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Life is Too Short to Knit With Yarn You Don’t Love

hand knit baby cardigan, romper, and doll.

Something you may not know about me is I love to knit. I love everything about knitting. The luxurious feel of soft wool in my hands, the creative outlet that is both soothing and challenging for the brain. Creating something useful with my hands (as a minimalist, I don’t like crafting for the sake of crafting). The magic of transforming two sticks and a piece of string, into wearable clothing.

An afternoon learning how to hand dye yarn.

The colors. The sensation. The magic. I love it all.

I recently learned a lesson. Life is too short to knit with yarn you don’t love.

Abel two months in rainbow sweater and hat
My grandson Abel wearing an Aviatrix hat and Milo Vest knit in Cascade 220

I knit a lot in 2020. While others were apparently spending too much on food during the lockdown, I was spending way too much money on books and yarn. I miss the days of being able to wander around a knitting store, touching skein upon skein, waiting for one to speak to me.

I have had some trouble ordering yarn online, excitedly placing my order and waiting for it to arrive, only to find I hate the color or feel once it arrives.

Hand knit bonnet and bloomers.

My increase in knitting in 2020 also led me to try some new things. Up until then, I mostly knit hats and baby sweaters, and baby vest. 2020 saw me knitting dolls & doll clothes, a life-sized placenta, and branching out to cute little bloomers. And finally, a tiny romper for my granddaughter who is still cooking in New Zealand, but due on February 9th.

Hand knit baby romper

Pattern: Spring Duo Romper and Cardigan Set

I haven’t shared any photos of this (until now), first wanting to knit a sweater and bonnet to match. I am loving neutral colors for babies right now, but wanted something delicate, feminine, and not pink for this new baby girl. I went to Joann’s and finally picked out a lavender color I liked and went well with the gray.

After weeks (maybe even, a month or two?) I finally finished the sweater. And I don’t like it at all. I don’t like the feel of it or the slightly bulky weight. It was also a bit of a struggle to knit with it. I felt like I was constantly fighting the yarn. As soon as I cast off the sweater, I started a new one, which took less than a week to finish.

hand knit baby cardigan, romper, and doll.

The new sweater is with soft, slightly thinner yarn that I prefer. It slid right off my needles and an incredibly fast rate, and I loved knitting it.

During this same time, I began knitting a bonnet for my great-nephew, at the request of my niece. She saw this pattern and fell in love. I offered to knit one for her baby, Royce and asked what color she would like.

“Anything with brown” was her reply.

On the same trip to Joann’s, I purchased some brown tweed yarn that I knew would look great in the bonnet pattern, and it did. It was slightly difficult to work with, but nothing I couldn’t overcome.

I made a mistake, tore it out, and started over. It is just a little bonnet, after all.

Then I made another mistake and tore it out again.

Hand knit bonnet and bloomers

A nice bonnet, in nice yarn, that behaved itself…

And then a third time. Tired and frustrated, I put the bonnet in time out and vowed not to pick it up until it learned to cooperate. Then one day, it dawned on me, that maybe the yarn was the problem. After all, I had knit this bonnet before, and while it has an intricate cable, it isn’t hard.

So I started over, with different brown yarn. I had it finished in a couple of days and loved every stitch.

And I could repeat this story with a baby dress I’m knitting, which is currently in time out, but I think you get the gist.

Handknit newborn rainbow vest.

Life it too short to knit with yarn you hate.

Take that statement literally, or figuratively. I think it is equally true both ways.

Take a look around you, ditch the yarn you hate and work with yarn that makes you happy.

I promise you will enjoy the end result so much more.

You can see more of my handknits here with links to the patterns and materials used.

7 Comments

  1. corinne gonz

    I always had issues with texture when i used to crochet. However yarn has got so expensive to just make something with no idea what it is for.

    • Renee

      Thank you. What is your favorite type of yarn? I love baby alpaca…but as I said, my daughter’s kindly requesting items that don’t need to be handwashed.

      • Suzan

        I have some baby alpaca blend and rescued a baby jacket from my daughter’s donation bag because I could reuse the yarn. I prefer real wool to acrylic although I find some Stylecraft Yarns acceptable. Cashmerino is a favourite too. I used to be able to buy Cascade locally in Queensland but not now. Every time I go to NZ I buy yarn as my souvenirs.

        For baby garments I use sock yarn a lot. It is durable and comes in some exquisite colour ways.

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