Yarn Identity Crisis

Does yarn have any level of self-esteem? Does it like being in cliques or prefer to be a loner? Does yarn recognize its own self worth? These are questions I pondered as I took a look at my yarn the other day.

My yarn isn’t bad yarn. It’s actually a very nice color. And it knits very smoothly for the garment I am currently using it for. There have been no conflicts between my yarn and my needles. In fact I would say they’ve become very good friends since the beginning of the project. Even despite not checking gauge, this yarn has adapted itself to fulfilling the required rows and stitches needed for the pattern. Overall, I would call it the perfect yarn.

So, why is it that the other day at my knitting group, my yarn refused to come out the bag? No matter how many times I tried to hold my yarn out in the open, it found some way to go into hiding. If I placed it on the table it would roll back into the bag. On my lap it would find a way to scoot itself onto the floor and into the darkest corner available.

It’s not like it has never been outside before. I’ve draged yarn with me all over the US. My yarns can tell stories of where its been and hopes t go next. I just couldn’t understand way my normally social yarn was shirking away like a wallflower. I looked around the knitting table and saw that everyone else’s yarn was behaving nicely, sitting on the table like good little yarn balls. But then I noticed it. I don’t know why I hadn’t seen it before.

To my left was a lovely 100% baby merino wool yarn ball in variegated shades of pink and purple. To my right was an chocolate brown hand dyed silk nestled in its owner’s lap like a sleeping infant. Across from me was an organic cotton flowing from a dainty handmade knitting ball purse. Each and every woman sitting around me were happily knitting away complex patterns with natural fibers and exotic blends. Then there was my yarn. Not that my yarn wasn’t capable of a complex pattern. It was that it didn’t fit in with the crowd I was now trying convince it to join. My yarn, despite its beauty and comfort, was the odd man out. My yarn was acrylic. Man made. Un-natural. Fake. I could now understand its desire to stay out of sight.

Now as most people would think, “What’s wrong with acrylic? Isn’t all yarn the same?” This is an approved statement coming from any non-knitter. But in the world of knitting, comparing natural fibers to man made yarns is like comparing fish to watermelons. And for one lonely acrylic being a room full of naturals it would be comparable to the school nerd walking in on a party that he wasn’t suppose to be invited to. Awkward.

So, my yarn felt a bit uncomfortable not seeing any of its own kind. It may have even felt a bit unworthy to be in the presence of such natural giants. But I really like my yarn and have found myself working at building its confidence level up and letting my yarn know that it is beautiful, no matter how it came into this world.


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