For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb
Psalm 139:13

Monday, 20 April 2015

Yarn snobbery and ugly ducklings


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? 





13 comments:

  1. I have turned into a terrible yarn snob! Still, I do have some acrylic yarns that, even though I hate them, still come in useful from time to time. Recently, I knitted a few garlands as gifts and acrylic DK is perfect for them. I still have quite a bit of it left, but I am sure a few more garlands and toys will get it out of my stash. And then it will be all luxury fibres! Well,
    I can dream.

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    1. Yep, acrylic definitely isn't the prettiest, but it does have its uses. Once you've used gorgeous yarn, it's tough to go back! :) x

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  2. Your owl looks great especially with the eyelash yarn, Acrylic has its place ... cheap and cheerful!

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    1. Thank you! Somehow it just worked. I love it when a yarn and project come together, even if it's not what I expected. :) x

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  3. I used pink eyelash yarn as the center of a beautiful felted flower - but I felt embarrassed buying it!

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    1. Ooh, that sounds like it would work really well. Uh oh, yarn shame! This made me giggle! :) x

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  4. I too, practice pretty deeply rooted yarn snobbery, but I've found there's a place in the knitting world for everything - and you have found the perfect use for this eyelash yarn. Now you can put it away forever, or at least until you make another creature that needs eyelashes.

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    1. I quite agree Wendy, all yarn has it's place. And rest assured, the eyelash yarn is buried deep in the stash again! :) x

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  5. Eeee, loving the owl!
    You clever lady :)
    xox

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    1. Thanks lovely, he's still one of my fave knits! :) x

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  6. I think eyelash yarn is totally made for knitted toys, and looks awesome on that owl! I feel like it would make a good, cuddly teddy bear, too. I suspect most of us turn our noses up at it due to all the weird scarves that seemed to be made with it (commercially) in the early 2000s. I actually get embarrassed by my lack of yarn snobbery- I fell sometimes that I should 'know better' than choosing an inexpensive yarn, or (gasp!) acrylic, but if I know the knit is going to someone who doesn't know how to care for handknits, I'm not busting out the merino and alpaca for them.

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    1. Oh, the unbearable nostalgia! I definitely made my fair share of questionable multicoloured eyelash yarn scarves in the 2000s. My mum even still wears the one I gave her sometimes! Thankfully she has since had some nicer handmade gifts from me. Ooh, yes, you have to be selective sometimes, with yarn and with picking projects. As with the yarn choice, I won't pick complex projects for a chum who's not big on handmade. :) x

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  7. I agree with Julie - I am such a non-yarn snob :p I;ve only used eyelash yarn once to knit a santas beard for a toy I made thie Christmas just gone. I actually found it a lot easier and satisfying to work with than I first thought, and it made his beard look SO SO good, never would have looked this good with a wool I am sure. I actually prefer (good quality) acrylic yarn myself, perhaps this is down to inexperience but hey ho. I always like to read peoples opinions on yarn so that I can learn more :) EXCELLENT owl by the way! jenny xx

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penny for your thoughts . . .

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