August 01, 2005

Rantin' and Whinin'

First the rant, which I think is long overdue.

I've been reading other blogs, none in particular, just following links from one page to another and reading as I went. But one thing is really starting to bother me... this idea that knitters seem to have taken to their heads that less expensive yarn is "ghetto" and not worth the time. The yarns I'm talking of include Red Heart, Caron, Lion Brand, Bernat and other common yarns you can find at any Michaels, Hobby Lobby or even WalMart. Frankly, this pisses me off.

It's one thing to treat yourself to some special yarn to make that sweater or that shawl, I did to make mine. But to insist that unless you spend disgusting amounts of money on your yarn your knitting isn't the same quality, that's crap. And I found one blog where it was referred to as "that cheap ghetto yarn" and it infuriated me. Does that make me a ghetto knitter because I like to use something that doesn't make me cringe at the thought of the price each time I pick it up?

I'm not ashamed of anything I've made with less expensive yarn. Yeah, Red Heart might be a little scratchy, that's why you use it for an afghan instead of a sweater. Yeah, it's acrylic instead of pure wool or alpaca or something equally exotic, but that doesn't change the time and energy and effort that you put into everything that you make. Does a scarf made of Lion Brand Homespun mean less than a scarf made from handspun, hand dyed wool that cost ten times as much? No, it doesn't.

Having said that, I want to clarify that I'm not putting down people who spend the money for the more expensive yarn, not at all. I'm upset at the people who think that they're above using cheaper yarn. Who think that people who don't invest hundreds of dollars a month to their craft aren't real knitters.

Remember, it's the energy and effort you put into a project that makes it a work of art, not the yarn.

That being said, I'm going to whine now...

I've been working on my psychedelic squares blanket a lot lately and I don't know what I did or how I did it, but my right hand is killing me. And a little swollen. I think it might have been the direct result of using my knitting to distract me from the migraine I was suffering through Saturday. It does help to focus on something other than the pain. Sadly now my hand is the painful object and I can't do anything to distract me from that... maybe read.... but I wanna knit!!

9 squares of the blanket done!! I have no idea how many more to go. I also bought more yarn.

Image hosted by Yes, my money always seems to fly away. But anyways, I bought 3 more colors of the Caron Simply Soft Brites! for my blanket. Lemonade, Grape and Papaya. I'm still waiting for the store to get Blueberry in stock. I also bought a skein of Jo-Ann Rainbow Boucle yarn. Each skein is over 800 yards and costs less than $8. I got a really cute denim blue boucle color, varegated from dark to light and back again. I'm going to make a shawl out of it. Then I'll have a green and grey one (From Jasmine), a dark green one and a blue one. I also plan on making a black one eventually. That one I'm hoping I'll be able to make a design all my own for.

I also bought a pair of wooden needles from Michaels and fell in love with them. They're so light and a pleasure to use. I've now used metal, wooden and plastic and I think I prefer the plastic and wooden over the metal. They're lighter and easier on the hands. But perhaps that's why my hands hurt, I was using the metal needles. I may have to start accumulating a collection of wooden needles. The only down side, they're more expensive than the metal. But no one said that knitting was cheap!Image hosted by

1 comment:

Robert Stockton said...

Hmmm.... I've done my share of knitting with various yarns, and never condemned anyone for the price of their yarns (except occasionally when I hear of people spending large amounts of money for something totally impractical). The serious knitters I hang around with all seem to love finding bargains, whether it be at JoAnne's or their local knit shop.

However, I suspect you'd still lump me in with the yarn snobs, because I'm inclined to say that some yarns aren't a good deal even if you get them for free. For me, the ideal yarn is a super-wash wool -- it keeps me warm in the winter; wicks away perspiration in the summer; is a joy to knit with; and requires minimal maintenance. I'll see people spend twice as much for a hand-wash wool which is scratchier and will only be worn on special occasions because it can't be tossed into the washer afterwards, and I have to ask "why?". But if you ask me to spend half as much on a low quality acrylic, I'll cringe just as much. To me, it just feels awful, and if I'm going to have it in my hands for 40 hours while I'm knitting it up, I want something that feels good. It also puts more strain on my hands. (You'd mentioned that your hands were hurting. Your choice of yarn probably matters even more than your choice of needles.)

BTW, nobody else in the world will agree with me, but I'll shy away from cottons of any price just as fast as I will from acrylics. They don't feel as nice as animal fibres, and their lack of stretch just destroy my hand and wrist.