A yarn about yarn

Definition: Yarn \ˈyärn\ (noun)
1 (a): a continuous often plied strand composed of either natural or man-made fibres or filaments and used in weaving and knitting to form cloth; (b): a similar strand of another material (such as metal, glass, or plastic)
2 [from the idiom spin a yarn “to tell a tale”]: a narrative of adventures

Like many people who work with yarn, wool, and other fibres, I am a bit of a collector of the stuff. I must have it all; I must save it all. From scraps and skeins to cakes and cones to hanks and balls… I want it all. And if I can get it for free (which is how I get about 90% of my yarn*), all the better!

Not just to “have” but to use for blankets and throws and even deadly coronaviruses. Or to dream about using, in the case of the lovely hank of green alpaca wool I bought many years ago to make a scarf… which I’ve yet to do. (But I digress.)

When I was home for Christmas, one of my chores (before Mum took ill) was helping to organise a few things around the house. Each time I came across another bit of yarn (be it a single skein or a bag) I piled it up in a large plastic bin. Then, when I was home over the summer, I carried on piling up yarn as Daddy and I moved things around to get ready for painting and to set up his stationary trike. And it was a lot of yarn because my Mum was a very crafty woman who enjoyed creating yarn-based gifts and trinkets for others**.

I said to Dad that I would like the yarn if no one else wanted any. He was more than happy for me to take it all, so I did***.

There were about 60 skeins of yarn (mostly full, some partial) making up more than 13,500 yards of yarn (not counting the various scraps of tangled and/or haphazardly bagged bits). That’s more than 7.5 miles of yarn. Wow!

Included in that were several skeins of solid-colour yarn, many of which are jumbo skeins.

There were also a nice variety of variegated yarns.

Including some from my grandparents’ collection that Mum inherited many years ago.

And there was a pile of super-soft variegated yarns, too. Indeed, those will be the first ones I use!

In with the yarn was a range of unfinished projects, including a small pile of embroidery kits. I brought the projects with me but left the kits in case my sisters or their kids might want to work on them. I need to go through the projects a bit to determine where things were left and what needs to be done to finish them off (and at least one of the projects will be shared with my youngest sister, Royann). For now, however, I am simply doing a project inventory and task list. Working on them will come later.

My first project will be a blanket for my father. He has already selected the colours he wants, and I have begun to look at the best patterns to use. I’ve been thinking about crocheting it in a continuous round (well, a rectangle) but I am not yarn-savvy enough to be able to tweak my patterns so need to consult the archives at the University of Google.

Other projects will include scarves for any sisters who want one and a blanket for me. A nice, big, comfy blanket with my Mum’s collection of yarn. It will be even more comforting knowing that Mum enjoyed the yarn so much – and that she used so much of it.

I am really excited about putting Mum’s yarn to good use, completing projects she was working on and beginning new projects of my own. I am sure Mum would be pleased to know that her collection will be loved so very much. Just like she is loved so very much.

* I always accept free yarn when it’s offered to me and always offer to take it when I see someone on a community forum post that they have spare up for grabs. I then make blankets (mostly) that I give away (mostly).
** One of Mum’s last projects (maybe her very last one) was a set of baby blocks for my colleague’s new baby. She had done most of the project before I arrived for Christmas and I watched her finish the last few stitches.
*** I am the yarn-user daughter. That I am aware of, none of my sisters do yarn crafts. Although my youngest sister has dabbled in the past and may one day pick up hooks and needles again. But for now, I am the hooker of the family.

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