Shame? guilt?

Why should they be WIPs of shame? Who have I let down by the lack of completion? Only myself, in some way. They’re not promised to anyone else. Perhaps guilt would be more accurate than shame.

So what’s the difference between shame and guilt, I wonder.

[Getting out the big dictionary I come across “Sheep-biter 1. A dog that bites or worries sheep. Now rare. 2. fig. A shifty, sneaking or thievish fellow – 1778. 3. One who runs after “mutton”; a woman-hunter, whoremonger – 1719″. Awesome. The patriarchal wolves running in their usual packs.]

Shame: the painful emotion arising from the consciousness of something dishonouring, ridiculous or indecorous in one’s own conduct or circumstances (or in those of others whose honour or disgrace one regards as one’s own), or of being in a situation which offends one’s sense of modesty or decency.

&c &c &c.

Guilt: A failure of duty, delinquency; offence, crime…. The state of having wilfully committed crime or heinous moral offence; criminality, great culpability 1510.

Neither seems entirely appropriate. Ultimately I think the negative emotion engendered in my consciousness at the large number of unfinished projects hidden away in all sorts of nooks and crannies over numerous decades is caused by a consciousness of “waste”. The waste of expensive materials. Not the time – time taken knitting is time well spent, soothing the troubled breast. Because after all it is knitting that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care. Sleep just postpones the task to a later date.

However the term fixed on is “WIPs of shame” so remain it must.

The original intention was, of course, to finish one a month this year. January – excellent. February? March? absolutely nothing. April has something that’s snuck in by the skin of its lace.

Alice through the looking glace. This rather feeble pun depends on the Rowan yarn being pronounced to rhyme with (or perhaps be homophonous with) “glass”. And I’ve got no idea if that is the case. (Or cass.) And to confuse matters further it isn’t the yarn I used.

Whatever. It/she is now mostly complete and I’m officially designating April as a WIP-of-shame-guilt-free month rather than merely cruel. She’s been knitted, sewn up and washed with a smidge of bleach. The latter was necessary because the ancient balls of originally white cotton yarn had spent some years in a bin liner in the garden shed where the outer layers of each ball had picked up a fine coating of grime. Thus the first few inches knitted with each new ball showed as a dirty tide reminiscent of a young boy’s ill-washed neck.

All now is bright white. Reminding me irresistibly of cheap plastic stilettos and matching handbags. Also extremely difficult to keep clean in grubby London. I might wear her out and about once and then take the edge off the shiny dirt-magnetic quality by dipping her in a quick bath of tea.

But before any of that I might apply an edging of some sort (crochet?) to the back neck (which I forgot about) and some rather charming buttons (which have been garnered from the labels inside garments from White Stuff acquired in a moment of madness in a recent sale).

A picture may follow. Or it may not. Nothing in life is certain. Bar death and taxes.


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