Crafting · New Hobbies

I Have A Yarn Problem (Or How To Pretend You’re Good At Something When You’re Not)

I had a half-awake dream last night that I could write this entire post as an extended limerick. (Please don’t question the way my brain works.) Turns out writing a rhyming poem about crochet hooks and yarn is actually kind of hard, so we’ll just stick to plain ol’ prose for now. I may need to revisit this idea though.

So last night I decided to get my crochet supplies out and dig in. Following a lifelong pattern, it’s been about 4-6 months since I last picked up anything yarn-related. I’ve known how to knit since I was 10-ish (if you define “know” very loosely) and learned to crochet about 5 years ago. Neither is particularly difficult – I realize that. However, in true Sophie-style, I tend to like to say I knit and crochet more than I actually like taking the time to knit and crochet.

Here are some general musings after 5 years of pretending.

Yarn addiction is a thing.

There’s so much about yarn that I like! It’s colorful and fluffy and has so much potential. Plus it allows me to justify spending copious amounts of money because “I’m totally going to make this giant poncho with this incredibly expensive finger weight yarn.” Totally.

One of 3 giant baskets I have stashed around my house.
One of 3 giant baskets I have stashed around my house.

What this really means is that I have skeins of yarn stuffed in every unoccupied crevice in my house. I can’t keep it out in the open (at any height) because my cats have a sixth sense for destroying things that cost money. (Seriously, I’ve watched them unzip my knitting bag to get at yarn they shouldn’t even have known was in there. They don’t even have thumbs!) I also have lots of single skeins of yarn because I saw it in the store and thought it was pretty and/or soft, but didn’t really know what I wanted to do with it so I just bought one. Turns out, it’s pretty hard to make a blanket out of 60 yards of light-worsted weight yarn. (If you don’t know what any of these terms mean, please see below.)

Pro-tip: I’ve found that Goodwill and other secondhand stores (there’s one I like near me called Houseworks) can be a goldmine for cheap, unused yarn. This will not help with your addiction problem at all.

Nobody tells you you’re going to have to learn to a new language.

The following is a pattern I am currently (read: started 2 years ago and haven’t touched since) working on.

.........wut.
………wut.

I’ll give you $100 bucks if you can tell me what it says right now. (Note: This is meant for my Dad since I’m pretty sure he’s the only person who reads all my posts. Thanks Dad!) In all seriousness, what the hell, crochet??? I’ve been (attempting to) read patterns for 5+ years now and I have yet to encounter one that doesn’t involve googling terms or YouTubing directions or posting questions on Ravelry.

Then there’s the whole issue of yarn weight. Did you notice that I referred to light-worsted and finger weight yarn as if I actually know what I’m talking about? (Protip: I never know what I’m talking about. You should really know this by now.) It took me years (YEARS!) before I knew what that meant. Plus I just had to google all the different weights of yarn because the only one I can ever remember off the top of my head is “chunky”. Go figure.

There may be times when you can't read the pattern because something is blocking your view.
There may also be times when you can’t read the pattern because something is blocking your view.
I am not a patient person.

I’m sure Adam could’ve already told you this, but patience isn’t really a strength for me. This particular characteristic doesn’t really mesh well with knitting or crocheting. First, every pattern will condescendingly tell you to “remember to check your gauge!” at the beginning of every pattern. I have never done this.

For those of you who don’t know, checking a gauge involves knitting up half the project and then measuring to make sure it matches the dimensions given in the pattern. If it’s not the same, you’re supposed to tear the whole thing out and start again with a new size needle or hook and then keep doing this until you get it right. Who has time for that? (People who want properly-sized sweaters, that’s who.)

One of many unfinished projects. This one has made me seriously questions my ability to count.
One of many unfinished projects. This one has made me seriously questions my ability to count.

Frogging is also a thing. (I told you it was an entirely different language.) Frogging involves reaching the end of your project, realizing you made a mistake (usually from reading the pattern wrong) and then tearing the entire thing up to start again from the beginning. I’ve seen people on knitting forums casually mention that they had to frog a certain project 3 or 4 times before getting it right. All I can say to that is “WHAT???” I’ve been working on the same sweater for a year and a half and it’s still only halfway done. If I have to frog it 3 or 4 times, you’re going to end up leaving my unfinished projects on my grave.

