Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y: Yarn

I love a good yarn, defined as a 'long, often elaborate, narrative of real or fictional adventures,' as in this bit from Herman Melville's Typee: "Yet, notwithstanding the familiarity of sailors with all sorts of curious adventure, the incidents recorded in the following pages have often served, when 'spun as a yarn,' not only to relieve the weariness of many a night-watch at sea, but to excite the warmest sympathies of the author's shipmates." (Melville looks like a guy who could spin a good yarn...or spin some yarn outta that beard.)



And as an occasional knitter, I also love a good yarn in the literal sense of a 'continuous strand of twisted threads of natural or synthetic material, used in weaving or knitting.' The big craft stores of course have tons, but I'm lucky that there are many industrious folks in my area who raise alpacas, sheep, goats, and rabbits, and then, by some magical turn of events, spin yarn from their wool/hair to sell at local farmer's markets and craft shows. I don't think it's my imagination that these yarns are softer and feel nicer than any mass-produced yarn from a store.


(This photo comes from AlpacaKing of Fort Collins.)



6 comments:

lizy-expat-writer said...

Clever use of words! My mum used to spin her own yarn from a Jacob fleece.And I believe those sailors also knitted to while away the hours at sea. They certainly had to be self-sufficient in everything else.

That corgi :) said...

I think that would be neat to see yarn that was spun from local wool; I would have to agree that it would be softer. Very nice Y!

One more letter to go!

betty

Denine Severino Taylor said...

Cool. I live in a suburban neighborhood but there is an Orchid store that also has two Alpacas in a large fenced in area. They are funny-looking but sweet creatures...The yarn in the photo looks yummy. Nice "Y". (I think my "Y" will be "Yikes!" lol...) Denine

Fran@Broken Cookies Don't Count said...

I love a good yarn too! My sister is the knitter in the family. She's really good!

Tracy Makara said...

Great post! I love a good yarn in both senses of the word too...as both an avid reader and knitter. Two of my favorite things in the whole world.

Jean said...

You are 100 percent correct! A good yarn (hey, the girl above me has green hair--AWESOME) IS one of the things that makes my world go round. We are a family of yarn spinners of the story sort. It give me great pleasure to hope that some of my plethora of kids will carry on this tradition.

We do however have a problem with not repeating our fascinating stories over and over. One of my grandmothers, at Thankgiving with the family , when my grandfather got going on a favorite family story, would say loudly, "MAC!" from across the table and hold up two fingers, like the peace sign. But in this case it meant, "You have already told everyone this story at least twice!" Didn't matter--they were great stories.

As for real yarn...there is some kind of yarnfest in Oregon, right near where one of my best friends lives, and I would crawl through broken knitting needles to go there , sometime.

Oh well, we'll always have Paris.

love, jean !