Friday, December 10, 2004

Yarn Connoisseur

When I first started knitting, there was nothing more annoying to me than yarn snobbery. I couldn't stand to hear the 'old folk' bitch and moan about how they could only knit with wool from a bucktoothed Siberian mountain sheep raised in Polynesia and shorn on a moonless night, and hand-dyed by blind eunuch Buddhist scribes in Norway yadda yadda yadda. I swore that I would love all yarns and never discriminate based on fiber content (excluding really, really poorly made crap that breaks when you look at it). At least half of this determination was fueled by my finances, or perhaps I should say the lack thereof. I simply could not afford to buy good yarn for every project, and reckoned that the stuff at the local craft store was fine, as long as it was pretty. If I wanted to be fancy, I went for an acrylic/wool blend (we're talking about 10% wool in most cases). Either way, I would eat my hat before I became such a stuck-up yarn elitist.
But for the past several months I've been working almost exclusively with very nice wool, alpaca, or wool blended with cotton or mohair. And it's spoiled me. The last time I was in a craft store I couldn't help sounding like a baby chick:

I have now, officially, become a yarn snob.
This last month or two, I've been ruthlessly ploughing through my stash and using up or getting rid of old leftover yarn (to make room for more, of course). I made a skinny scarf a couple weeks ago to get rid of some surplus yarn from a Christmas gift I made last year, and the whole time I was knitting, I was cringing, bitching, and moaning. I've only worn it around the house about half a dozen times, and it's already started to get that nasty acrylic fuzz all over it. Definitely not long-lasting material.
Now I can see where those damned yarn snobs were coming from; it's totally worth the extra money you pay for high-quality goods simply for the pleasure of working with, say, lusciously soft baby alpaca. And it's worth that extra twice over when you think about how much the person you're knitting for will (hopefully) love it, and how they'll feel so pampered every time they wear your gift.
Please pass the salt. It might make my hat a bit more palatable.

"Why bother spending time, blood, sweat, tears, and love on a project if you use crappy yarn?"

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