• Know thyself, then knit

    Look soft? You bet it is.

    There is a hat I’ve just finished working on; it turned out just beautifully. When I found the pattern in a library book, I decided to try knitting it with a yarn I had picked up from Fiddlehead Yarns’ clearance bin. The yarn is from the Rowan company, a DK weight (meaning you get 5.25-6 stiches per inch) made from baby alpaca fibers, which means it is super soft. I bought it for no good reason other than the fact I liked it, so this seemed like a good use for it.

    When I began this project, I stopped knitting all of my other projects. Why? The pattern was easy to follow, the project was small, so it was easy to tote from place to place–but in the end, it was the yarn. This yarn is so soft. I would begin my work and find myself relaxed within minutes. The yarn slid easily between the needles, it was easy to pull out of the ball–my fingers just wanted to touch it. Don’t get me wrong–I knit to relax. But this yarn enabled me to go a step beyond relaxation into a kind contentment, a sense of well-being. All is right with the world when I work this yarn.

    Contrast this with a project I’ve been working on for my husband for a couple of months. He requested I knit a triangle carrying case for him. I’m knitting that out of a Caron Simply Soft black worsted weight yarn. There is nothing wrong with this yarn. It is, as the name states, soft. But it is an acrylic yarn, and after a while it almost seems sticky on my needles, the black has colored the bamboo and my hands feel dirty. I haven’t finished this very simple and straight-forward project because I don’t like the material I’m working with.

    I am learning that I have a yarn sensitivity! This doesn’t mean I’m going to ditch any projects made of unnatural fibers, but I am going to start paying more attention to how a fiber in my hands before I buy it, before I start a project. At the very least, I do not want the relaxation of knitting to be undermined by the fibers I’m using, and there may be times when splurging on that luxury yarn with be worth it because of the joy and contentment I get from both knitting the fibers and from wearing the finished piece.

    Lord, thank you for helping me see that even in this little matter, there is much I can pay attention to and learn from. Thank you for the pleasure of feeling yarn pass through my fingers, of seeing a beautiful pattern build and become something both useful and beautiful. Thank you for things that feel beautiful as well as look beautiful. Help me to keep paying attention to you in the knits and purls of life and find great deals on yarn I will love working with! Amen.

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