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Monday, April 11, 2016

Yarn is My Weakness

I love yarn. Every time I walk into a craft store or the megamart, I have to find the yarn aisle. I drool over the colors. I touch the skeins to feel the texture. Is that yarn as soft as it looks? Is that one scratchy? How thin is that one? How fat and lumpy?

I adore the ombre yarns, the multicolored ones. Most of them are loud and scream, "I escaped from the seventies!", but that's what I love about them. When I work with them, I never know how the colors are going to turn out. That's part of what attracts me to them. They're chaos and anarchy in a bundle of fiber, but not really. There is a pattern to them, an order, but the only way to really see it is to make something with them.

This is where I run into problems. I get all fired up with ideas of what I'm going to do with that yarn. I know the exact thing I want to make from that gorgeous shade of lilac, or from that skein of mixed blues and purples and oranges, or from that whole pile of easter egg spring pastels. So I buy the yarn and bring it home. And it sits in my yarn bins because I either ran out of time or energy or I got bored with the idea or I can't find the pattern I was hoping to use.

Every once in a while I go on a burst of crocheting energy and finish stuff up, though. Yarn gets used. I work my way through skeins, leaving nothing but small balls of leftovers and finished projects behind.

My house would be overrun with crocheted doohickies except I've found ways to sell projects or give them away. It's all good. I keep the ones I really love.

I rarely crochet intricate things or fiddly patterns and I rarely use fine yarn and small hooks. Partly because I don't like fine work; my eyes are going bad and my coordination isn't the greatest. Crocheting little threads with tiny hooks is hard work, not what I'm usually craving when I sit down to crochet. I like to use thick yarn and big hooks and make things that work up quickly. I like to see progress.

Most of what I make are amigurumi - crocheted toys shaped like big-headed people or animals. It's fun, not too taxing on my eyes or brain, and people love them. Babies, especially, love the texture of the yarn and the squishiness of the toys. As long as I avoid using buttons for eyes, I'm good.

It's a creative escape. I get to play with fun colors and feel the yarn and end up with something at the end. The actual process can get boring, which is why I tend to stick to small projects. Working stitch after stitch of single crochet gets repetitive in a hurry, but sometimes that's what I crave. It's soothing. I get into a rhythm and just keep it going. I can see whatever it is I'm crocheting growing under my fingers. It's tactile, not intellectual.

And it gives me an excuse to buy more yarn. I really need more of that rainbow ombre...