rag dolls and woollies

rag dolls and woollies

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Inner Piggy

There can be a lot of fads in psychology and many of them are "popular" fads. Maybe you're old enough to remember Games People Play, which came out in 1964 and was a big hit. Or how about I'm OK, You're OK?  That one hit the New York Times best seller list in '72 and stayed there for two years. Many people found they could identify with the 12 step program of AA and soon we understood ourselves to be addicted to all sorts of things -- sex, food, each other.

Even in theoretical -- serious -- academic psychology, there have been "fads." Lobotomies were popular in the 1940s and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was a sort of expose about that. There was a time when psychologists chocked an awful lot of problems up to having a "dominant mother and a passive father." Fortunately we seem to be over that one.

We knitting and fiber people -- and you all know who you are -- have long admitted our problems. I'd say we've been in the vanguard of honesty when it comes to ourselves, don't you agree? We've all known about fiberholics and yarnaholics for ages. We talk openly and freely about our addiction to fiber and how we just can't control the urge for yarn.

All this has been out of the closet for years.

But who has been truly willing to name and confront their "inner piggy"?  That grabbing, grasping, insatiable little core of nasty naked greed? The plotting and scheming. The selfish urges. Yes even embezzling money from the food budget! or thinking of doing it! to buy more yarn, more fleece, more roving. More! More! More!

Do you surf the net late at night? Read knitting books in the bathroom? How about daydream about the latest Noro or sari silk while you're driving? Do you use that credit card when you know you shouldn't?? And accidently on purpose forget to remember to mention it to your husband? If a friend asks if you have any extra yarn of a certain color, have you ever lied about it? Did you really donate freely to that kindergarten project??

This is the inner piggy. And I'll be the first to admit it, ok? I'm not blaming anybody else or trying to pass the buck. I saw a merino silk blend on Wingham Wool Works' site (they're in Yorkshire, England) and with trembling hands, reached for the credit card. Cotton Clouds have some lovely warp yarn cones on sale....but I resisted. I stuck to the budget at Camilla Valley Farm (outside Toronto) -- but even after buying 15 pounds of yarn, I woke in the middle of the night wishing I'd just slipped in another copy of the weaving magazine they had. After all, who would have noticed? My husband is just flat befuddled by my stash (muah ha ha ha).

But come on now.  After buying 15 pounds of yarn, it was just flat ungrateful to want weaving magazines too. But that is the inner piggy at work.  Unconscious, but ever lurking, wanting more and more and more and more!

In our family we try to have an accepting attitude about these things. We remind each other that "pig happens," so try not to feel too bad about it. But be honest. Don't just go around thinking your inner piggy is completely innocent --
When I try to deny her true nature, she (quite naturally) gets irritable, angry and more greedy. Suddenly I wake up to find I've gone into another one of those fugue states and -- as if in a dream -- filled my "cart" online and pushed "pay now."

And after I've made that purchase, I'll try to convince myself it won't happen again; that she's happy now and will remain that way....
But I know it's a lie. She'll start wheedling me, wanting more. Looking out for Numero Uno.

So try to journal about this. See if you can identify the piggy early in the game; before she's become angry at being suppressed. Work with her, try to incorporate her into your life more. I truly believe you'll find she can be a good, thoughtful and friendly part of your personality.
And much less expensive.


  1. Go ahead and say it out loud: "I am powerless over fiber"

  2. But you can find other ways for your inner piggy - like spinning roving for a friend and taking the price out in roving for yourself - that leaves two inner piggies very happy! Great blog!

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  4. My desire to knit waxes and wanes but my desire to buy new yarn never wavers!

  5. I have seen bumper stickers, while attending various fiber conferences, saying either: she who dies with the most yarn wins, or she who dies with the most fabric wins. The flip side of that is the challenge for the survivors of disposing of our beloved stashes after our demise. Some of us engage in multiple forms of fiber hoarding, so the quantities can be imposing.