Project 52, Week 9 — A Yarn About Yarn

I started crocheting 42 years ago at age 16, and finally learned to knit 7 years ago in early 2005 (though I wouldn’t call myself a knitter for a few more years). I learned to crochet because it was an inexpensive way to make Christmas presents for family and friends, and I continued crocheting items through my late 20s. I stopped crocheting when I became involved in other things for several years and a few unfinished projects just sat in a bag on a closet shelf, but in 2000 I picked it up again. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed the feel of the yarn as it slid through my fingers, the peacefulness that descends when doing a pleasant repetitive activity, the feeling of accomplishment as I tackled new techniques and gained even more skill.

In 2004 I had started designing rugs and then patterns for rugs and then patterns for apparel and accessories. I sold my own patterns on my business web site, but I also designed patterns for Caron International and Tahki Stacy Charles. It was rewarding being paid to do something I enjoyed, but one of the best perks was having the opportunity to work with yarns I never could have afforded on my own. Sometimes these yarns were in preparation for an upcoming project, but sometimes I received samples of new yarns just to try and see what I could come up with.

When I stopped designing, because I’d hit a creative “wall” and my day job was taking more of my time, of course the yarns stopped coming. The $20 skeins I’d enjoyed working with disappeared, and I began searching for yarn bargains again. And the economy yarns were getting better, with improved fibers and blends that expanded one’s range of creativity. Satisfying knitting and crocheting could be had at a good price!

When I moved to Oregon I let my stash of yarn dwindle down, and I brought with me only the cotton yarn I had left. I was tiring of it, but felt I should use it up. I did buy a little Caron Simply Soft last year, but that was it. Besides, I was too busy writing to do much needlework.

Lately, however, I’ve started slowly building my yarn stash again, thanks to the recent deep discounts and free shipping offers (with no minimum purchase!) from JoAnn.com. And I’ve been alternately crocheting and knitting. I’m also trying out some yarns I haven’t used before and have been pleased. I recently mentioned the Red Heart Soft yarn I used; here are some things I’ve been working on lately:

My daughter wanted a warm scarf and hat in grey to go with her black coat, so I whipped this up for her in Simply Soft Grey Heather. It’s a ridged string stitch and that ubiquitous 1-hour hat again:

There was enough left over from these 2 skeins to knit a ribbed hat as well, so that’s in the works:

I bought a skein of Caron Spa yarn in Stormy Blue (which actually does look stormier in person); this is a bamboo/acrylic blend with a very smooth, soft hand, really nice to work with, and I’ll be using it again. I crocheted a 7-foot lightweight skinny scarf:

I had never tried Deborah Norville’s yarn line, and I bought a skein of Serenity Garden yarn in Grass and decided to stretch this skein by knitting a drop-stitch scarf:

I have a few other random skeins to try:  Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice in Dusty Purple, Bernat Satin in Denim Mist Heather, and Deborah Norville Everyday Soft Worsted in Vineyard:

I don’t think I’d ever want to design again (though I hope to work in a yarn shop eventually and perhaps teach there as well), but it’s nice to be knitting and crocheting again.

Just wanted to share this on this quiet Sunday…

 

2 thoughts on “Project 52, Week 9 — A Yarn About Yarn

  1. What lovely projects! I think yarn is fascinating–the colors, the textures, the possibilities. At the store, I have to touch as many as I can. Same thing at fabric stores…how can you really know a yarn, or thread, or fabric unless you feel it?

    I hope you can get at least a part-time job at a yarn store–that would be so fun!

    My crocheting projects start and stop. I was working on a throw, which I really should try to finish before summer comes and I can’t stand the thought of blankets!

  2. Thanks! Yes, I love yarn just for its own sake, and I always have to “pet” them. I agree regarding touching the yarn; I touch them when I go to the store and then wait for a sale or buy online. I have one yarn ordered that I haven’t seen in any store as it’s online only, so I looked at as many reviews as I could, even though it’s inexpensive, hoping I’ll like the color in person.

    There are, I think, 23 yarn stores in our greater PDX area; because of circumstances I need to continue my current job, but yes, I do plan to earnestly seek out a part-time yarn store job when I retire.

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