There is a lovely place in Knitsville called The Yarn Barn. It is filled with fiber. Mostly acrylic but every once in a while there is a lovely wool blend, even some silk and camel’s hair. But mostly acrylic. It used to be quite organized but it no longer is. Marie Kondo would jump for joy at the sight of this room in our house.
I have more yarn than I can use in a year. I think I could go a couple or three years using one ball a day before I would run out. Even so, I still have to pull myself back from buying more.
I love the stuff. I like looking at and thinking of the possibilities. But even I know I have too much of a good thing. I have sold some of it and there is an idea running inside my head of doing a KonMari on the lot and bagging some of it up to sell at a craft show. I believe this is the year I will make that idea into a real thing. The craft show is already in the planning stages in my head.
Having this much fiber has also changed the way I will run my business. I am going to concentrate a great deal more on my Ready to Ship section so I will be buying only the fiber I need for those custom and made to order fibers. Right now, most of the shop is made to order and this year, I hope to make at least 25% of it Ready to Ship.
That satisfies on several levels: I won’t be buried in made to order orders and I will be able to use some of the yarn that has been looking at me from their cages. They will fulfill their destiny and become objects of art and usefulness. Isn’t that what we all want from life?
Naturally when one knits (crochets) for hours at a time, one ends up with…something. A hat, or a scarf or blanket or something. And if one knits (crochets) for hours at a time every day; you get a lot of somethings.
When one has a lot of somethings and one has an Etsy shop, then one needs to create a section called ready to ship so those somethings can go to new homes and be used and loved.
There are several items which can and should go to new places and meet new people. There are hats and scarves and shawls.
I make pretty things. I make useful things. So, I guess I make pretty useful things as well. That’s the blessing within the blessing. It’s the act of knitting I love and it’s an additional blessing that things turn out so well.
But it does make for a house filled with finished projects and there are just so many that can be given away. I do give some away. My search serves as a station for people between housing and I give some items there. I have given each of my brothers and sisters an afghan. Various other places, too. Yet there is enough for a section in the shop.
I suppose I would feel differently about knitting and crochet if there weren’t such lovely things at the end of it. I would not be content doing what I did when I first learned, which was ripping out my knitting and starting again. I did because I didn’t have any more yarn. I now have room filled to overflowing so I can knit to my heart’s content.
All of it works together, I suppose, though it is still the doing and not the having done that brings me the most joy. But that’s symbiotic. I get to do the knitting. You get to do the wearing of it.
I don’t know that I was bored when I first learned to knit. I know I was fascinated by it and really took to it. But I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know to change colors on the same side and gauge was a term unfamiliar to me. My fascination quickly died because I only had one lesson, learning to knit with pencils. I didn’t even know about the purl stitch. There was no YouTube so I’m not certain how I figured it out.
Crochet, too, for that matter. Don’t remember when I learned it. I liked knitting better but I went without both, off and on, for almost thirty years after I learned in grade school.
I picked it up almost fifteen years ago and it has let me go. We haven’t let go of each other . I knit or crochet at a career choice and I’ve gotten into designing pieces for beginner and advanced beginner knitters and crocheters.
Opening the shop on Etsy was a necessity because there were too many items clogging up the house. Opening the shop did not solve the problem as there are still finished objects in the house. They are now joined by more than 800 skeins of yarn. Most of it in a 10×10 room of the house that also holds two desks, two bookcases, two computers and a laptop. Yarn is in every room of our house – including the garage and I’ve never knit in there.
There is something magical about all things made by hand. I admire people who can paint and draw. Those who have the gift of words and can pull together narratives and images in ink. I see some of the work of my fellow needle arts artisans and I am in awe.
The yarns are different that when I first learned and now they can do a great deal of the work by being self striping, having texture or mixing plies. There are some knitters who won’t work with acrylic yarn but I am not one to forego it. It is economical and has come a long way from the stiff, rough yarn that used to be commonplace. Today’s acrylics have softness, texture and beautiful colors.
Along with a huge stash of yarn, I have a collection of knitting needles and crochet hooks. Some come from the legacy left from my mother-in-law who crocheted and knit. None of her kids or grandkids have the knitting gene. Her needles are in the office in a couple of mugs. I don’t use them. They are part of the atmosphere.
I never would have imagined this would be my living and now I cannot imagine being without it. Knitting and crochet are cornerstones of my life and faith. Being able to do it as my work and as a way of connecting with the world is a bonus and a blessing. I am grateful every day.