Coping with Crochet

Are sheep more expensive?

Crocheting keeps my fingers limber and my relatives believing I cast secret spells turning thread or yarn into the scarves and blankets of winter solstice and baby showers. My book shelves hold stacks of crochet magazines and pattern packs. When time allows, I sit with  2 or 3 of them, choosing the patterns I’d love to execute.

I want to make garments from Doris Chan’s designs, especially those based on large doilies. The radiating spikes and clusters won’t need as much yarn as most knitted garments, but to get the drape and softness I want, I’ll need to buy yarns made with natural fibres. Alpaca and cashmere are a little exotic, so I can understand why a skein or two might cost as much as  100 skeins of acrylic yarn. However, I cannot understand why cotton, a natural but common fibre, is almost as expensive.  I guess  having good taste and thrifty, but soft, yarn are inverse functions!

black doily dark turquoise doily

As a modern woman, accustomed to microwave cooking and other tools of near instant gratification, I haven’t the patience, skill or equipment for dying. I considered making only those patterns calling for lighter weight yarns. Sock yarn stretches, a little, making it a great substitute for thread when making headbands, fingerless gloves and pin cushion covers. However, yarn substitutions are tricky, if not impossible when converting a pattern from crochet thread to sock weight yarn.

Instead of circumventing the expense, I’ll need to accept that making garments, showcasing my skills, will be an investment. It won’t be the burden of sending a child to a 4 year college, but it might be close. I’m considering setting up a special savings account, just for yarn and other crochet needs, much like the old Christmas Club savings accounts my parents and grandparents used during the last century.

Sometimes, taking a step backward makes more sense than plunging ahead. If I can’t buy yarn at last century’s prices, I’ll buy it using last century’s savings practices.