Baaaad Sheepies

I have another confession to make: I harbor a deep-rooted fiber addiction. I love textures, colors, and a surprising combination of different textures and/or colors.

My first signs of this addiction started when I began hoarding fabric as a teen. Influenced by my knitting-obsessed older cousin whom I admired, I taught myself to knit many years before this fabric hoarding began. But fabric was my love, my life, my passion. Perhaps in part because I had easy access to a fabric store but not a yarn store. Or perhaps because we were living in the Dark Ages of knitting from my birth onwards to college, when it was just so hard to be excited about the limp and lackluster yarns available.

So despite my inability to sew, I favored collecting yards of fabric over skeins of yarn. Sometimes, I even hacked up these pieces of fabric and performed dodgy sewing operations using the hideously awesome 1968 dusty rose Singer my grandmother gave me (the very same Singer I was a fool to relinquish to a sewing store when I tried to get it serviced and they convinced me to buy a Janome). Sadly, I had no guidance on the art of sewing—every one of my creations was ill-fitting and poorly seamed. Let's just say that it's rather disenchanting to create ugly garment after ugly garment without the ability to easily salvage all that fabric you hacked to bits. This is where knitting should have entered, for with knitting you have the ability to frog and save that yarn over the once-cut-forever-gone issue of sewing. Yet, none of the yarns were very exciting. I continued to collect yards of fabric, hoarding them away and taking them out once in awhile to pet and admire.

And then—after I moved into my first apartment in college—I finally developed an obsession for knitting. There was a yarn store a mere block away from me, so I bought two skeins of some green yarn just shy of crossing the line to novelty yarns. I dusted off the needles (also inherited from my grandmother), and started a simple ribbed scarf. Then The Manflesh stole my scarf, and I had to make another. And then another scarf, just because. And another. And finally some gloves since I was bored of scarves. And then a sweater, because I was bored of gloves. And soon I was knitting regularly each Winter.

At about this time, we were on the cusp of exiting the Knitting Dark Ages—better fitting patterns were slowly starting to appear. Knitty was born. Debbie Stoller hit the knitting scene dashing like a cheetah on fire. With all of this and a yarn store a mere intersection over, what followed was a decent into madness, made slow only by my poor college and jobless post-college existence during the next four years. The yarn overtook my fabric stash, creeping and crawling out the closet and into my floor space. The Manflesh started to complain. And we all know, when The Manflesh who hoards scraps of metal he plucked form the street starts to complain, there's a serious issue at hand.

But the worst was yet to come. Then came the job and money. Just try and guess how fast a small collection of waste yarn from past projects exploded into a yarn stash entity in a mere year and a half. It wasn't pretty. I know there's worse out there, but it wasn't pretty. I even attempted a weak de-stash via Etsy, selling off 12 skeins of Jamieson yarns that were going to be made into a colorwork Trogdor scarf before I decided they were too scratchy.

Lately, I've been better. I still buy yarn, but I actually went back to the store and returned 3 skeins of Cascade 220 because I knew that I only needed one U-Neck Vest (from Fitted Knits). I also knew that if I can't pick the right color the first time, I ain't gonna get it the second time from the same yarn store with the same color stock. And then there was that Knitty-Noddy email, the one that tempted me to buy some special HandMaiden Sea Silk in special extra large yardage amounts with special colorways made just for them at a special price. I'll admit that I refreshed the damn secret webpage millions of times the entire weekend, whimpering as each special colorway depleted. But I never bought a single skein.

Then something like this blasted No Sheep for You book has to come along, and they actually have the nerve to host a fiber swap! How the hell is a fiber addict ever going to resist? Especially a fiber addict who's addicted to Bam Boo by Classic Elite (and has hoarded multiple skeins in every single colorway)?