women of a certain age are like sunflowers; they know how to turn their faces to the sun.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Living Large

"Want is a growing giant whom the coat of Have was never large enough to cover."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

This quote reminds me of a question I asked my friend Greg a few weeks ago, when I met him for lunch.

Right now, our economy is tanking because people are buying only what they need, rather than what they want.

Speaking as one who struggles daily with this issue, I find this behavior in general to be a good thing.

But my question is this:

What do we do if simply supplying our needs isn't enough to keep us fully employed?

Our economy is based upon the centralization of production. One company produces cars that many will buy. One farmer grows food that many will eat. By producing things in bulk, we have been able to streamline production and increase efficiency.

So what do we do, now that we are aces at producing more than we need?

Do we go back to being an agrarian society, with each of us living off the land and taking care of our own?

Do we give the surplus to those who need it, rather than those who want it?

Or do we ramp up our advertising efforts in an increasingly urgent plea to consumers?

Is the current focus on paring back our standard of living a temporary necessity? Or a cosmic shift in our awareness?

Could this "bad" economy actually be good for us?

The older I get, the more I read, the deeper I think; the more I come to realize that truth is never drawn as a straight line in the sand. It is more like a meandering stream, with unseen twists and turns, unplumbed depths and shallows.

Truth can be a mutable thing, shaped by the consciences of a people. Black and white fades into infinite shades of gray.

We are, communally, paying the cost of living large, and I am as guilty as any.

This economy needs us to consume. It feeds on our avarice, our desire, our want...

Which leads me round to my initial question: What if the satisfaction of wants is the key to economic prosperity? What if fulfilling need is not enough?

I have no answers. I merely pose the questions...

Speaking of large, I do have two current projects that use worsted weight yarn.


I definitely have a predisposition to finer gauge fibers, but the color saturation of these two yarns demanded to be served.

This is Catch a Wave, a cozy wrap in luscious blues, ranging from indigo, through cerulean and violet, to turquoise, aquamarine, and all the colors in between

. The yarn is Terra by the Fibre Co., a slightly rustic blend of alpaca, wool, and silk. The color is Dark Indigo and the saturation is phenomenal. I have had this yarn sitting in my stash for a couple years, but have not found the right pattern until now.

With so many blues, it had to be something watery. I tried cascading patterns, trickle type patterns with wiggles, before finally settling on this wavy pattern.

The angles are somewhat reminiscent of Cookie A.'s famous monkey sock pattern, and the yarn carried across the front look like ripples or maybe even schools of fish. Done up on size 9 needles, this is one aperitif that should grow quickly.

This , on the other hand, is a new infatuation. This is Sprout, a wooly scarf with verdant hue and sprouting leaves that reminds me of the eventual return of spring. Just the thing for when those March winds blow and we think more halcyon days will never come...

The yarn is Organik, also by the Fibre Co, in Jungle, another blend like Terra, but this time, organically produced and processed. And yes, the color really is that green.

There is something therapeutic about working with such vibrant color in the depth of winter.

A reminder perhaps, that while our days may seem dim at present, new growth and cleansing waters lie ahead...


Sarah said...

Very interesting post. I've been reading your blog for a little while, but I have never commented before. My husband and I have also been pondering where we are headed and thinking about returning to a more self-sustaining lifestyle which has caused us to reevaluate what the whole point is of this thing called life. It's neat to "hear" what others are musing about similar topics.

knitterbeader said...

Looking forward to your "Sprout" pattern. It's looking beautiful, both in stitch and color.

Anonymous said...

Is "Sprout" your own patterns that's in the making? I love it and would love to make one for myself. Please let us know when it will be published or if it's not your's where I can find the pattern.
Love the green and the pattern together. Great job!

GoldenTracks said...

Your post is quite thought provoking and interesting.
I love the saturation of both the blue and the green yarn. Looking forward to Sprout being published.

fleegle said...

Sprout springs symmetrically around a shower of flowers. I love it!

joan said...

Oh yes I love the blues and can hardly wait for the pattern. You are helping me to use up my stash and make order from chaos.

madonnaearth said...

What an apt quote you have used! "Want vs. Need" describes me perfectly.

My current crush involves not using a credit card to buy every single pattern of yours with a credit card, versus actually waiting until the money is in my bank account.

Just when I think you couldn't possibly top the floral items, you come out with the sweetheart patterns. And just when I think nothing could be more gorgeous than the flowers scarf, I see sprout. I love them all, but those are my new absolute favorites.

I did order the flower series of shawls and I am definitely saving up for the rest. Thank you for putting that gorgeousness out there.

Ruth said...

I loved reading your post. Very thought-provoking.

A conundrum of the economic situation is that we need to buy more. Well, what if we don't have the money to buy more or don't need to buy more? What to do? How much more stuff do we need? And yet, if we don't bur more stuff, the economy suffers. This is a huge shakeup of our values and economic ideas and where it will go, is anybody's guess.

Anonymous said...

Both beautiful as usual... hope the patterns will be for sale soon :-)

Anonymous said...

Love your work........I would like to contact you, but don't see where......
Could you contact me at -

Thank you so much Dianne

La Cabeza Grande said...

Sprout speaks to me, oh yes it does!