One of the women at our knitting guild told me this yesterday. I had just put out some donated books for people to look at. She was discontentedly flipping through one of them.
"What are you knitting at the moment?" I asked her.
"Oh just something plain. I can't be bothered with all this sort of stuff."
The pattern she indicated is not complex. It has a simple stitch pattern but it looks quite smart. I suspect "can't be bothered" might be the clue.
She put the book down and wandered off.
Sitting opposite me was the woman who acts as treasurer on the rare occasions the official treasurer is not there. She was taking the money for the items on sale. She has been President in the past. She is still President of her aged care facility's social committee. Twice a week she teaches knitting to women who need support and once a week she runs a more formal class at a local shop which sells some knitting materials. She also happens to have diabetes, heart disease, fibromyalgia and bladder cancer. At the present time she is working on a very complex "kilim" rug pattern. She smiled at me and said softly, "I'd be bored too if I wasn't doing anything."
I have to agree. One of my frustrations with life is that there will not be enough time to do all the things I want to do.
There are other women who attend the guild who have the same attitude as the first woman. They knit strictly to patterns, plain patterns. Sometimes the excuse is "if I make anything fancy nobody will wear it". I know that can be true and it can be a problem but does that also mean you cannot try knitting a sock from the toe up instead of the top down or a cardigan from the top down instead of the bottom up? Does it mean that you cannot, once in a while, try something new?
The donated books came from a much younger woman who died suddenly. Her family thought the knitting guild might benefit. There were useful books we did not have in the library. I have put them to one side to process later. There were books we did have that we will raffle off for funds for other new books as they come out. We have now sold the other books but, although they were quite eagerly bought, I wonder whether they will really be used.
I rather think most people will look at the patterns. They will think, "That's nice." They may even think, "I'll make that one day." They will almost certainly never do it.
It is easier to return to the things we know and feel safe with. It also, well - boring.