Thursday, January 12, 2006

Yarn Victim

I am a victim of yarn.

I decided that since this is the victim culture, I should just jump on the bandwagon and announce my victimhood. It is yarn. It is out to get me.

Yarn has been pursuing me all my life. Like many other victims, I was introduced to this habit by an enabler who is usually a victim herself. We can save a lot of time by just calling my enabler MOM.

Yes, my mom got me hooked on yarn. She's a knitter herself and sometime crocheter (but only popcorn stitch rugs) and she believed in getting us hooked early. Mom gave me a kit for Christmas one year that had a skein of ponytail weight yarn with some wooden needles, plus a picture of a chicken to be done in cross stitch. I remember it well...the yarn was bright pink and I knitted a garter stitch doll blanket. I loved it. I did the chicken picture as well, but it didn't have the staying power or the impact that making that doll blanket did.

I continued to play with yarn as I grew older. Mostly, this was through the medium of crochet, though I also pecked at knitting every now and then. Most of those projects were baby clothes for siblings that couldn't seem to stop popping out progeny. I made yarn daisies with a gizmo my grandmother had in her own craft stash. I had a huge (at least it seemed so at the time) crochet ripple afghan that I dragged about in junior high...beautiful (yes I'm being sarcastic) sayelle yarn from Zayre's in the stunning color combination of turquoise, royal blue, harvest gold, and black. I never did finish it, I think my sister ended up finishing it and keeping it. She was welcome to it!
The knitting projects were far less successful, I will say. A pair of white worsted acrylic garter stitch gloves knit flat and then seamed together(!!!). Little pouches. And a sweater that suffered from twisted purl disease from which it never recovered. Things started and never finished.

Although in college, I managed to focus on counted cross-stitch as my main obsession, yarn never fully let me go. I took a fiber arts class in college and was introduced to weaving. I loved weaving and bought myself a rigid heddle loom that I produced even more botched projects on than I had managed to knit. I also tried knitting again. A pair of mittens so large they fell of my hands when I walked. A sweater for my DH that he would never have worn if I had finished it...and I didn't finish it. After all of this discouragement, I let the loom and needles sit idle for about 5 years. I thought I had managed to kick the yarn habit for good. But nemesis with fuzzy waving tendrils was lying in wait...

Then we bought our house in 1990 and after moving the loom to this house, I thought it might be a good idea to do a project that someone had commissioned from me; they'd bought the yarn for a runner and I had never made it. I figured I could make the runner and then I could sell the loom. Well....

The loom didn't get sold; instead I was catapulted back into the yarn habit. Sunk into my victimhood yet again, I bought a new bigger loom, which led to a spinning wheel. The spinning wheel deepened my yarn addiction; I now was spinning more yarn than I would ever weave. So naturally, I decided I had to relearn knitting. That was it. Yarn had won. My victimhood was complete.

Someday they will find me down in the stash corner of our basement. Maybe I'll be buried in Rubbermaid Roughtotes, which will topple over in an avalanche of plastic cocooned yarn and roving. Or I will be buried head first in a Roughtote, smothered by yarn while digging for an elusive skein at the bottom. But remember this: I will have died happy, surrounded by the substance which makes life bearable.


I didn't post yesterday for three reasons:

a) I wanted to finish the front of the colorblocks sweater that I had posted before and I did! The sleeves were cast on last night...I'm doing them both at the same time so I will make the same mistakes in the same places and they will be exactly alike!

b) I actually thought I should do some housework before the Board of Health condemned my kitchen as a slime pit.

c) I wanted to figure out how to put my poetry up here. I managed to do it! Look over to your left and you will see a link that says "My knitting poetry". I have managed to find almost all my poems, including a couple I had totally forgotten that I'd written! One more remains; it was published in the subscriber newsletter for Interweave Knits and is buried in a box in the basement; but I will be getting to it soon and will post it. My poetry isn't high art; it rhymes, for one thing, but I find it fun to write and hope you enjoy reading it. I also have a couple of dishcloth patterns that I unvented, so I will be making a pattern blog and linking that as well; hopefully by next week.

You will also see a new button that says "Knitting Poet". If you are a knitting poet as well, feel free to copy my button for your own blog. I made it's not the snazziest button, but I will improve it one of these days!

In other news, I went to my knitting class at Old Village Yarn on Tuesday night and had a great time! I was going to take a picture, but felt a little too shy to ask this time; maybe next week. I will also report that I was very good at resisting all of the drug-soaked yarn in the shop; I only bought a magazine and one more skein of yellow Encore for the Squatter's sweater. I looked at a lot of stuff, but knowledge of just how much yarn is in the stash right now (as well as how little money is in the checking account) kept me on the straight and narrow. I feel darned smug today. The sun is shining and my stash is replete. What could be better?

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