Let’s face it. I started where many of us do: with some yarn from JoAnn’s or Michaels . . . you know, acrylic–or better yet, “wool” by the pound. And I still have a stash of this yarn, which is terrific for toys, blankets, things that will get kicked around by small children. I love teaching craft classes for kids with this yarn and so, I will never de-stash it at a yard sale (as tempting as that empty bin would be).
As I moved from Michael’s to my LYS, to Knitpicks and Webs, to farms and mills and shepherds with raw fleece, I realized that although I love to knit, what I really love is the yarn–its construction, properties, histories. I should have realized this when my first Craftsy class was not about sweater construction, but yarn–Clara Parkes’ “Know your Yarn” course. And I was hooked. Meanwhile, my poor family was subjected to “look at this” and “can you believe that . . .” and “check out this ‘burn test’ for wool!” I also should have known when I finished my first projects and promptly gave them away. I thought, I must be a process knitter! Then, as I began to collect stranger and stranger yarns, to obsess about how they felt while knitting, and where I might be able to find 2 oz of qiviut fiber, I began to think, nope, I’m just a yarn-o-phile.
Indeed, part of this blog’s beginnings had to do with rethinking my stash: what was it used for and why did I have it. I now consider myself to be less of a hoarder and more of a curator. Particularly as my stash grows to include lots of rare and critical breeds and breed-specific yarn (some of it handspun), I want to knit it less and less. [My lovely friend Steve will likely read this, make a funny noise, and contemplate how to tease me–just a little bit–about this revelation next time we meet].
The deal is that the obsession has only become worse with each breed of sheep and each raw fleece I find. I keep expecting to get back to knitting–to spin one final skein, pack up the remaining raw fleece, un-join all the fiber-related groups on Facebook, and dive back into the stash–in short, to *just* be a knitter. But I now realize that this is never going to happen. Turns out, you really can’t go home again . . .
This is not to say I will never knit from my stash–in fact, I think I’d like to knit some of the more ordinary yarns. But that Shetland wool from the local farm and that hand dyed yarn from the Schaefer Yarn Co. . . . probably not so much.
*** Since you made it this far, be sure to stop by on Thursday for a giveaway !!! ***