Yarn Lust and Fashion Sense

June 10th, 2006 | View Comments

Yarn is like crack. The presence of a gorgeous yarn, heck even the virtual presence of a gorgeous yarn, is sufficient to make a yarn addict shake and sweat.

My name is Yvonne, and I think I may have a problem. I think as far as knitters go, I am fairly restrained about yarn purchases. I am a few-project knitter (UFOs cry and yell at me to finish them, and if I had more than a few at a time, I would never be able to live with all the racket) and I do not buy yarn that is not earmarked for something specific.

But slowly, the stash monster has been creeping up on me, a growing spectre of woolly goodness that I imagine will some day emerge from the corner, fully conscious, and smother me in my sleep. It began with yarn leftovers, half-skeins of Plymouth Encore, tattered remainders of the dreaded Microspun.

Then came a few unfortunate internet purchases, during which my monitor deceived me quite thoroughly. The blue? Not vibrant, but dusty. The orange? Not orange at all, but a goldenrod yellow. Then my grandmother sent me ten skeins of an unidentifable pink acrylic with yellowed ball bands in Japanese. I think the yarn is quite possibly as old as I am.

And now I have a giant laundry basket full of yarn that spills over into a stack of shoe boxes on the side. About half of that is yarn for the neverending Ombre Blanket that is my knitting penance. The rest of it is, unmistakeably, stash.

Stash, too, cries and yells at me. It cries of money wasted, of opportunities taken from other yarn that might have grown up to be something magnificent. Stash makes me feel like a bad parent. I tried to mentally de-stash a bit by assigning projects to be foster parents to the orphaned yarn.

The unidentifiable pink acrylic is destined to be a sweater (or two) for Fred‘s new owner. The goldenrod yellow wool is destined for charity knitting, as are the many many balls of variegated handpainted bulky wool that don’t quite add up to a felted bag, or at least not one that doesn’t clash with itself. Not to mention that I am no longer fond of variegated yarns.

This made me feel slightly better. I vowed to not buy any more yarn until the end of summer, after I had finished using up some of the stash yarn. And then the world conspired against me.

The yarn shop where I learned to knit is closing this month, and is therefore having progressively larger sales. So far I have managed to restrict myself to buying sock yarn, but when the discounts hit 50% off next week, I don’t know if I’ll be able to stop myself from diving for whatever skeins of Manos del Uruguay are still on the walls, never mind the thousand yards or so of abandoned bulky wool that are keeping my stuffed pandas company.

And now, having fully been drawn into the Lace Knitting Dark Side, I am lusting after giant cones of Zephyr, loved and recommended by lace knitters everywhere. Or at least those on Knitter’s Review.

I came very, very close to splurging on a ton of laceweight last night, and only stopped myself at the very last second. The credit card had come out, all the info had been entered, and all I needed to do was click confirm.

Instead, with the greatest of effort, I managed to press cancel. The yarn in the stash basket cheered. It’s cramped enough as it is in there, and no one wants more roommates.

Speaking of lace knitting, it is funny how knitting has completely and utterly changed my view of clothing and fashion.

Sweaters, which I used to hate for being frumpy and itchy, are now garments that I horde. Lace, formerly the domain of grandmas and great grandmas, are now items of breathtaking beauty. I find myself captivated by elaborately cabled tops, wishing for delicate wraps, and understanding why anybody would think wearing a shrug is a good idea.

This from the girl whose preferred college attire consisted of a baggy sweatshirt hoodie and a T-shirt that I most likely got free at some event.

Knitting does amazing things, doesn’t it?


Project Update:

Print o’ the Wave Stole now has 15.5 repeats and is looking fantastic. I am definitely knitting one for myself after this one is safely off to the friend.

I am currently working the heel flap on the Straight-Laced Socks. It’s probably good that I’m learning to make my own socks because I apparently have freakishly proportioned feet. No wonder storebought socks never fit me right and shoe salespeople run away when they see me.

Quinn #2 is currently tabled, but will get some action next week when I need to take a conference trip. It’s small and non-fiddly enough for car knitting, but there’s enough of it left to keep me from being bored over the three days.

CogKnition posted this on June 10th, 2006 @ 4:03am in Life as a Knitter, Yarn | Permalink to "Yarn Lust and Fashion Sense"


  1. lobstah says:

    Ha ha, I think I am reading about myself here! I’ve been able to keep the stash under control so far, but it only takes yarn for a few projects to push it over the edge.

  2. sharon says:

    your shawl is beautiful. Did you have trouble controling the kidsilk, too flyaway? And is your color true in the photo? mine came in as dingy and dusky, not cream. thanks, Sharon