Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Opal Luna, author of the new Fiber Magick.
Labeling a person as a yarn snob may seem derogatory, but most of the yarn snobs I know actually wear the label with pride. A Yarn Snob is someone who will not waste their time, talent, and effort on a lesser made, usually man-made, material. There seems to be more knitters in this group than crocheters and I completely understand. If I were to spend $15 on a pattern for a gossamer bat winged shawl that calls for 100% mohair and size 3 knitting needles I would not be using the yarn I found at the thrift store in a bag marked “3 bucks.” But I would save that thrift store yarn for when I pulled out my hook and made up a retro bear complete with granny square vest, hippie bag, head band, and a peace sign choker. In that case, those vintage, acrylic harvest gold, avocado green, and chocolate brown beauties would fit the bill perfectly. Notice the tattered Woolworth label marked 59 cents and take extra nostalgia points for Hippie Bear.
Crocheting lends itself to the throw on the back of the couch. It is right at home with the beloved toy that gets slept with every night. The art of crochet fills your kitchen with potholders, dish rags, and the toppers on the tea towel that allows you to hang it on the oven door. All these things have one thing in common: the need to be thrown in the washer and dryer without a care. Life is complicated enough without a tea cozy that needs to be dry cleaned. Therein lies the dilemma. The yarn industry has made strides since that thrift store yarn was made. Man-made fibers are soft and cuddly yet strong and durable, but the cost effective, wide range of color choices that is acrylic yarn is not sustainable. The environmental impact may cause you to lean towards the natural stuff, kudos. I will leave you now with this dilemma, since I am still struggling with it myself.
One area in which I will not compromise when it comes to yarn is when performing Fiber Magick. When doing any straight-up magick, it is important to use natural fibers for the added layer of intention that it brings. You may also be planning on burning or burying the piece as you do when crocheting a sigil. It would be counter-productive to release harmful chemicals into the Mother while asking for Her favor. I will admit it. I am a Fiber Magick Yarn Snob and I wear the label proudly. The dilemma continues.
Our thanks to Opal for her guest post! For more from Opal Luna, read her article, “Add the Passion of Crafting to Your Craft with Fiber Magick.”