Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Why I can't resist yarn

So this is the problem whenever I go into my local yarn shop or anyplace that sells yarn for that matter, even WalMart.  There is this whole sea of yarn in front of me:  acrylics, wool, cotton, nylon, silk, mohair, fibers I've never even heard of, everyday yarns, exotic ones I've never heard of or much less seen, all either 100% of whatever or blended with whatever else...

Then there's so many different colors: solids from muted to bright to blinding, a range of variegated tones from subtle to vibrant, delicate pastels, speckled colors, painted colors, automated striping colors, shiny colors, matte colors...

And then there are so many types:  your standard worsted-weight yarn, thick chunky yarns that look like rope, so-thin baby yarn, microfiber that feels soft as silk, ribbon yarn, crochet thread, bobbled yarn, chenille, those furry eyelash yarns that I detest working with but I like looking at because they are so pretty...

You get the idea.

Immediately my mind starts racing with possibilities.  That mercerized cotton yarn would look great as a shell top...or maybe a shawl...hell, why not try socks with it!   What else could you do with that autumn-toned variegated wool but make a scarf?  Why not a hat too?  That shade of red would be perfect for a sweater for the son, or maybe I should go with the blue since it matches his eyes.  That green wool/acrylic mix is good for the husband's mock-turtleneck that while he'll love it I'll know he'll never wear it but that still won't stop me from putting all that time and effort into it.  I think the burgundy merino would look great for my own sweater, after I get some of that vibrant red acrylic stuff to practice making a sweater with first before I go buy merino.  Those delicate pastels are perfect for baby blankets, and I do happen to have a friend (two, actually) who are expecting: one's expecting a boy and the other a girl so I'll just have to get both the pinks and blues...

Point being, any project I decide on will have be the NEXT project I'll start on, so I HAVE to get that yarn so I'm all ready.   I want to make sure I have enough of it, especially the same dye lot, because what if I found out I needed more and went to buy it later but found they had run out of it?  It's even more tempting to do this if the yarn is on sale, because I MUST take advantage of these prices while I can.  It doesn't matter that the yarn store runs that particular brand of yarn on sale every three weeks--three weeks from now isn't NOW.

If it's clearance, I'm doomed.   Just put the whole box in my cart and take my credit card.

The problem now is that there are only 24 hours in a day and only 7 days in a week, and I am not free for all 168 hours.  I have to sleep, go to school, take care of the son (which actually is a 168-hour-a-week job as it is), take care of the house, and pursue my other interests.  So my yarn time is limited.  When in the world am I going to be able to work on all of these projects?  I try to squeeze out every minute that I can--I can't remember the last time I watched television without a needle or hook in my hand.  With the yarn time being limited, I can only work on so many WIPs at once.

And I know all of this, and yet I still get the yarn for all of these projects

And as time goes on, my ideas about the yarn waiting in reserve change drastically.   Perhaps that wool wasn't really meant to be a sweater--what if I mixed it with the mohair and made a scarf?  I don't really need so many cotton washcloths, so let me make some of it into granny squares for a blanket, and then I can scrap the other sampler blanket I was going to make and use that yarn for hats.  I decide that Yarn A wasn't meant for the shawl but Yarn B was, until I look at Yarn C and reconsider.   So not much of the yarn I buy is used for its originally intended purpose.

To add insult to injury, some of the yarn I thought would be fantastic to use is horrible:  I look at it and can't figure out what I saw in it.   With other yarn, I wonder why I thought I was going to do THAT project.   I collect so many scraps that I begin to wonder what I really will do with all of them.  Most yarn, I end up keeping because I plan to use it, even if its original purpose in life has changed.  Some yarn is culled.  Some no longer desired yarn and yarn scraps are donated, or I go back to the store to exchange old yarn for new yarn, which brings me back in a circle to the point of "When I walk into a yarn store..."

You see, it never ends.

I do try to show some restraint in my yarn acquisitions, especially when I see what I spent on yarn that month.  I also want to be able to focus the projects I currently am doing instead of what I'd like to be doing, so I started limiting the number of projects I've got on the needles/hooks until I've produced more finished projects.  But when it comes down to it, I really have a hard time saying no to a skein of yarn--I will find some reason or excuse as to why I must have it.

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