I try not to make Resolutions. That kind of resolution–first of all, it begs for me to ignore it (read: Fail). Second, I rarely think about them in advance, so New Year’s Day comes away and I’ve made resolutions that were slapped down on the spur of the moment and almost immediately forgotten.
But this one is different. I’ve set myself the goal of only using washcloths this year.
Er. You may not understand what I mean, so I shall elaborate.
I use a scrubby thingy in the shower. You know what I mean–one of those plastic puffs of wadded up tulle? Well, I had been making dishcloths for the kitchen last year when a dear friend asked why I didn’t make myself washcloths. “Oh, that’s too frivolous,” I argued. “Dishcloths are practical and get used every day, but washcloths for myself? I’d never use them.”
Why not? Because I don’t tend to do that. I don’t make myself pretty things and use them. I make them to give away, and occasionally I make them for myself and put them in the closet. Or I make a hat. I love hats. I wear hats.
So this year, I gave in to the impulse–the truly selfish and least-useful knitting impulse–and I made two washcloths. I made them in Sugar ‘n Creme, just like the dishcloths, and I had to do something to discern them easily from said kitchenware, so I decided that they would be in a dedicated colorway and that I’d use foo foo lace patterns that I wouldn’t ordinarily use on the dishcloths, which are pretty much square. This feels like a rather foo foo type enterprise.
Then I used on on New Year’s Day. I threw out the puffy thing, and used a washcloth. On myself. (I know, it’s not national news but it felt, well, scandalous.) It was amazing! Instead of attacking myself with a plastic dealy, I was very aware that I was washing skin. Hand, meet leg. Cloth, soft. It was so weird.
See, the idea here is to bring home in a tactile way the using of things I make. I espouse a way of life that is described as “green” or “foody” or whathaveyou. Using local and sustainable fill-in-the-blank. It can become rather dry, rather neutral-colored, if you know what I mean. And yet it isn’t a philosophy, it’s a way to live my life. It’s not that I go out each day and choose to buy the organic whole-grain bread. It’s the only thing on my radar now. It would be like choosing a pair of shoes to wear for the day when you only have one. The choice is to wear or not to wear, eat or not to eat, not whether to wear this or that pair. So making an obvious and better choice (it was creeping me out, having that plastic doohickey just hanging out in the shower–yes, I washed it on occasion, but still…) for the thing that would become The One choice was huge for me. And when it was a choice that leads to greater respect for my body? (Seriously. The washcloth is so much gentler on my skin. It’s small, unlike the ones that come with towel sets, so insead of flopping all about it is usable and functional. The lacy stitches give it a nubby quality. I’m liking the washcloth.)
As experiments go, it’s pretty good. Although now I need more washcloths, because two (each through the wash a couple of times already) isn’t going to get me very far.