A while back I bought a lovely skein of yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts to make a pair of socks. The yarn was beautiful, both in the skein and in a center-pull ball; the colors were reminiscent of a lake: its dark turquoise waters, sand and rocky shores. When traveling I often like to bring a yarn or project along that speaks to my destination, and so this yarn seemed a natural choice to take along to an art retreat on a mountain lake in New Hampshire. I knit and knit on this sock while at camp, only to discover some less than attractive pooling was happening. When I got home, I ripped it all out and started a different pattern complete with a different stitch count. Imagine my dismay when the same ugly pooling happened again! This half-knit sock went into time out for over a year until the big stash purge before I moved.
I took the yarn, with half-knit sock still attached, along with some other destash skeins to my knitting night and wouldn’t let anyone get away without taking some yarn. A smart knitter promptly grabbed that skein of BMFA, and I was happy to see it go.
But then, a couple of weeks later, this woman had the nerve to show up knitting the most amazing looking pair of socks with the yarn! And there was no pooling! I was impressed and a little jealous, and as soon as I was able I queued up the pattern for use with my next high contrast yarn dilemma.
The yarn is always greener when someone else has it.
Have you ever been at a yarn shop or fiber festival, casually looking at a display of yarn, not feeling moved about anything in particular until another knitter comes up and grabs one of the skeins? Oh, it must be good yarn. Maybe I’ll give it a second look. I’ve been guilty of this covetous behavior, I’ll admit it!
The strangest form of this happened last weekend when I started to covet some of my own yarn.
My sister was in town (along with my nephew and mom) to celebrate PB’s birthday. I cleverly taught her to knit a few years ago, and now whenever we are together we like to play with yarn, talk patterns, and show each other our works-in-progress. She is expecting a little girl in the spring, and so we were both excited to pull out my stash and start looking for colors that might make good baby projects. I may have had a few such skeins stashed since PB came into my life, projects that never made it to the needles. So when someone else put her hands on my would-be knitting, I got a little territorial. We agreed I would knit her baby projects with these yarns since I still had a desire to use them. Then she set about going through the rest of my stash looking for yarns she would knit up herself.
What about this? she’d ask. Do you think I could make a hat with this? Sure! I’d say. A scarf with this? Fingerless gloves with this? Before I knew it, half my dining table was covered with yarn that just an hour before had been huddled in the dark corners of my yarn cabinet. It was looking pretty good to me all of a sudden, even though some of the skeins had been in the stash for years. In the light of day (and someone else’s desire) the yarn reminded me of why I had chosen it in the first place.
I figured that the yarn I moved from CT would have to be pretty special to warrant making such a big move. Around the first of the year I made an informal resolution to “knit more from my stash”, a ubiquitous knitter’s resolution, I know. My sister taking several skeins really helps me out, right? I don’t mind sharing, and yet I couldn’t help feel a twinge of something like sadness to see these yarns go. Besides, she doesn’t have easy access to a local yarn shop, and I do.
Funny side note: shortly after deciding to knit more from my stash in 2011, Nutmeg Knitter announced on Facebook that there was going to be a Cookie A. sock club. I mulled it over for a couple of days and then joined. More yarn! I’m due to receive a swap package soon. More yarn! And last but not least, I just made the final arrangements to go to Stitches West in a couple of weeks. Still more yarn!
Looks like I won’t be going hungry for yarn any time soon, and I’m so happy my abandoned skeins have found a new life in someone else’s stash. Even if I still wistfully think about the cardi I wanted to knit with that pink yarn…