Long ago (mid-late 90s) I gave a dinner party for all six of my friends. One was vegan, and as I was setting out appetizers or something like that I mentioned that I’d checked a lot of labels to find crackers that were vegan. She laughed and was appreciative, but surprised and a bit apologetic that I’d gone to the trouble. Another friend of mine said, “Robin is a problem-solver. Of course she’d look for food that would work for you.” I had never thought of it like that, but it’s true.
This story came to mind when I was looking through a box of yarns that are mostly 10-15 years old and wondering why I had so many of a similar color, which, while nice, isn’t really a favorite color. And I remembered that I have a nice jacket that my mom made that I really like, and when I started knitting in 1998 or so I wanted to make myself a hat (beret) that matched it. (I had already made coordinating beaded earrings that match it really well, that being my primary craft prior to taking up knitting.) She’d made the jacket from, among other things, some Italian yarn she’d knitted into a fabric and then cut, and coordinating colors of woven wool fabric. The yarn was black and grey mohair with dark magenta accents, and the jacket has a dramatic V of magenta fabric edged with the knit and then the charcoal grey forms the body of the jacket.
I had a bit of the yarn left over at one point in my life, which may not have ever overlapped with my knitting life. (I still hope to find it again someday, but it’s been 20 years.) Greys were not difficult to find. But I have SO MUCH magenta yarn that’s almost but not quite right. I think I last purchased some around 2012. No, the hat has never been made, and I haven’t worn the jacket in a while (though of course I still have it.)
This is less problem-solving and more of a quest. And even when I’ve decided that I probably won’t make the hat it’s still sometimes hard to not get yarn that might work just in case. It’s not the project that I kept buying yarn/fiber for even after mentally conceding that I won’t do it any time soon. (Another one was to make a cabled hat to match this shirt I bought my husband back in 2001, so he could wear his favorite shirt and the hat and match his Mii. Would he actually do this? No. Yet, I have actually hand-blended fiber on my drum carder to spin yarn to match the shirt, which is cross-woven red and blue so it’s pretty much impossible to match.) The quest never ends.
It was when I got to this point in my thinking about the yarn that I realized: I’m a NPC in my own life. The story around me changes and I still have a (side)quest that will never end, walking in place in my house.
(That ending really calls for a wry screenshot from a game, but I don’t have one. So here’s a cat photo. Feel free to count them.)