100% polyester novelty eyelash yarn. Is there anything more offensive to human sensibilities?
When I saw that the prompt for this week's Playful Day Love Your Blog challenge was 'ugly', this remarkably foul yarn was the first thing that sprung to mind. It's certainly true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, though. I for one am a huge fan of lots of yucky, kitschy things that could be considered ugly - Christmas jumpers, pugs, plastic flamingos, ridiculous socks, flying ducks, Hawaiian shirts, onesies and slankets, the list goes on (although I do draw the line at Crocs). But I couldn't tell you exactly why it is I like these things. Are they guilty pleasures? Are they so bad they're good, or are they just awful and I have terrible taste? Either way, one thing I was pretty certain of was that I found brown eyelash yarn absolutely abhorrent. Squeaky, unyielding, unnatural fibre, horrid plastic sheen and unbearable fluff. I could not see the appeal.
That is until I discovered the perfect use for it. This is Mr Owl (below). I knitted him as a birthday gift for a dear friend (see this post, he's a great stashbuster, BTW) and it dawned on me that eyelash yarn was precisely what this project needed. And all was forgiven.
Now, I'm by no means admitting that me and eyelash yarn became the best of pals and rode off into the sunset together, oh no. I still maintain that the yarn is hideous. But used in the right way, it can be pretty awesome. That yarn above, it could make a really adorable bear or a cute fur collar (seriously considering that one). I guess what I'm saying is, all yarn has its place. The more you work with and learn about beautiful fibres, the easier it is to fall prey to yarn snobbery. But there's more to beauty than mere aesthetics, isn't there? Function, meaning, memory and experience all have their parts to play. And don't we all, at the very bottom of our stashes, have a ball or two of squeaky acrylic or novelty yarn that was given to us in our earliest crafting days, or that we were chuffed with buying as it was SUCH a bargain?