I believe in yarn.
There are few better feelings for me than the pull of yarn across the index finger of my left hand, and I love watching the hypnotic repetition of the poking hook in my right, in and out of the intertwined loops. It still seems impossible to me for three dimensions to be created out of a single strand of yarn, and that lingering sense of awe might be the soul of my faith in it.
My grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was four years old, and in the 15 years that have elapsed since, I have become no less fascinated by the formation of mittens, blankets, and scarves from the combination of my hands, my hook, my heart, and the one long thin strand of yarn. I could dive headfirst into a million clichés involving twisted strings and the path of life, but that wouldn’t be doing any sort of justice to my preferred medium, my outlet, my yarn.
I went to New York City for the first time when I was about six years old. It was one of those bus trips run by the church or some other like-minded group. Having been forewarned by my mother that the ride would be long and boring, I packed up my yarn. I crocheted for most of the ten hour round trip. I’ve long since forgotten what the project was, but not the ease that it added to the lengthy bus ride. I didn’t notice at the time, but my mother and grandmother informed me years later that the bus full of church ladies had been staring and whispering about me for much of the trip. Considering a love of yarn to be the territory of their generation, the older women couldn’t grasp the fact that at six years old, I already knew just how much it could mean.
There’s something immensely comforting about snuggling up in a blanket, wrapping a scarf around your neck, or tugging on a winter hat and knowing that every inch of it passed through loving fingers as it came into being. My house is full of this kind of comforting wrap, the devoted projects of my grandmother, mother, and myself.
Sitting under my dorm-room bed right now is my bag full of yarn and the beginnings of my latest project. It’s going to be a small blanket woven together in the sparse moments of free time that pop up amid my hectic schedule. A blanket made of my stress, turned into something much more comforting.
Yarn allows me make my world a little bit warmer. It doesn’t matter if I’m twisting my troubles into my own project, or if I’m wrapping myself up in someone else’s. I’m never more content than when I’m at home in my yarn. One long string endlessly coiled around itself, making something that you can wrap yourself up in. I believe in yarn.
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