Yarn Love: Kicking an Unhealthy Habit and Finding a Passion

by Marlene Kupsch

I am too young for this yarn obsession!

There was a time in my life where I thought that I would never be old enough to use yarn for any purpose. I was the one who made fun of everyone younger than, say, 80, including two of my closest friends for acting like Grandma and Grandpa. There was even a time where I was obnoxious in my taunting, and I may have snorted with laughter a time or two. Surely, only old people did that, or people with nothing better to do. I was too cool for that! Turns out I was completely wrong, and I needed to apologize to my friends.

I had decided to quit smoking, and I needed something to keep my hands busy. I immediately thought of my friends and their hobbies. So I went to the local craft store, and I bought a few skeins of yarn and a 5 mm hook. My idea was to learn to crochet a granny square afghan and drape it across my sofa like I used to see on a TV show growing up. Now, did I run right out to the library and grab some books full of beautiful patterns? No way, José. I did not want anyone to see me with those uncool books. The fun part was, I worked at a library and saw these books everyday. I knew there was an endless supply of beautiful patterns that were FREE and available to me. Pride, people, my pride just would not let me.

So, home now from the craft store, where no one can see me,  I do what everyone does: I Google what I want to know. Well, wouldn’t you know there are thousands of videos to choose from. I felt intimidated and frustrated immediately. I spent an hour trying to find a video that wasn’t too fast or slow, because remember, I was detoxing that nicotine out of my body and was quite irritated that this was not simpler and I couldn’t figure it out. I hated having to pause and rewind, or worse yet,  the person talked really slow and I had to fast forward. I had succeeded in making knots and chains, a few single crochet stitches, but mostly I just kept “frogging” my weird little knotted creation and trying to make the same thing over and over again. I wanted to give up! But oh, I had this beautiful yarn and I had never quit anything before. I know, I was quitting smoking, but hey, there are always exceptions!

The next day on my lunch break, I run off to the nonfiction section and I find the 746s. I pulled book after book after book off the shelf and wanted to take them all home. There were titles like First Time Crochet: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide, Deborah Burger; Crochet : The Complete Step-By-Step Guide, DK Publishing, Inc.; Easy Weekend Crochet Hats: A Ski-Style Collection for the Entire Family, Jennifer J. Cirka; Granny Squares & Shapes : 20 Crochet Projects for You and Your Home, Susan  Pinner… I mean it was endless and so secretly exciting! I imagined myself in a blanket fort in my living room with all of these books, intertwined with yarn and hooks spread out all around me. I was excited and inspired! I was going to make afghans for everyone I knew, and I would have them all done for Christmas! Deflating my happy balloon now… If you have ever tried to crochet, you find out a few things. One being that there is something called time, and that sucker gets in the way. Thankfully, though, the time it took me to learn the basic stitches to crochet a lap size afghan, a few scarves, and one Christmas gift, two and a half months had passed and I was nicotine-free and I had a rewarding hobby that I loved!

It’s been a few years since then, and I have been crocheting away! I love it, and I am nowhere near 80 years old. I offer my humble apologies to anyone whose feelings I have hurt about their yarn love! Through the years I have created many different projects and I am currently hooked on making amigurumi animals. Snuggle and Play Crochet: 40 Amigurumi Patterns for Lovey Security Blankets and Matching Toys  by Carolina Guzman Benitez is one that I borrowed, renewed, and then I didn’t want to give back. I was lucky enough to receive a copy for Mother’s Day! Thanks, Bro!!

P.S. I am still smoke-free!!

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Do you share Marlene’s yarn obsession, or do you want to get into knitting or crocheting? Come to the Smyrna Knitting and Crochet Group or the Yarn Love group at Linebaugh! Check out our events calendar for more details.  

 

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