I've had an epiphany.
I don't have many.
A peek into my epiphanies could be disturbing, given that an epiphany is supposed to represent some kind of higher order thinking that suddenly occurs to you. What's scary is what constitutes higher order. When you're starting with a low baseline, there's a lot of room for pretty dumb epiphanies.
For example, when I started dyeing, I had one pitcher for mixing colors. I mixed up the green, put it on the yarn, then dumped out whatever was left of the green, and mixed up the pink, put it on the yarn, went back to the sink and mixed up the brown. Repeat until you cry or fall asleep, whichever comes first. It never occurred to me that I might want multiple pitchers.
Until one day when that yard-sale, 1970s amber glass pitcher broke, and I cried. Scouring ebay for an exact replacement, it occurred to me that I could get a lot of pitchers and mix up a WHOLE BUNCH OF COLORS AT ONE TIME.
Deep stuff there, Yarnista.
Here's my latest epiphany, humble though it may be.
I have multiple hard drives -- and a cloud drive -- chock full of pictures. The pictures live in a virtual world. A few I post here. A few I post on my website. A few I have printed and give to someone. 99.5% of them are looked at periodically and never leave my computer.
I realized that this system is shortchanging my children. My kids don't have access to my cloud drive. Yes, I can show them some pictures, but they will probably never see them again after that initial glimpse. And children love to look at pictures of themselves and of their family. I looked at our family photo albums hundreds of times growing up, and I loved seeing the scrapbooks that my mother kept during her teen years.
My sisters and I would would scootch together on the couch so we could all see at the same time and exclaim over how long our mom's hair was in 1973, or how she was always at the bottom of the cheerleading pyramid. We pored over her yearbooks, and counted the number of pictures she was in.
My kids don't have that. They don't have the tangible reminders of Christmas at age four, or of their sixth birthday, which they insisted have a spaghetti theme, because spaghetti is the best food ever.
Why? Part of it is the changed nature of photography, yes. We no longer have to pay to develop an entire roll of film, and can select the most perfect digital images before forking over the cash. Part of it is me, my own perfectionism. Why should I pay to print a so-so snapshot, when I know I can take better pictures?
Because they are my children's memories, that's why. This picture is of the six year old who just ate the pumpkin cupcakes she requested at her spaghetti party, and was thrilled to find a new bike as her gift. She zoomed up and down the alley behind our house on that July evening.
But she's never seen this picture, because it's just a snapshot, nothing special. It's got motion blur. It's got the neighbor's recycling bin. Not worth paying money to print.
Except. Except someday she will want to remember zooming up and down the alley, she'll wish she had a picture of herself on her white bike at age six. Someday when I'm gone, my children will want pictures of me, even silly ones where I'm holding a skein of yarn and making a dumb face. They'll want to see what I did for a living, and want to know why I'm wearing a lanyard and am surrounded by piles of yarn.
The six year old will want a far away picture of her ballet recital.
They'll want to know what Easter was like in Northern Minnesota (Brown, apparently. But with colorful eggs).
So I'm going to have these snapshots printed and put them into albums so my children can sit close to each other and remember. Even if the pictures are mediocre, the memories aren't.
I'm not going to spend time editing all the pictures, I'm not going to Photoshop out the stray hairs and color correct and sharpen and crop them. There are too many images, and I would soon spiral down into the place I just emerged from -- that place of perfectionism that keeps me from doing something if I can't do it really, really well.
I will choose which pictures to print -- quickly. If there are multiples of the same shot, I'll pick one. If it's a well and truly useless closeup of a dog's tongue, I'm not going to pay to have it printed and shipped. But starting now, I'm going to stop holding my children's memories hostage on my hard drive and put them on paper, where they can be enjoyed.
And this goes for everyone, regardless of whether you have no children or nineteen children: someday people are going to wish they had more pictures of you. Let someone take a picture of you once in a while. When you're gone, no one is going to care about your dirty hair or your double chin, they'll just see you at a holiday table, and wish they could be with you again.
So there's my epiphany. Worth what you paid for it.
And now on to what you're really here for: the next sneak peek of our new colorway collection. The studio is filling up with boxes, ready to ship to retailers at the appointed time. The drying lines are heavy laden, as are the packing areas, as we twist, label, and sort thousands of skeins of these beauties.
Sneak peek #4 is of Cottage Garden. It can speak for itself.
Fall Premiere Weekend is coming in September -- only a few more weeks until you'll be able to see all 34 new colorways.
Oh, and Baby Shamrock says hello. She is growing every day and is just generally beautiful and highly intelligent, even at five weeks old.