Yarn Collecting by Emma Friedlander-Collins
As a certified yarn obsessive (it should really have some sort of Latin sounding name shouldn’t it? Yarnaholic? Yarnopath? Woolly Fiend?) I literally can’t help myself when I come across a yarn I don’t have in my Collection. And yes, it really is a Collection. We have a three bedroom house, I have two boys, they have to share a room and the yarn has a room of it’s own. It’s what started me on my crochet journey…
My mum had taught me to knit when I was little, but I could never get on with it, all that faffing with slippy stitches, it was awful, but I persevered because I just loved the wool. I’d root through her yarn pile, squishing the soft, silky skeins, marvelling at the colours, fluffy textures and in one instance completely falling in love with the peachy sparkles (hey, it was the 80s, peach was a ‘thing’). As an adult I’d still find myself browsing the yarn departments of haberdashers, stroking things and maybe rubbing them on my cheek if no one was looking, but still not having an excuse to ‘need’ them.
Finally, six years ago, I discovered crochet. I’d seen an amigurumi online and thought, why don’t I know how to do this? A few YouTube tutorials later and that was it, a new ‘need’ was born and the flames of obsession, well and truly fanned. At the time I couldn’t tell you the difference between an acrylic and a cotton, but it didn’t stop me from getting my mitts on anything I could.
I now like to think of myself as a grown up in the world of yarn collecting. I know that a cotton is better for an ami because it doesn’t stretch, and a merino mix is great for hats and mittens because they do. I know that natural wool can be scratchy, but can also be worked up on a variety of hooks because it has more give. I know that a good, hard working, economy acrylic can come in heaps of colours, and is a staple for any Collection. I also know that there are some yarns that are a proper, real, better than a glass of wine in a bubbly bath, indulgent, treat. And when I first saw the beautiful, hand dyed, smooth as you like skeins of the new Yarn Collective range pop up on my screen, I knew we needed to be together.
I’m now the exceedingly happy owner of two skeins that make me think of the spring; a beautiful grassy green and a rainy, slate sky. And while I may not use them for months, I can already see a variety of future possibilities for them. They can sit in pride of place in the Collection, whispering about how they would make a beautiful shawl or a cosy pair of wrist warmers just right for keeping out the spring chill. They will be in excellent company too, right next to the Madelinetosh Home chunky merino…
So while you may not be able to force your children to share a room so that you too can build a Collection, or convince your spouse that they don’t really ‘need’ a garage for the car, there’s always room for one little, indulgent skein somewhere. And it’s much better for you than wine, right?