Thursday, 16 August 2012

"Would you like some

possum yarn?" a friend of mine asked.
Yarn? I love yarn. All knitters love yarn. We all suffer from SABLE - Stash Advancement Beyond Life Expectancy. In other words we all buy more yarn than we can possibly hope to use in our life time or, in my case, have been given.
I have been given yarn by old people, both men and women, entering nursing homes. There is too much yarn for them to take with them - or they have stopped knitting.
I have been left yarn by people who have died. There was the sad little note the daughter of a friend found, "You don't knit. This is to go to Cat. If you are lucky she might finish the ghastly blue thing,"
I did not finish the "ghastly blue thing". Her daughter did not like it either. We gave it to someone else who professed to "love" it.  She finished it and wears it. Each time I see it I am reminded of my old friend but in a good way.
I have been given yarn I would never ever buy for myself. I have passed on the cheapest, brightly coloured acrylic yarns to someone who makes pet blankets. It is all the pet refuges want. I have passed on other yarn to other knitters who make things for charities.
I too have knitted hats, mittens, vests, small pullovers and other items but not all yarn is suited to charity knitting. It needs, at very least, to be machine washable. By no means all yarn is machine washable. People need to know how to care for hand knits - and many people do not know.
Then there is yarn given specifically to me. "It's for you Cat. Use it for you. You never make anything for yourself."
That really is not true. I do sometimes make things for myself and I like to make them for other people. The only family member who really needs my knitting is the Senior Cat. The others simply do not feel the cold enough to need woollen garments in this climate and the rest live in places where most people do not need them. They do not want cotton either - which is just as well because I do not particularly enjoy knitting cotton. It has no elasticity. I do have several friends I knit for. One friend has very severe arthritis. She feels the cold. Dressing is difficult. I have the pleasure of making her things designed with extra deep armholes so they are easy to get on and off. She likes mohair because it is light but warm. I am not particularly fond of knitting mohair - unless it is very good quality it sheds like mad and I really do look like a cat covered in hair.
And then there are the odd little bits yarn I have been given to try, yak, camel and some horrendously expensive quiviuk. (I knitted that and passed it back. It was pink and I do not care for pink or fluff and it was both.) I have knitted linen and silk and soy, bamboo and corn - even seashell. The last formed part of a sock yarn.
And yesterday, I was asked if I would like some possum yarn. I know it will come from New Zealand. Possums are a pest there. I am sorry about that. I feel rather sorry for the possums. It is not their fault.  Their fur however, mixed with merino wool, makes very soft, very fine yarn.
I said yes of course. I don't need it but I know someone who will like what I can make with it. I suppose that really is all that matters. My case of SABLE just got a little worse.


Jan said...

A fellow sufferer of SABLE here. I now have a big bag set aside for a group of knitters who make rugs etc for others. More wool than acrylic as acrylic makes the arthritis in my hands flare and also burns my skin as it passes through my fingers. Now to arrange to have it picked up.

One of the reasons I knit is to provide exercise for the arthritic fingers. I know my limits and I try to knit every day without overdoing it.

Deeper armhole? What a good idea. A sensible solution to a problem which also bothers me. Thanks for the hint.

catdownunder said...

Let me know if you need a pattern Jan - I have Sweater Wizard and use it to do the basic arithmetic - would need measurements and row and stitch count.

widdershins said...

... but ... but, we never know when we might need just that exact piece of yarn!