Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Time, talent, treasure

Time, talent, and treasure: your hours, your skills, and your financial resources. I hadn't heard this phrase, but a minister I know once rolled it off his tongue like it was common knowledge. Apparently it's a formula for members' participation in a religious or other organization. You might be asked to give any one of those things to that institution. Your time on a committee, your skills as a leader, organizer, singer, or your financial pennies, however (in)substantial they may be.

As a graduate student, I think a lot about the pennies. Especially when it comes to yarn. Yarn forms the bare bones, the basic materials, without which a knitter's time and talent would be without purpose. Before the yarn swap last week, I had only a few paris' worth of sock yarn, and after, I gained this - fun colors, ones I might not have picked out in the store, but ones that will, no doubt, be fun to knit with.

Magic Stripes.JPG

Then there's the yarn that requires a real expenditure of treasure. Last week, I heard that Knit Happens was having a big sale online, including some hand-painted yarns, so I splurged and jumped at the chance to get something I normally wouldn't, and ended up with this beautiful skein:

Fleece Artist skein

That's Fleece Artist sock yarn in the Autumn colorway. Just the thing as September approaches, I thought. Putting my feet in socks made from that yarn will be like walking through a path covered by autumn leaves. It arrived on my doorstep yesterday and I've already rolled it into two equal balls with the help of a kitchen scale.

Fleece Artist -

Even if I had the treasure to expand my stash, would I really do it? I wouldn't have the time to justify it, would I? Time spent knitting sparkles. Lack of time keeps the lack of treasure in check.

Talent does its share as well. I enjoy knitting and have become relatively good at it (not great, of course, but that's OK). I like the movement of my fingers. I like the feel of the yarn, the colors, the finished garment, the enjoyment that I or someone else might get out of wearing it. I have fun, and that, as Coffeeboy reminds me when I drop a stitch, is all that really matters.

Where is the balance in knitting one's time, talent, and treasure? For me, I think the emphasis comes down to talent, to what's become a love of knitting. I make time for it; I set aside treasure for it. And overall, I'm the happier for it. Now to give my time to learning toe-up socks,* my treasure to this gorgeous skein, and my talent to what I hope will be an enjoyable learning experience!

*There's so much lore out there about toe-up socks and how to start them that I'm feeling a bit intimidated. Any favorite methods?


Danielle said...

Even if I had the treasure to expand my stash, would I really do it? I wouldn't have the time to justify it, would I? Time spent knitting sparkles. Lack of time keeps the lack of treasure in check.

I'm with you. I read about people having major stashes, and... I mean, they sound gorgeous, but I don't knit enough (or perhaps accomplish enough knitting!) to even want to buy yarn I can't use. It makes me feel guilty and, worse, pressed for time.

Stariel said...

I really like the "magic cast on" from knitty here. Then just do increases until your desired number of stitches.

Kodachrome Knits said...

I agree with you and Danielle re: the yarn stash. I try to keep mine at a minimum, and when I do, it is usually because it is on for a really good price (like you did, for instance, at KnitHappens this past week). Of course, there is nothing wrong with a bit of spoiling from time to time, but there also seems to be quite a bit of "excess consumption" going on that makes me wonder a bit about our consumer habits as North Americans.

And I also agree with "stariel." I just started my first toe-up sock. I'm using the Turkish Cast-on and the Magic Loop to get started, and I am also basing my toe-up knee highs on Streets-and-Yos striped knee highs. The links to these methods and other sites are on my blog, under the 17-August-2006 post (where you commented!).

Lastly, thanks for your recent kind words on my Friday Harbor (aka "Riverwalk Socks"). I appreciate you stopping by to say hello!

keri said...

I love the fleece artist sock yarn.

You can tell from my smallish size stash that i keep it to a minimum. I was thinking about it this morning wondering why it is. I think it's because I have a hard time buying a lot of yarn at once...I prefer to buy a skein here and there of something truly lovely that i enjoy knitting up. I think we need to have a minimalistic small stash movement, there are a lot more of us out there than we realize.

poipill said...

turkish cast on. love it so much I've never felt the need to try anything else.

You have to use a circular needle and you hold the two ends together one needle on top of the other. Put a slip stitch on the bottom needle and wrap the yarn up over the top needle and around both half as many times as the number of stitches you want to start with. Then you pull the bottom needle out so the bottom loops are on the cord and start knitting.

trek said...

I have a pair of Jaywalkers I knit in Magic Stripes Denim and they are wearing quite well and are comfortable, too.