Monday, 13 October 2014

I was given more

yarn yesterday. The person who gave it to me was the child of a knitter.
"It's been sitting there since Mum died. I thought you might be able to use it."
Obviously they never observed their mother at work with her needles. They also have no idea what I knit.
I tipped the bag out onto the floor. This yarn was cheap acrylic in lurid colours. I never knew the woman so I have no idea what she made with it. There were no patterns in the big black plastic rubbish bag the yarn came in. There were some knitting needles - plastic needles tied together with a rubber band, now sticky with age. So yes, I surmised, a knitter rather than some one who crocheted.
I suppose I am a yarn snob. I like to knit wool and other natural fibres. I do not care for the likes of cheap fluorescent coloured acrylic - even when it is gifted to me.
I looked at it. The later owner's son looked at me and then he smiled. "It's pretty awful isn't it?"
"Well, it's not the best but I suppose she used it for something."
"Oh she used to make those little teddies for the kids in hospital and that sort of thing. She did it out of her head."
Right. That explained a good deal.
"I know people who make that sort of thing," I told him, "I'll parcel it out and pass it on for them to go on with the same thing if you like."
"That'd be great. I knew you would find a use for it."
But it reminded me that there is other yarn there, also gifted to me, that I also need to pass on. It still has to be sorted and packed into project sized packs, preferably with a pattern so that people can buy it with some idea of what it can be used for.
I am certain that non-knitters have no idea how long it takes to use that ultra-skinny string like stuff they call "yarn". I have good yarn sitting there, very good yarn. I want to use it. I do not want to waste my limited knitting time on poor quality yarn. I will knit for other people - but I will knit what I want to knit and not cheap yarn. That is an insult to the person I am giving to.
Consider this though. If I knit a fairly standard size shawl in a sock weight sort of yarn then I can use at least 800m of yarn, perhaps more. It takes time to knit that much yarn. A pullover/sweater for a man can take 2km of yarn - or even more. You make each stitch individually.
Cheap yarn has a place I suppose. If it is suitable for those "trauma teddies" then that pleases me because those little bears are often a great comfort to a distressed child. I don't knit them. They need to be sewn together and I can't sew.
I sent a pattern to someone yesterday and she was kind enough to say she liked it and may use it - but "it may take some time" before I see the photograph. Yes, I know it will. Knitting is not a fast hobby.
That does not matter. What matters is that I knit the things I want to knit and, more importantly, that I can give the things I make to others.


Jan said...

I have arthritis and one reason I knit is to have therapy for my fingers. There are many other reasons, but this is definitely one. I almost never use acrylic because it actually causes pain to the fingers and burns the skin as it moves through. Yes, I have been called a yarn snob but I can cope with that. Wool or natural fibres feel much better, produce finished article of some quality and lasting ability.

I haven't made trauma teddies but have made black and white penguins for use by St John Ambulance members in NSW. Their equivalent of the teddy bear.

Jackie Buxton said...

Thank you for letting me into the world of knitters :) I don't knit but can well imagine that each garment is a big under-taking and that you get what you pay for in yarn. I can crochet, due to a gorgeously old-fashioned teacher at school (even back in the 80s, sewing and other skills were being eeked out of the curriculum) but I never got much further than place mats. However, my claim to fame is that I then taught my mum who went on to crochet an enormous white table cloth which has become a beautiful family heirloom:) I also did lace with bobbins (same teacher!) which you twisted and knotted over a large hard-backed cushion stuffed with straw. Unfortunately my cushion got fleas which rather traumatised me at the age of 12 (oh the shame!) and I promptly sold all my bobbins and thread and that was the end of that.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I would knit if I were not able to use yarn which is a delight to the touch, both whilst knitting and then when wearing.

catdownunder said...

I have another friend who knits for the same reason Jan - and I also know someone who has multiple serious medical issues who knits "because it is something I can still do for other people".
Hello Jackie - thanks for dropping in. My paternal grandmother taught me to knit
Cathy, you use scrumptious yarn but we are going to need you to branch out and try a new cardigan pattern! :)
And, anyone else left reading this do drop in on Jackie's blog post of yesterday - well worth a visit!