiction in public. I’d always kept my own compulsion on the down low; a secret. I fingered my fiber privately; away from prying and judgmental eyes. I only would knit or crochet at home.
At a safe distance, I watched her. Randy was good. She was very good. She had technique. She worked that crochet hook like Itzhak Perlman works a violin bow. She was fast. She was “hooking” at David Garrett, Flight of the Bumblebee, speed. I was a novice. I was awed and intimidated but, I was also determined. She was working with the good stuff. I wanted the good stuff.
I never get a seat on the crowded morning subway but, that morning was different. Fate facilitated the meeting. The seat next to her opened up. You don’t “f” with fate. When fate tosses you a bone, you chew on it and say thank you. I pounced on that seat like a Cheetah on a Gazelle.
She did not acknowledge my presence or make eye contact. She worked steadily and smoothly. She was tripping; or in the zone; or had flow; call it what you will. Its yarn crafters Zen or nirvana or paradise; call it what you will. It is when you become one with your tool of choice and the yarn. It is a beautiful thing to see and even more beautiful to experience.
I approached Randy subtly. I didn’t want to scare her off. I commented on the pretty colors of the yarn. I asked what she was making. She answered politely and continued to work. I went further; I asked her about the fiber content and the gauge. That did it. She stopped working and looked up. She looked at me and looked through me. She smiled in recognition.
Between the Borough Hall subway station in Brooklyn and the Grand Central subway station in Manhattan, a matter of about 20 minutes, I learned that I had hit the jack pot with Randy. Randy was, and is,a crochet designer, teacher and member of the New York City chapter of the Crochet Guild of America. Before my station stop, we exchanged business cards and I had an invitation to the next guild meeting in my pocket. Before the end of the day she had e-mailed me a resource list as long as my arm. She turned me on to the places to feed my yarn addiction at discount prices (nickel bag of alpaca, dime bag of cashmere anyone?). I will always be grateful to her for generously sharing her knowledge with me.
Today I am in a state of transition. I’m attempting to shake off the stuff that extinguished my light or had interfered with my discernment of joy. This shaking off process can be a little violent. In my eagerness to have my today and tomorrows be different from my yesterdays; I believe I dislodged somethings that should have remained in place. Removing crochet and knitting from my regular diet was beginning to take its toll. I’ve been missing the excitement of starting on a new project or learning a new stitch. I miss that feeling of accomplishment that comes from producing some-thing. I need that creative outlet. I need to nourish this part of my life so that my entire life can be healthy.
Today my well-balanced lunch includes a healthy helping of fiber. It’s a tasty variegated blue cotton yarn. I’m knitting a tank top.