It took me much of my adult life to discover my superpower.
I knew I had strengths—I’m good with my hands and am a stable genius (although, honestly, the bar for that seems to have gotten considerably lower recently!)
But my work as a weaver has taught me that I am . . .
A yarn whisperer.
I can untangle any knot and, more, I enjoy it! I relish a good snarl so I can show off my superior ability.
People bring their tangles to me. My husband, in particular, relies on me to unkink his embroidery thread and untangle his warp threads when weaving. I balk and roll my eyes, but I secretly enjoy every moment.
I read accounts of how other weavers grow so frustrated that they cut their tangled weaving off the loom and throw it away! That is unthinkable to me! The waste, both of materials and of a good chance to make things right? That’s a job for the yarn whisperer!
In many ways, I should’ve recognized my superpower sooner–it’s an extension of so many other parts of me.
I have always hated loose ends and chaos. Remember those really fine necklace chains that could get all knotted. I would spend hours on those.
Those piles of vintage linens I iron into submission? Just more evidence of my need to bring order to chaos.
I read murder mysteries and cheer on the protagonists as they untangle the knotty crimes. In the books I like to read, all’s well because it ends well . . . and tidy.
When we had a sailboat, I was fascinated by marlinspike seamanship—the making of nautical knots . . . but I wasn’t very good at it. I like untying knots better than tying them.
From all my years doing embroidery and quilting, I knew I was good at untangling. It’s only with my experience in weaving, though, that my true dominance has emerged.
With much other crafting, only one or two threads are in use at any given moment—they can tangle but not enough to test the mettle of a true artist of untangling. In weaving, we deal with hundreds of threads at a time—floppy, unruly threads that are just itching to become a tangled mess!
I have to admit, my strength grows from weakness. T.H. White, in his book, The Once and Future King, told us that Sir Lancelot was known for his extreme kindness. He also explains that that kindness grew because Lancelot knew, in his heart, that he had a propensity for great cruelty. He had to be unremittingly kind to overcome his weakness.
My superpower grows out of my weakness. I can be impatient, I rush, I take shortcuts. I’m lazy and leave yarn out where cats can find it and have their way with it . . .
I end up with warps that are made up of 400 threads, hastily wound, and full of tangles. I end up with skeins and cones of yarn that are mangled and jumbled and muddled . . . the fault lies in myself.
But faced with these messes, the other Me kicks in! The fumbling, rushing Clark Kent steps into a phone booth and out bounds the superwoman, the Yarn Whisperer! I am patient. I go slow. I do whatever needs to be done, even if it means shutting the cats out of the room and sweet talking that yarn.
And, eventually, it all lines up, gets sorted, falls into place. It’s so satisfying to use one’s power for good.
What’s that you say?
Well, yes, it might be smarter and easier to avoid the tangles from the start . . . but where’s the fun in that??
A fish gotta swim, a bird gotta fly . . . and I gotta untangle.
I’ve got to whisper to that yarn . . .
And, how about you? What’s your superpower?