Obsessions, Compulsions and Yarn

A few years ago I took up knitting.  I created a few scarves with super chunky fuzzy yarn and giant sized needles. They turned out fairly decent. The texture of the yarn was forgiving and hid my mistakes well.  Then I got busy with writing, quilting, and penny rugs and the knitting got put on the back burner. Several months ago I ran across some never used Knifty Knitter looms in my studio and was inspired to try my hand at working with yarn again. This time I sat down with a friend of mine who showed me how to correctly execute some basic needle knitting techniques. (Thanks Amy!) I also spent hours and hours on YouTube learning all the tricks of loom knitting.

Since then I’ve gone on more than a few shopping sprees and filled my studio with knitting books, patterns, boards, sock looms, round looms, rectangular looms, and skeins and skeins of yarn. I even had a pattern book and yarn shipped from England because I couldn’t find it in the states and yes, it had to be that yarn and that pattern. Thank goodness I already had all the knitting needles a girl could ever want….or do I?  (Cue the elevator music.) Okay I’m back. Turns out I don’t have all the needles a girl could want.

You see, it’s a thing I do. Some might call it a compulsion or an obsession or maybe even a borderline disorder.  When I get inspired to take up a new hobby I can’t just dip my toes in. I have to jump in with both feet, quickly and completely, credit card in hand. So I shop…and I buy…and then I spend hours rearranging my studio trying to find the perfect place for my new stash of goods. Fortunately, I have a very supportive husband who has become an expert at repeating the phrase, “That’s nice dear,” without sounding the least bit disinterested or condescending. There was that one time many years ago when he stared down at my fabric stash of 200 plus yards and uttered the question, “When are you actually going to make something with all of that?” It was a very short conversation and like I said, it only happened once. Now he just says, “That’s nice dear.” Of course, that could be code for something else.

I have decided to put a label on my condition. This way I can justify my behavior. Right now I am suffering from OCYD, Obsessive Compulsive Yarn Disorder, as my OCFD (F for fabric and fiber) is in remission. As it turns out, I am not alone in my affliction. My good friend Donna and I share the same disorder. As we also share the same office, this can be problematic as we tend to feed off each other’s desire for “more” setting off a frenzy of internet shopping. However, a couple of weeks ago we admitted to each other that we have a problem. Anyone involved in a good twelve step program knows that this is the first step to recovery. We agreed to make no additional purchases until we were committed to our craft. We decided that we could share our looms, hooks and patterns. I have several Knifty Knitter rectangular looms and she has the coveted 28″ Knitting Board. Of course, then she took off for Hawaii. As she was snorkeling with big sea turtles, I found myself wandering the aisles of House of Fabrics.  I know what you locals are thinking, “House of Fabrics?!” Hey, I needed a quick fix and it is the only place in town where I can touch fabric.  I admit, it’s upholstery fabric but it was the best I could do in a crisis. Perhaps I am beyond help.

So here are a few of my recent creations. I have to go now. I have this 40% off coupon for Hobby Lobby burning a hole in my pocket and the sale ends today. I really want that 28″ Knitting Board.

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About Susan Warren Utley

Susan Warren Utley is a wife and mother living and writing in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Her stories are inspired by the unexpected twists and turns of real life and by her muse, a feisty Jack Russell Terrier who occasionally answers to the name of Lucy. View all posts by Susan Warren Utley

4 responses to “Obsessions, Compulsions and Yarn

  • Jeff

    You are creative enough for the both of us. 🙂 I will say this, OCD is genetic and I do admit it is one of my likable, “disorders”. However, if I start having a fetish for fabric and yarn then we have just proven OCYD is hereditary.

    • Susan Warren Utley

      Hi Jeff! The husband wishes I were more OCD, so does the house. If OCYD is hereditary look for symptoms to start appearing in about three to five years. It’s not all bad though. My entire stash of fabric, yarn and notions would provide the perfect counter balance weight for that jacuzzi you want to put in the boathouse! Love you!

  • Amy

    Look at you, and all that knitting!!!! I’m so proud of you! And now that you are on Ravelry, I’ll have to send you a couple invites to the local knitting groups.

    Speaking of local groups, we all meet on Wednesdays at The Expresso Bar in downtown Winchester from 6-8, and at Hooked on Fiber in Middletown, on Thursdays, from 6-8ish. I can only go every other week, but I hope to be at both this week!

    • Susan Warren Utley

      Amy! My mentor! I absolutely LOVE Ravelry. I am so glad I stumbled upon it in my search for help with that silly UK pattern. There are knitters on Ravelry who have actually posted photos of the same exact sweater. Now I have someone experienced with the pattern to go to and say “Does this third arm look right?…’cause I’m not so sure.”

      I like idea of Thursdays in Middletown! Hooked on Fiber is such a sweet shop! April is a mess for me right now but when things clear up I’d love to come!

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