An interesting thing happened yesterday at the Friends School Workshop.
We had a friendly little group of knitters sitting together in a circle of couches, and an 8-year-old boy joined us for a few hours in the morning. He was a fabulous knitter. He brought along two colorful knitted bags he had made (they weren't just ordinary bags--they had stripes of blended colors at the bottom, and a mesh pattern at the top, shaped into handles), and he brought along a pinwheel baby blanket he was making, as he explained, using the Magic Loop. (To those of you in Zimmermania--he was making the pi shawl with a yarnover increase on each round to create a spiral pattern.)
So we're all sitting there chatting aimlessly for about an hour, and suddenly, the kid pipes up. He says something like this:
"You know, my problem is that I have too many projects." We all look over at him.
He continues, the words pouring forth: " The thing is, I find a pattern I like, and I just have to make it. The only thing I want to do is go to the yarn store to get the yarn for it."
He has everyone looking at him, and I suspect that all our mouths were gaping.
"So I get the yarn, and I start the project.
"Then, I'm partway through that one, and I see another pattern, and then I don't want to make the first thing any more. I want the new pattern and the yarn. And then all my projects pile up, and I don't know what to do."
This child is apparently looking to us for advice, and we're unable to do anything but sit there, just staring at him in astonishment. Or perhaps he is just making a confession. We don't know anything other than that we have the same problem he does.
"It starts at age 8," one says quietly.
Another group member is curious: She asks the child how he stores his yarn.
"Oh, I put it in plastic bags. And then I put those bags into big plastic bins. I push the air out of the plastic bags to flatten them so I can fit more yarn into my bins."
Someone else says quietly, "This makes me feel better."
Then we all sit in silence for a moment, absorbing that this 8-year-old boy is an absolute mirror of every single one of us. We can't offer any honest help or any advice to him, and we all know it.
So we don't even try. Not one person sitting there can do a thing for that child.
Today I'm mulling over what we should have told him.
There are just two thoughts that keep coming to mind over and over:
1. I should have had some sort of advice for him but I still don't know what. He was talking to the wrong person.
2. Maybe it would work better to squeeze the air out of my plastic bags, so I can fit more yarn in.