Thursday, October 9, 2014

Interesting Yarns

I just tried taking a survey put out by the Craft Yarn Council (CYCA) - it was in a post on Ravelry but also on the CYCA website.  Partway through, each time, at different points of the process, my computer hung on me, so I moved on.

But it prompted some thoughts:  Right now my table is covered with several pounds of Phentex yarn I bought at the thrift store recently.  "Knitting Yarn of 100% Polypropylene - New Tomorrow's Yarn Today!" - I suspect from the 1960's.  The distributor (Pic Corporation) has an address on the label indicating "Conn." instead of "CT", with the yarn manufactured in Canada and Phentex corporate headquarters in Quebec.  I will most likely make 7" squares with it, joining them into small rugs and adding an edge.  Nice brainless project, functional, and they will come out looking just as they ought.

The survey had me thinking about where and why I buy yarn.  As a member of SABLE (Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy), I don't need to buy yarn.  At all.  But I do like to hang out at yarn shops and visit a bit.  It is rude to go to shops on a regular basis and not buy anything.  Shops are there to sell stuff, and if you want them to be there, you have to buy stuff.  It is also good to buy a bit of current and/or really interesting stuff to keep in touch with what's out there now.

I also buy yarn at the thrift store, especially yarn affectionately referred to as dead lady yarn (or at least retired lady yarn) - that's the yarn left over after grandmothers and great-aunts can no longer use it, and no one else wants it or knows what to do with it -- hence a couple pounds of Phentex 100% polypropylene.  It's just intriguing to figure out something cool to do with it.

In the survey from CYCA, those reasons were not included in the options for why anyone buys yarn.  It seems to me that understanding outlier reasoning for stuff can be relevant -- and may turn out not to be so outlier after all.  Who knows, if we aren't paying attention to those things?

In asking how long I knitted/crocheted, the options went only up to "20 or more years," while it was very specific about shorter lengths of time.  I would have been in the 40+ category, if there had been one.  The feminist movement had a huge impact in the 1970's, so many women in their 50's now didn't learn to knit or crochet (for real) until 20 years ago or so.

The structure of the questions was interesting that way.  Makes one wonder what the statistical take-away is from surveys.

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