I just listened to three podcasts, and I have been thinking about them since. I was washing my dishes (a once-a-day thing), and thinking about what Y Knits always asks people, "Why do you knit". I could say all the usual cliche things, but what got me to thinking was the thought of having fun.
Why would anyone spend a fortune to go to a fiber workshop, a fiber retreat, a fiber event of any kind, or spend a fortune buying fiber or yarn? I think we have to have fun and play a little bit. Certainly knitting is not a necessity any more, and the things we make are gorgeous, creative, and sometimes a little wild and funky. I think there is a need to be playful, to be creative, and a need to express ourselves in some form of art. Some people paint, some people do pottery, some people do art glass, some people .......... You get the drift. I think fiber is tactile, it is candy for the eyes, and it fills the void by creating something with my own two hands. I love to knit luscious yarns, I love to smell fibers, I love to look at other people's knitting, I love to talk about design and pattern, and I love color. It goes even further when I take the fleece, dye it, spin it, and knit it.
We have to push ourselves to try new things, we have to stretch ourselves by moving out of the "comfort zone", and we have to experiment.
Yesterday CJ and I solved several problems by overdyeing some not-so-pretty yarn and dyeing some plain ole white yarn that wasn't speaking to her. It was a fun, spontaneous dye job, and the colors were perfect! I did not use the measuring spoons, I did not use the measuring cups, I just used the "glop" method of how much vinegar do I put in. There was a little dye left in the green dyepot, so I wetted an ounce of clean wool fleece, and put it in. It is a pretty light mossy green. Very nice!
So knitting is surely a repetitive visual spatial task that one normally does by oneself. But it is fun to be with others, it is fun to compare notes, and it is fun to experiment. This is not a task that is necessary to create warm socks or freeze your feet. It is a giggly way to have the most colorful, fantastic socks on your feet, and it will make people smile when they see them.
So keep on knitting, keep on spinning, keep on dyeing, keep on doing what is fun and makes you happy.