I recently combed through a large pile of yarn that was graciously donated to my knitting group. The yarn came from a woman who had recently passed and her daughter wanted the yarn to find a good home. I was excited when I saw the yarn on the knitting table spread out for the taking. I thought it was such a lovely and generous act to share the yarn with those who would truly appreciate it.
Upon closer inspection of the massive amount of yarn, I was overcome with sadness. The yarn was made up of small bits of remnants from finished projects, small bobbins, and many, many skeins that were ten years old.*
Just as I was amazed by the generosity of this gift, I was also troubled with the thought that all of the yarn on the table had not reached its greatest potential.
This encouraged me to pay attention and keep an inventory of my own stash. My yarn was not being treated with respect. I had bags on top of the over-filled bins, fresh from Michael’s and Hobby Lobby. These bags were jammed into the closet full of yarn and knitting supplies packed in there like a hoarder’s – or addict’s – dirty secret. My overloaded yarn cabinet looked like forgotten children not picked up from school.
I realized I had been hindering myself and my creativity! I was buying yarn because it was pretty, looked cool or that I might use eventually, the excuses were endless, and I wasn’t keeping up with the supply.
My desire to have lots of yarn was preventing me from finishing my current projects. My knitting bags were exploding at the seams! Not an atmosphere for creating, more like feeling overwhelmed with a knitting to-do list to get the pile smaller.
By no means am I advocating a moratorium on buying yarn, please don’t misunderstand! Every skein of yarn has a purpose. I’m encouraging us as knitters or crocheters to make it our responsibility to ensure its purpose is fulfilled after purchase.
If a skein sits neglected or forgotten for too long, do we somehow take away its integrity? We can forget the feelings that come from finishing a project, liberation, elation, fulfillment of giving and gratification, to name a few. Think of the person who receives the finished piece and gets the opportunity to share in some of those emotions. Even the yarn has the opportunity to be content because it has reached its potential. It is no longer waiting to be selected from the yarn stash or competing with our newest yarn that has our attention, it is complete.
Knit with Purpose!
*For the record, the yarn that was so generously given has been given a good home. Our knitting group is sending many skeins to the Handmade Afghan Project. Almost all of the remnants were bagged and sent to my Mother’s Day Out program for crafting projects. The rest of the skeins were divided up amongst our group and will be put to good use…eventually.