It’s been over a year since I closed the shop. A year? Can you believe it? I can and I can’t.
I’ve moved on with my life in a way. I mean life moves on whether you want it to or not. I’m enjoyed my time with my husband and my son. I have more time than I ever imagined having and I admit that it’s weird. I have odd moments where I’m recognized. I mean I have a huge ball of yarn tattooed on my right forearm. People I don’t know see my tattoo. They ask questions like “do you knit?” or make statements like “my grandma used to knit.” But from time to time some I don’t recognize recognizes me as the owner of the YARN mart. In those instances I’ve gotten every thing from “Oh I loved that store” to “Do you think you will reopen?” to “I’m so mad that you closed.” My response to each is “Oh thank you… I did too” and “No” and “I’m sorry your feel that way.”
As we were closing last year, the number one question I got was “what are you going to do with all your free time?” And my answer was “clean my house and clean out closets.” Closing the store got my purging juices flowing and there was no stopping me. I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. And just like the title says, it has been life changing! At least for me!
I emptied closets that had been filled over ten years before when we moved in… I opened boxes. I walked down memory lane. I stared shocked at the huge tub of baby clothes we found in a corner of the attic. The baby just turned 10 and I thought those were long gone. I held the things in my hands and asked myself out loud if it sparked joy. I held books I’d never read. I sorted through clothes I’d never worn. I discovered bad decor ideas from my early twenties when decorating meant a bowl of wooden apples. With each item I asked my question. If the answer is NO, I donated it or trashed it. If the answer was YES… you get the idea.
This was super easy when it came to the mundane everyday items. Do I really need to keep that bent screwdriver? Do the five spring foam pans I received as wedding gifts bring me joy (even though I haven’t made a cheesecake and probably never will!)? Trash and donate, respectively.
But what about the knitting books and yarn that I have collected for years? I may never knit a single pattern from Tudor Roses by Alice Starmore but I own the book and it sparks great joy every time I see it on my knitting book shelf! I am not be a weave but I love my little 10″ Cricket loom and stand I bought at market.
What I’ve discovered in this process of cleaning out closets, drawers, cabinets and shelves is that knitting sparks joy for me! Many of you are probably thinking “well duh?!?!?” But when you chose to make your avocation your vocation, the joy can get lost in the mundane!
In the last year I’ve re-discovered the joy of knitting. But not just the physical act of knitting. I’ve re-discovered the yarn that sparked joy when I bought it and still sparks joy now that I’ve found it in my stash. I’ve re-discovered the joy of getting lost in Ravelry in search of the perfect pattern and accidentally discovering 12 other patterns that I MUST knit! I’ve re-discovered what I loved about knitting from the very beginning. I love the texture and the color and the act of creating. I love the challenge of a difficult pattern and the frustration of ripping out until I get it right. I love that I’m good at it and other people are mystified by it. I love knitting and yarn. And that’s my joy!
Knitting….and basically any handwork in general…sparks joy for me. So I cannot divest myself of: my yarn stash, my knitting books stash, my quilting stash, my quilting books stash, my heirloom sewing fabrics and laces and ribbons stash, and all those patterns……I just love to look at them and dream of what I can make. But then I think, my poor kids are going to have to deal with all my joy sparks after I’m gone!