ravel

So I’ve just placed my order with Wool Warehouse for the annual Drops yarn sale, and this year it was a more conservative order than usual – only enough for three hats, a scarf, one teddybear and a jumper.  I think I’m tailing off with my stash and having better ideas for what I’m buying yarn for.

This yarn comes in pretty colourways.

I bought Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (you might know her from The Yarn Harlot) from the Needlecraft shop and it was a cracking read, I finished it in one sitting.

It’s difficult to write, once you’re done with the technical aspects of yarn, about the real stuff you need to know about it: the soul of yarn, its magic, and why, beyond it being the material we need to practice the art of knitting, we love it.  I could wax poetic for hours about the softness, the colors, the textures…the things I like about yarn.  But none of that really gets to the meat of it.

In the end, the reason we fill our houses with it, visit it in yarn shops, speak of it in glowing terms, and hoard it with passions is that it is pure potential.  Every ball or skein of yarn holds something inside it, and the great mystery of what that might be can be almost spiritual.  These six balls of wool could be a shawl my mum puts around her shoulders when she’s cold, or maybe it’s a blanket a friend wraps her baby in.  Maybe that baby takes a shine to it and it becomes his beloved companion blankie, comforting him for years and years.  Maybe it’s a sweater that my daughter is wearing the day she gets her first kiss, and from then on my yarn is part of her memory of that day.  Maybe, just maybe, those six balls are a scarf and hat that gets tucked away for years and long after I’m gone someone pulls them out and says, “Remember how Grammy was with all the wool?  Remember how she knit all the time?” fingering the soft wool and pondering who I was and what I did while I was here.

It’s a mystery, each ball of yarn…and I don’t know what each one is going to be or what life it will take when I finally set needles to it.  But each one will be something I made with my own two hands.  This yarn, then – my whole big sweeping stash – is the stuff of dreams.