Monday, February 12, 2007

Yarn Snobs

If you spend enough time in the world of fiber crafts, sooner or later you run into them: the yarn snobs. The knitters/crocheters among you know what I'm talking about. The ones who look down their nose at you and condescendingly say, "I would never use acrylic yarns."

"I would never use anything but wool fiber."
"I would never put acrylic yarn next to a baby's delicate skin."
"I'd personally pay the $26.00 from ****** for beautifully handcrafted wood [sock blockers] than I would $19.00 for these crappy plastic ones. "

You know, the ones who snottily refer to ackrylic yarn, icky acrylic, acrylic (ugh), plastic yarn--"It must be like wearing a plastic bag." The ones who make the less confident want to apologize for using synthetic yarns. The ones who make you feel like you are not a real knitter if you don't use all natural fibers all the time. Those are the yarn snobs.

Truth is, natural fibers are expensive. Enough wool to knit a sweater can cost in the hundreds of dollars. Silk, angora, alpaca--they are even more expensive. I suppose if you are made of money, that isn't a problem. But not all of us are made of money.

Not all of us can afford the silk/angora blend yarn at $30 a ball. Not all of us can afford the hand made, solid oak $30 sock blockers, especially when there are plastic ones available for half the price. (But if you're clever like me--and your son has a jigsaw--you can use the plastic ones as a pattern to make your own hand made oak sock blockers.) When it comes down to choosing between yarn and groceries for my son, well, too bad. Son takes priority over yarn. Always.

So, should I give up my hobby just because I don't live up to someone else's standard? Heck no! I knit for me, not for anyone else. Despite the fact that I give most of my knitted items away, I am still knitting for me. For the enjoyment I get from making something with my own two hands, and yes, even the joy I receive from giving it to someone else.

I grew up using acrylic yarn. I knew there were different types out there, but it was something I just didn't think about. The stores I had access to didn't carry anything but acrylic. I never saw anything wrong with it. Frankly, it doesn't get nearly cold enough down here to make wool comfortable. If it's not cold enough, wool is more scratchy to me than acrylic. Most modern acrylics are very soft. Plus they wear like iron. I have an afghan on my bed that I crocheted some 13 1/2 years ago. When I was in my apartment in Italy, I used it for an area rug. Other than a bit of pilling, it looks as good as it did when I first made it.

So, for all you yarn snobs out there, unless you intend to buy all of my yarn for me, you have no right to criticize what I choose to knit with.

This one's for you:

Red Heart acrylic worsted weight, tropic fruit colorway. Nine ounces. In my stash. It's starting to whisper. "Knit me." "Come on, you know you want to cast on..." "Knit me!"

Here's evidence spring is on the way:

Sunset, out and about during the daytime. Must be mating season.

Here's evidence that I'm beginning to run out of ideas:



I drew my eraser again. Must go search for reference photos...
Meanwhile, check this out: Daily Monster Too fun!
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9 comments:

frotoe said...

Yarn snobs?? Man! these people need to get a life. I've recently started knitting and crocheting because I have been so impressed by the things I've seen you do. I would have never thought to criticize your yarn...I've been buying my yarn from Walmart and another local store (Job Lot) They've had some nice chenille yarn for about $1 a ball.

Bag Blog said...

I was at my mom's yesterday. She had about four different baby outfits complete with booties that had been knitted or crocheted by someone in England (bought on ebay by one of Mom's friends). They were absolutely gorgeous, but maybe a bit overdone. Mom wanted to give one to the GBN2. I was in awe of the knitted baby sweaters.

Sus said...

You go, girl. I craft with acrylic about 90% of the time. Of course, when you can find a good deal on natural fiber or the project/temperature really needs wool, then there are definite benefits. But turning one's nose up and never ever using acrylic? Pashaw. I'm far too much of a practicality snob to be a yarn snob. ::wink::

Becky said...

Frotoe, wow, that has got to be the best compliment I've ever gotten! Thank you!

Lou, one of the first things I ever knit was a sweater for my nephew, who will be 7 in May. That's how I keep track of how long I've been knitting! I started about the same time Nate was born. My grandmother knit, and I still have a sweater and booties that she made for me. Guess what they were made of...that's right. Acrylic.

Sus, I use acrylic about 90% of the time, too. And I'm with you on the practicality bit. Maybe one day, when I've found a sugar daddy...

Bag Blog said...

Past tense of knit is knit - not knitted? No wonder my spelling looked so funny.

PerpetualBeginner said...

I rarely knit with acrylic - for my own personal use, I would say I'm a yarn snob (which would be why I spin - I can't afford the $30 balls either). On the other hand, the people who act like acrylic is some alien icky thing that no one should ever use are just obnoxious. Acrylic is a fiber. It has it's own properties different from any other, natural or synthetic, and there are times and places where its the most appropriate thing for the job. Cheap + wears like iron can be a handy combination.

Absolutists are annoying folk in almost all cases.

Becky said...

Lou, truthfully, I don't know. I use both interchangably.

Cindy, I wouldn't call you a yarn snob just because you prefer to knit with natural fibers. That's just a preference. The ones who act like acrylic is some alien icky thing that no one should ever use are what I consider yarn snobs. If they don't want to use it, that's fine. Belittling me because I use it is not. You've never done that. You are the least snobby person I've ever met!

maggiescornerdotorg said...

So funny, love the article. I was actually googling "yarn snobs" and found your blog. I have to save it. I been making yarn out of old t-shirts and weaving rugs on a loom I made myself. I was going to enter in an upcoming craftalong and wondered if t-shirt yarn might be considered a non-yarn by yarn snobs, so i googled it and so glad I found your blog. I am going to list a lin to your blog on my blog under "my favorite blogs" list.

maggiescornerdotorg said...

So funny, love the article. I was actually googling "yarn snobs" and found your blog. I have to save it. I been making yarn out of old t-shirts and weaving rugs on a loom I made myself. I was going to enter in an upcoming craftalong and wondered if t-shirt yarn might be considered a non-yarn by yarn snobs, so i googled it and so glad I found your blog. I am going to list a lin to your blog on my blog under "my favorite blogs" list.

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