I try to save myself from this every year. I can usually make it through most of the rest of the year….winter is hard, but the holidays are the hardest. Everything is so cozy and happy, but I’m usually busy with performance obligations so I have to keep my head clear. And spending money on guilty pleasures isn’t something I should be giving into this time of year, either.
But it’s so hard to ignore the craving. I told myself I wasn’t going back to this place, no matter how good it might make me feel. I get that every day it’s a battle and a process. I’ve tried so hard to deny myself and get back to being a whole human being, to not be driven by one, blinding obsession.
But all I want to do is surround myself with one thing and one thing only:
I want it more than anything. Sure, I have enough, but there’s sooo many choices out there. Bamboo, Alpaca, Merino, eyelash….the choices that are so soft and sleek and colorful that it could bring a grown woman to her knees (and some men, too.) I want to buy bags of it, stab it with long sticks, and run my fingers through it over and over until I absolutely have to work with it.
That’s right. My name is Selah Janel, and I am a knitter.
Sigh. Sure, you may think it’s an innocent hobby, but dude, once you start you will get your soul sucked away. If you are one of those people who can just be content to knit scarves or the occasional holiday present, then I applaud you. You are amazing and your moral center in incredible.
I tell myself every year that I don’t have time to make presents for everybody and I sure don’t need to add challenges for myself that I’m never going to finish. Ditto to the projects that I know will drive me out of my mind (This would be most sweaters. The sizing challenge on sweaters makes me want to kill myself, though I can usually get them to turn out decent…though not without some destruction to my soul and emotional center first.).
I have to lock away any extra money before going into a craft store, especially the crafting supercenter that is too close to where I live. Not only does it have aisles and aisles of yarn, but aisles and aisles of fabric…oh it’s bad. It’s a bad, bad den of temptation. And I want to Be At One With Everything In It. I want to run down the aisles and grab EVERYTHING, because only I can make everything in that store achieve its true purpose!!!
Ahem. Where was I? Oh, yeah. Crafting addiction.
It starts out innocently enough: one or two hats for myself since those I have are getting ragged. Or maybe a few lacy scarves for extra presents. Maybe a couple small clutch bags. Some ornaments. A plushie. And somehow it morphs into all of the above, a sweater, a blanket, a cozy for my car, and life-size replicas of all my friends with embroidered features.
Okay, maybe it isn’t THAT bad, but there are days I wonder about myself.
I’ve stopped checking out random knitting books and hitting up blogs. I now page through them as fast as I can to determine how many patterns there are that I can actually use. And then I weigh these new temptations against the pile of projects I have waiting for me…those poor, neglected, half-formed mutants that just need a little finishing, a little work, a little love. And yet they get passed over for the new shineys, the new challenges that will take my art form to epic highs. Poor, sad little creatures.
I also tend to forget what’s in my stash. And I have a beautiful yarn stash, although I always see things I want and think ‘Maybe…maybe just this once…Oh think of all the things I could do with THAT…oh if only I could sink my hands into THAT…oh what glorious things we could make together, that yarn and I!’
okay, maybe I’m not quite that bad, but I still get yarn mania from time to time. And yarn mania combined with fabric mania is just a nightmare waiting to happen. The next thing I know I’ll wake up on the couch all contorted in a pile of yarn and forty-seven different needles, with five different pattern books laying on my lap. And just when I think I’ve reached a new low, I’ll look over and see it: that horrible plastic bag full to the brim of fleece, lining material, and knit apparel fabric that I didn’t really need. And seventeen patterns that looked good at the time. And that awful compulsion, that horrific drive to try new things in an attempt to get higher than before, better than before wars with the shame of all the projects yet to be finished…and I think maybe, maybe if I try really hard and don’t sleep for a week I can get it all done. It never works out, friends.
Don’t let this happen to you or someone you love this holiday season. If you have a crafter in your life, be there for them. Keep an eye on them. Take away their sales brochures (but do so at your own risk – we’re dangerous if you take away our tools. If you ever want to potentially lose a limb go up to a knitter who has nothing else to do and take away her needles. She can be the nicest, most patient person in the world as long as she has her knitting but take it away and watch yourself lose a limb.) Make sure they have a plan, a schedule, a lifeboat when things get to be too much. Comfort them when they get overwhelmed. If they get that telltale gleam in their eye, hide their materials and let the air out of their tires so they can’t buy more. Because if they take on too much, you won’t see them again until at least April. If you want to make sure you actually get to spend time with the crafter in your life this holiday season, be prepared to lock them in a room without their pattern books. But even then you’re not safe, oh no. They will resent you. They will hate you for depriving them of the ability to knit you ten zillion sweaters. They will cry at the thought of all the little children missing out on the little hats they could be making. Just the mere sight of anything holiday-related is enough to send a crafter into fits of nostalgic-fueled work overload. If you know you are prone to these temptations, this unconquerable addiction, just remember all those who love you. They want to spend time with you this holiday season and not just the things you create out of yarn, no matter how magical and how spectacular.
Let’s face it, the heathens never appreciate your talents enough anyway, so why waste your time when you could be plowing them with snowballs and stealing those ungrateful jerks’ Christmas cookies?
So to everyone, a final reminder: be careful. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.