Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Maybe because I'm already in a rotten mood from trying to schedule classes...

I like reading knitting blogs. I love seeing other people's creations and photographs of things I would never knit myself or yarn I could never afford to buy. But it really pisses me off when knitters get all high and mighty about using only luxury yarns.

Really? How dare a knitter suggest that people who cannot afford to use several skeins of $30 hand painted silk and wool per project create things that are not "up to par" with their own creations. The beauty of knitting is that it can be done on any budget in any style.

I think that's why I've drifted away from Ravelry in the past few months. Because it's ridiculous that the forums are full of people sticking up their noses at those who use acrylic, as if suggesting they are not as skilled or clever as the elite of the group.

Here's the deal: not all of us can stay at home and knit all day with a hand on hubby's purse strings.

Some of us are poor students, some of us are working people, some of us are stay at home mothers. Some of us have other priorities than spending all of our money (whether we have it in our pocket or not) on a collection of luxury yarn that one person could never use in a lifetime.

Does that mean that those of us on the lower end of the totem pole don't appreciate luxury yarn? Of course not. I can't tell you how many times I skim websites and browse yarn stores and just want to take it all home with me. But I can't afford to. And you know what... even if I could afford to, I don't know if I would want to.

Because I feel like I don't need the priciest and prettiest yarn out there to make something attractive and useful. In fact, it's kind of nice to use yarn that can be washed and worn ragged without feeling bad. It's nice to know that I can use a simple yarn and knit up something beautiful because I have the capability to, because I can find or create a design that is beautiful all on its own.

I think it's a shame that something that used to be a poor man's necessity has turned into a rich snob past time.

After edit:
Written in anger. Hey, look at that.

Also, I would like to re-point out that I don't think every person that knits with luxury yarn is an elitist. I just think it would be more progressive in the knitting world if people acknowledged that luxury yarn is not the end all be all when it comes to creating. I apologize to those who think I have attacked them.


  1. I feel I was invited here after you left a comment on Exercise Before Knitting. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion, but I must point out there's an irony involved in the fact that you yourself sell 100% wool natural fibers in your Etsy shop.

    I must say it's an INFURIATING statement you make about "hubby's purse strings." Some of us work VERY hard at home raising kiddos. Many of us are single. Some of us make MORE money than our partners. Some of us have wives. The assumptions you make in that statement are insulting to all knitters. Except, apparently, you, who are above it all?

    Talk about snobbery.

  2. i'm fan of acrylic when the project calls for it. and i get teased about it all of the time. but i'm ok with it. i especially get a kick when "yarn snobs" ooh and ahhh over a project of mine that's chock full of man-made fibers. heh. (ooh i crochet too). but it's elinor's contest. and elinor's rules. and elinor's joke. and it's a bit unfair of you to make assumptions about people and their lives just based on the materials they use for their knitting.

    and check it out. all of the yarns on this page would be well within the yarn specifications and yet you wouldn't end up paying more than $10 for a pair of socks.

  3. For the purposes of a sock design contest, I think it's entirely appropriate to limit acrylic content in the yarn since socks are worn on the feet. Wool and other natural fibers breathe and keep feet comfortable and dry. High acrylic content is going to result in sweaty, clammy, stanky feet. Acrylic definitely has it's place, just not in socks. And as others mentioned, there's TONS of inexpensive wool sock yarn choices. It doesn't make someone a snob to use appropriate material for a specific project.

    (also, the "hubby's purse strings" comment is the most ridiculous thing I've read in weeks.)

  4. I don't mind when people use and admire luxury fibers -- I'm just ridiculously tired of people having the attitude that it is the only way to properly be a knitter.

    Also, if you'll notice JulieFrick, my yarn is recycled. And cheaper than most other yarn listed on etsy.

  5. I came across your blog because I saw that you linked to my blog (thanks!) I seem to have walked in a discussion. My first thought was a modified version of something my mother said when I was a teenager. "The only thing worse than angry comments is no comments at all." Bravo to you for expressing your opinion! As a bit of a yarn snob, I prefer natural fibers and quality wool. As a teacher and someone who's Dutch (if only as a passport holder), it gives me the shakes to spend 'too much' on one skein. I also have a skein of cheap mint green yarn that I have to do something with by next Thanksgiving. I'll find something to use it on. (It's a self-imposed challenge.) And don't remove the 'hubby's purse strings' comment! As they say in the program, if it don't apply, let it fly! I know a few of those ladies and they do have their hand on their hubby's purse strings.

  6. Thank you, Andy. I've followed your blog for quite a long time now because you make beautiful things and I've never gotten the feeling that you look down on any knitter who doesn't have the same preferences as you.

    I appreciate that there are people out there who can take opinions with a grain of salt.

  7. What has mean confused is that from this post, all wool yarn (or nonacrylic yarn) is "luxury yarn." The facts to not bear this out. Acrylic does not necessarily mean cheaper than wool, and there are a lot of budget-friendly wool or nonacrylic yarns widely available. Knitpicks has already been mentioned, as well as all the Valley Yarns line from Webs. Also, Brown Sheep Yarns are extremely budget-friendly.



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