So many good intentions. So little time.

As you may have gathered, I have a few unfinished projects lying around my house. In fact, I’ve only ever finished one crochet project I ever started. (A blanket that took 2 years to finish and I have to repair every 3 days.)

The problem with not being able to read the patterns (and refusing to learn) is that you’ll most likely get really frustrated halfway through. My solution for this has simply been to start a new project (because that makes sense…) in order to keep myself interested. (Fun fact: Spooled yarn takes up way less space than yarn that’s been unspooled and half-knitted into a lopsided sweater.)

Anyway, that brings us to last night’s most recent attempt which I am fully committed to finishing! Adam’s mom was nice enough to buy me more yarn for Christmas (I think that’s called “enabling”) so I thought I’d give it a whirl. Thanks to inspiration from Red Agape’s Instagram, I’ve decided to try my hand at a simple puff stitch pillow.

The beginning of the next endless project.
The beginning of the next endless project.

I’ll post the finished product here in approximately 8 years.

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26 thoughts on “I Have A Yarn Problem (Or How To Pretend You’re Good At Something When You’re Not)

  1. Bwahahahahahahaha! You’re not alone! I found eventually that I only completed projects when I used them to distract myself from something I hated more, like watching online video lectures for work. The knitting or crocheting would keep me awake during the first lecture series. Then I would have a warm fuzzy blanket to nap through the next lecture series. It was a vicious cycle… 🙂

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      1. I will confess that I use my cleaning habits against each other– I’ll vacuum just so I won’t have to dust. Haaaaate dusting. At least the vacuuming makes me feel like I’ve done something hygienic…

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  2. I know very little about crocheting (although my daughter once got me to commit to helping her crochet a pair of socks as a Christmas gift, oh you know, about 2 weeks before Christmas, so yeah, that was fun) but I like to think I know a little about humour, and you, my love, are very funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes!! I love knitting and first learned when I was about 11. However, I am still a fairly basic knitter…I’ve only just learned to purl! 😀 I haven’t made any huge projects but enjoy doing things like headbands. 🙂

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    1. The quick projects are the best! If it’s going to take more than a few hours to make, there’s a good chance I’ll put it down and never pick it up again. I found a great book at the library called “Last Minute Knitted Gifts” with all types of simple knitted projects. You might see if you can find something similar to expand your repertoire!

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  4. You made me laugh when you talked about learning another language…the language of a crochet pattern. I remember sitting there, pattern in one hand and an online tutorial in another, making notes (sc=single crochet). LOL! I marked up so many patterns and they usually ended up in a crumpled mess on the floor for my cat to bat around. It looks like you have gotten the hang of it now! I love that spike stitch…so pretty!

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  5. I’ve been crocheting for over 15 years and except the basic terms, i still cannot read patterns. when i started, i was glad i knew what the basic abbreviations meant, and then i got a British book with patterns and all i thought i knew seemed to be wrong… well later, i found out it wasn’t wrong, just different… so i gave up on learning how to read written pattern and now i only look at the pictures and graphs and then freestyle. it’s so much more fun…

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      1. when i started to learn, youtube wasn’t a thing yet (that makes me sound so oooold). i only had a book from my grandma written in Slovak, so doing english pattern was difficult, then the confusion between US and UK terms… i learnt to improvise very quickly…

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  6. Good luck with your pillow! I also have what some may call a yarn hoarding problem. When I’m standing in the yarn aisle at Michael’s I’m sure my eyes are glazed over and there is a drool pool near my feet. My heart skips a beat when I get Flash Sale emails from Red Heart. I also get lost when reading patterns – I watch a YouTube tutorial for a project and either crochet along or write out the instructions without the weird abbreviations.

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  7. aww sophie your projects will all get done one day dont worry!, and i have a slight yarn addiction at the minute all my wool is taking up a full bookcase, not just one shelf no no no all of the bookcase haha im rubbish at pattern reading but youtube is my new friend, You can do it! x

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