Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Now to the important stuff...yarn

I am, of course, firmly opposed to consumerism and corporatism in all its forms, and I believe that we are deeply confused about material needs and wants. Now let me explain how books and yarn are totally different than the material things that other people want ;-).... Ok, I'm working on my own little bits of consumerism.

As we enter our third month of not buying things, I'm not minding it at all. We've had our failures (we ate lunch out once because it was pouring down sheets of rain, there was absolutely no place to eat a picnic indoors, and the kids were hysterical with hunger; I bought a packet of lifesavers and a bean burrito over the course of my trip to Ohio, and I ordered the component parts of a Halloween costume for Simon, since I have no real desire or skill at making homemade chicken beaks), but by and large, we're not buying anything much, and we're dramatically reducing our consumption of gas and electricity.

The only things I really miss are books - I really, really wanted to buy both David Orr's new book and Richard Heinberg's new book at the conference, and I whined a lot mentally, but didn't - and yarn.

Now it isn't like I don't have any yarn. Actually, I have quite a bit of yarn. In fact, my husband would describe it as "an insane amount of yarn" - he has been known to ask me whether I'm collecting the stuff or knitting. And I'll admit to an occasional bit of doubt about the answer. But there are important reasons why I don't have enough yarn. First of all, it comes in many types. Perhaps other people don't understand why if you have blue sky alpaca's alpaca yarn and plymouth's andecita alpaca yarn, you would also want knitpicks' alpaca yarn. All I can say is that they are totally, utterly different, and I had excellent reasons for needing all three kinds. Plus, they all come in a range of colors, and it is important to have most of them. I'm not saying I need *all* the colors. I only need two or three shades of green, not all seven. Now multiply that by angora, wool, cotton, llama, quiviut, various combinations, plus various weights of yarn, not to mention special cases like sock yarn, and how could anyone (anyone here is named "Eric" just for the sake of discussion) not understand the need to have a full range of all these kinds of yarn, enough, perhaps, to remain warm and comfy during any major crisis, say, one involving the closing of many yarn shops.

OK, so I'm kind of kidding. I have to admit, my yarn habit (let us not even discuss the thousands and thousands of books that fill every available shelf in my house...those are practically the same as oxygen, and I'm pretty sure I'd die without them) got a little out of hand over the last few years. So now, I'm working my way through what I've got, and absolutely not buying yarn. But that doesn't mean I don't occasionally open a pretty catalog, sent to me from patternworks or WEBS or something, and stare longingly at something by Noro or Adirondack Yarns, rather in the way that teenage boys stare at underwear catalogs - that is, with a longing made only more urgent and poignant by the fact that the chance of the starer getting anywhere near the desired object is pretty teeny.

But I'm good with not buying yarn. I have only 10 more months to go, and in the meantime, I have fleece to dye and spin, so I won't suffer too much. But if I were buying yarn, here's what I'd probably buy...

More Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande - which knits up beautifully on much smaller needles than most bulky yarns (it is so soft that you can get away with this) and produces the warmest, softest, most beautiful hats in the world. I like their marled colors especially.

Cascade 220 in their really beautiful Colonial Green - I want to knit a felted skirt in precisely this color. That would take an enormous amount of yarn and time and be expensive and a real pain to do. But that doesn't change that I want to do it.

More Lopi - I may just get icelandic sheep and produce my own, if this goes on too long.

More six-ply bulky merino from Malabrigo (www.handpaintedyarn.com) - I was an early discoverer of them, and I still have more of their yarn than anyone else's. Now that the worsted is no longer available directly, and the prices have risen, I have trouble knitting it, because I know it is never coming back. But the bulky is nice too. I just wish I could get more of their super-saturated blue...

Ok, consumerism is bad. It is wrong. I will abase myself later. But I'm going to go pet my yarn first.

Sharon

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