Knitter’s Proverbs and Sayings

We’ve all heard them. Those classic proverbs and sayings like, ‘a penny saved is a penny earned’. Well, I wondered how some of these saying would go if it was a knitter who first spoke them. Below are some classic sayings reworked in a way I’m sure all knitters will understand.

If at first you don’t succeed. . . hide the evidence in the back of the closet and pretend like you never knitted it.

The early bird. . . gets the last 3 skeins of discontinued yarn on Jimmybeanswool.com

Early to bed. . . early to VooDoo Donuts before Sock Summit.

A penny saved. . .means you’re one cent closer to getting that Cashmere/Mink blend you’ve been drooling over.

You can’t party with the sinners and . . . not learn the effects of drunk knitting the next day.

If the shoe fits. . . buy it and knit a pair of socks to go with it.

You only live once. . . so buy the yarn now. You may not be around for the sale.

Beauty is in the eye. . . of the knitter who just spent a month knitting that sweater for you. So put it on and say thank you or you’ll never get another birthday gift from them- EVER!

A fool and his money. . . will soon find his house taken over by his wife’s ever growing yarn stash.

Better to have loved and lost. . . then to have wasted good yarn knitting him a sweater.

All roads lead. . . to a great little yarn shop.

Curiosity killed the cat. . . and yarn was spun with the fur off his back!

What does not kill you. . .only makes your kitchener stitch even stronger.

Time heals all. . . remaining guilt from your last yarn shopping spree.

Nothing last forever. . . except Red Heart Super Saver Yarn.

A wise man knows. . . to give his wife the credit card and don’t ask questions.

If you can’t say something nice. . . stitch it in duplicate stitch.

You’re nobody. . . ’till you’ve got a fan group on Ravelry.

Behind every great man. . . is a happy knitter.

Money can’t buy you love . . . but it can buy a Starbucks frappuccino and several skeins of alpaca yarn.

What goes up. . . can usually be fixed by adding a three-inch knitted border to the hem. 

If  life is a highway. . . make sure to pack plenty of yarn for the journey.

When life bring you lemons. . . add vodka and sip while knitting.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. . . just use bigger needles next time.

Lovers come and go. . . but good knitting needles last forever.

When faced with a fork in the road, I take the road. . . that has the most yarn shops.

To thine own self be true. . . and let your knitting tell little white lies!

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Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2011: In Defense of Acrylic Yarn

All this week my postings are a part of the 2nd Annual Knitting & Crochet Blog Week. To learn more about it, just click here.

Let me first start off by saying that I am an equal opportunity yarn user. I strongly believe in giving ever yarn a chance. There is no such thing to me as ‘bad’ yarn.

With that being said, I find offense in those who persist in putting down acrylic yarns. I can understand personal preferences for one yarn type over the other, put to dismiss acrylic to the point of wanting to excommunicate it from the church of yarn is just going to far.

Acrylic has had a history of being hard and stiff, but no more so then wool being equated with smelly and itchy. Yet, like wool, acrylic has improved in quality over the years. Please, before you turn up your nose at this step-child of the knitting and crochet world, why not allow me to enlighten you on why you should take a second look at acrylic.

Acrylic is a synthetic fiber that was developed by the DuPont Corporation in 1941. It is in the same family is nylon, polyester and micro fiber. (That’s for those of you who look down your nose at acrylic while picking up four skeins of cotton/micro fiber blend for your next project.)

Considered ’cheap’ yarn, by many, I believe its low coast is one of the things that makes acrylic so popular. Personally speaking, I find it hard to pay $35.00 for a skein of yarn- even if it is made of cashmere, handspun and hand dyed. For many crafters, especially just starting out, it is difficult to justify spending large amounts of money like that. Acrylic gives you that chance to make something beautiful with little financial investment. And most people can agree that seeing a sweater you tried to knit turn into a multi-armed glob feels less heart-wrenching having paid $8.50 for the yarn then if you had dished out $85.00 for it.

A professional chameleon, acrylic can be whatever you want it to be. Praised for its properties that are so similar to that of wool, acrylic has the ability to mimic such yarns as the highly revered cashmere. Pashmina and cashmina are the acrylic versions. (Yes, those are acrylics, not cashmere from some other exotic breed of goat.) Fun fur and eyelash can give credit to acrylic for making them a fashion craze. And lets not forget how acrylic brought the words ’novelty yarns’ into the vocabulary of every crafter with such offerings as Chenille and Lame. An acrylic yarn I recently worked with has the look and feel of handspun felted wool. From super bulky to spider web lace- acrylic yarn’s versatility is endless.

Within acrylic’s durability lies its greatest strength. How many yarns can hold up to multiple machine washings in various water temperatures? Show me a yarn that can withstand the constant pull and strain from the tight tension of new knitters just learning to knit and purl. Give me a yarn that has been able to stand up to continuous household wear and abuse. I don’t believe we have ever asked any other yarn to work as a kitchen accessory, outdoor rug, sweater, purse, slipper, coat, toy, bathroom accessory, sock, rag, table runner, bedspread, baby blanket and various other items- while expecting it to perform to the same high standard in each area. Acrylic is resistant to moths, oil, chemicals and is very resistant to deterioration from being exposed to sunlight. This is why, like Twinkies and cockroaches, acrylic will be around long after we are gone.

Now, here is where I usually hear from people about the fact that acrylic is man made and the chemicals used to make it is poisoning our waters, polluting our air, threatening our eco system and sending our world into utter self destruction. Yes, acrylic is a man made chemical based product. But compared to how many items currently in every home, school and hospital around the world that is made from and/or depends on acrylic, its yarn form is in no way making that big of a carbon footprint on our world.

So, before you dismiss acrylic yarn as some dark shameful part of needlecraft history that should never be spoken of again, entertain me with this little experiment. Go to your local yarn store, pick up a soft yarn like Lion Brand Homespun, cast on and see if acrylic doesn’t stitch its way back into a respectable place in your heart.