One of the many great features of Ravelry.com, is that you can download your yarn stash into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. In doing so, I was able to create totals of my inventory. I have 65 miles of yarn, which doesn't sound like a lot at first, but converting it to 114,464 yards in 641 balls, makes it seem like I’m buried in a mountain of yarn.
If the average top requires 900 yards, then I could make 125 tops. Clearly there's yarn in here I wouldn't want to wear (can you imagine a Fun-Fur sweater?) and since I make lots of little things like dishcloths, scarves, and socks, let's say my average project is 400 yards, which equates to about 280 projects. If I finish a project every 2 weeks, then I have over 10 years worth of yarn!
Since reacquainting myself in late 2004, knitting and crochet have become my favorite hobbies. I now have practically every tool for them in every size known to mankind. Still there’s more that I want. I’d like to have an entire set of 16” and 24” Addi Turbos. I’ve seen some gorgeous hand-carved and bejeweled crochet hooks that make me swoon. I’d like to carry a giant Jordana Paige knitting purse, instead of old canvas tote bags. I just discovered that Michaels is remodeling its yarn department. There will be REAL sock yarn, new Cotton Ease colors, and glow-in-the-dark yarn, just in time for Halloween. Soon, the yarn stores will be stocking their new fall lines.
My acquisition behavior is repetitive in all my hobbies. When I wanted to play music again in my 20's, I could’ve just dusted off my violin and refreshed my memory with some old sheet music. Instead, I bought 2 guitars, keyboards, an entire drum-set, various microphones & amps, and a 4-track recorder. When I got into origami, I could’ve just folded some stationary from my desk. Instead, I bought several books and stacks of colorful designer origami paper. When I got into cake decorating, I splurged on an entire professional decorator set, along with several pans. I also have extensive supplies for papermaking and soap-crafting.
I almost got into scrapbooking, and have all the “essentials, ” or enough to get started making basic scrapbooks. Seeing as how I don’t really have the time to spare, I’m safe for now. I almost got into beer-brewing, too. I’ve had all the equipment for over 10 years now. I tossed out the old grains and bought some fresh stuff last year with the intentions to try again when the weather is cooler. Still, there are more hobbies that spark my interest, like sewing and painting.
As much as I already have, I’m not planning any yarn diets in the near future. I work hard, so feel I should be able enjoy life within reason. Some people collect antiques, shoes, or CD’s. I can empathize with such obsessions, because those things can be useful as well. Then there are people who collect stamps and coins, or rocks and seashells because they’re pretty. They may be useless objects to some, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. To a collector, the personal value of his collection can be priceless.
I collect yarn. It has entertainment value when I craft with it, and it has aesthetic value to me when sitting prettily in baskets around my home. Yarn is also therapeutic. Though I’ve fallen off the wagon a few times, knitting helped me quit smoking. Through knitting groups, I’ve made some lasting friendships. When I crochet, I feel connected to my late great-grandmother Betty. Yarn shopping both excites and relaxes me, as I stroll through the aisles, admiring the myriad of colors and stroking the soft skeins, all while dreaming of potential projects. Finally, when I arrive home with the latest additions to my collection, and sit down to knit a swatch amongst the many skeins already in my home, that’s when I find true happiness.