Five Things Only Hookers Know
Admit it, there is knowledge and then there is the knowledge of crafters, and more especially those who crochet. Things that mere mortals will never understand, such as:
1. There is no such thing as too many hooks.
Most hookers probably have their favourites that they come back to time and time again, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have room for more. At last count, I have around 50 crochet hooks of various sizes and materials. Yes, I can only crochet with one at a time (or maybe two on a good bullion stitch day), but I still need all of those others. Sometimes my hand craves the tactile handle of a bamboo hook, sometimes it needs the comfort grip. Sometimes I have a big ole 15mm plastic hook and sometimes a teeny tiny 0.75mm steel hook. And there is always room for a hook that lights up like a lightsaber. And I still have my eye on several new sets!
2. There is no such thing as too much yarn.
Mortals might view two floor-to-ceiling cupboards of stashed yarn as a tad excessive, but they don’t understand. You never know when a project or pattern will come along that is crying out for that yarn you’ve had stashed for years.
The majority of my stash is recycled or vintage, since I was lucky enough to be given one lady’s complete 60 year stash by her family. She bought quality wool, and lots of it, keeping it for that perfect project. Which is how I come to have balls and balls of yarn that stopped being made years ago, all in perfect condition with the labels still intact. She didn’t stop there. She visited charity shops looking for garments made of good quality yarn which she’d then take home and dismantle, stashing the yarn for another day. And since her family had their own sheep, there was lots of wool from their flock. Some hand spun and dyed, some spun but not yet dyed, lots that was not yet spun.
I use lots of it. I rarely make a whole project out of it, but there’s usually something in there that is perfect for one bit of art. The first thing I did with this stash was create a freeform picture of the Derbyshire countryside viewed from this lady’s house. Her family now live in her house and have a lasting memento of her made entirely from the yarn she collected.
3. There is no such thing as scrap yarn.
No. Such. Thing. When you finish a project and have a little bit left over, but not enough to do anything with (according to spouses and other mortals), you know there is still a use for it. Save them all up, attach them to each other and you have the perfect yarn for many whimsical patterns.
Little ends that you cut off as you are working must be saved. They’re great for providing cosy nesting materials for wildlife (depending on which wildlife advice you read) and if that’s not your bag, they can make great patches for a freeform project. Bundle them up on top of a piece of wash-away backing and then run it through the sewing machine every which way. After washing away the backing you have a great patch for freeform arty projects. And if that doesn’t take your fancy, ball ends and snipped pieces have hundreds of uses in children’s art and crafts. They’re also good for stuffing crocheted Pokeballs, as I found out when making them for my children!
4. Yarn doesn’t have to bought for a specific project.
Buying yarn without having a specific project in mind for it is completely legitimate. Sometimes you come across yarn that is so unusual, or so pretty, or so completely perfect in every way that you have to have it. Sometimes there’s a sale with bargains that can’t be passed up – it would criminal to ignore a sale that had your favourite yarn at half price, or an exquisitely expensive yarn you’ve been craving at a never-to-be-repeated price. These have to be bought. It’s the law. The perfect project will come along. One day.
5. A spare bedroom makes a great yarn store.
Speaking of things that are entirely legitimate, buying a house with more bedrooms than you need is high on this list. Because you need a craft room. How else can you be expected to stop your yarn invading every room in the house? (shhh don’t tell anyone that this will happen anyway!). I had such a craft room in our house, and it was great. When babies 2 and 3 came along, I eventually had to concede defeat and turn it into a bedroom. So I got a craft shed instead – nicely painted, with curtains and shelving and a desk and lots of storage. I still have yarn in every room of the house!