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Jags

I first published this post in 2007, and one of my friends has reminded me of it incessantly ever since…every time I forget this about myself.  It goes along quite nicely with Refusing To Choose, no?  As I pack to leave Texas (yes, today!) I stare down at my beloved knitting bag, which has gotten maybe 20 minutes of use in the last six weeks.  Sigh.  I’m also reminded of how long food has been an ongoing jag for me – it never really goes completely out of circulation.

I just learned this word while reading a magazine article about a local foodie. A jag is apparently an obsession, or as dictionary.com put it, “a period of unrestrained indulgence in an activity; spree; binge.” This seems to describe me quite well – much to the chagrin of many of my loved ones. I get on jags, I collect them, I circulate my jags and give them time to breathe. Like shoes. If I stick with a jag too long, it loses some kind of magic for me, but coming upon a fresh jag (or better, coming back to a pleasurable old jag) keeps things lively.

So, my local-food jag isn’t necessarily gone, it’s just getting freshened. I’m proud of the local-foods movement for taking the prize as Oxford American Dictionary’sWord of the Year. I’m still keeping an eye on where my food comes from, and I’m pleasantly surprised to find that most of the food I buy is already local – as long as I shop at the co-op, the farmer’s market, and my CSA, it’s quite easy actually. Trips to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s or (eek!) Safeway throw the whole local-food thing out of whack – it’s nearly impossible to find things made locally and, even when I do, I know that it can’t truly count as local because even if the food was made by my next-door neighbor, it’s still traveled an average of 1500 miles to a distribution center in Austin or Monrovia or Salt Lake City before coming back to my neighborhood.

But back to my point about jags. Because folks, Mama’s got a brand new jag. And it’s an old one, one you might remember me blogging about this past spring. But I believe I have finally found my knitting legs, so to speak, after many attempts. I credit Debbie Stoller and her awesome book, Stitch’n Bitch, for me finally understanding how to tangle yarn artistically. And I thank Lisa and Martha for inspiring me.

Reconnecting with knitting has reconnected me with the deep feminine urge to create useful things, and to do it beautifully. And to do it for others. I can’t stop thinking of things I’d like to make for people close to me – right now I have no plans to keep any current projects for myself, and this is a really pleasurable departure from my usual narcissism. Thus, I have decided to make as many Christmas gifts as I can this year, given my schedule (in rehearsals for maybe the best play ever and preparing to go tropical for the holidays) and how quickly my fingers can work. There will be sewing, baking, slicing, dicing, and yes, knitting. None of it can be displayed here until after gifts have been given out (who wants to spoil the surprise?) but believe you me, my camera will be busy documenting the fun. Isn’t it lovely when a gift can bring pleasure to the gifterand the gifted?

What’s your latest jag?

{Top photo courtesy of EnglishPointers.  What does it have to do with jags?  Absolutely nothing.  I was browsing Flickr for a picture, and this one was just so beautiful I had to share it!}

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