Friday, April 20, 2007

My Rant Regarding Fiber Snobs

Yes, I knit with acrylic and acrylic blends.
And guess what: I like it!
I'm not always particular about wool. I absolutely will steer away from the yarn that the pattern calls for, if it means that I'll save a couple dollars, the colour is pretty, and as long as the tension is right or close-enough.
Close enough is good enough. You know what? Close enough is even fantastic.
For the last month or so I've bounced myself into a couple of knitting-themed posting boards and chat rooms, and more often than not I get quite the reaction when I dare mention the letters a-c-r-y-l-i-c in that order as a word. Why would you use that stuff? What were you thinking? How dare you, even?
And don't even get me started on using feathery looking yarns like Bernat Boa or any sort of eyelash yarn. Yes, I love knitting with those too. If I can incorporate a row or two of this funky swag into my knits and knots, you better be for damned sure I'm going to.
For those elitists who look down on me from their bamboo-needle-and-mohair-knits towers, I say bah to all of you. The only person who truly cares whether your scarf is wool or an acrylic-wool blend is you.
Now, don't get me wrong, I have my own couple pairs of wooden needles, I've spent the extra couple dollars on a beautiful ball of handspun, hand-dyed alpaca wool. I've knit my share of hat + scarf + glove winter sets out of some beautiful mohair wool. I've scoured my LYS's and throughout online for that one very hard to find brand of yarn and knit a beautiful shawl or two. I've even put the effort into spinning and dying my own yarn and knitting a hat-and-scarf-set of my own from it, and gained a few compliments on it.
But despite that, despite how much I loved knitting with those beautiful yarns and beautiful needles and crocheting with designer crochet hooks, at the end of the day, I still love my tried-and-true aluminum needles and acrylic-wool blends to knit another brightly coloured scarf in a basic stockinette stitch. I'll even knit a few rows of eyelash yarn stripes. It's still warm, it's still unique, it's still handknit, and it even gets compliments.
Do I care, then, if my yarn is bought from Walmart instead of my LYS? Of course not.
...Does it matter that I've picked up a few balls of yarn from the discount bin? No way!
.....Do I care if my yarn is some sort of Himalayan Handspun Organic Mountain Grown Free Range Grande Mocha No-Fat Soy Latte Sheep-Who-Can-Floss-Their-Own-Teeth-And-Can-Read-Aramaic Wool? Naturally, no. Do the Fiber Snobs? Most certainly! And goddess knows I'm going to be condemned for using anything less than that!
So, I guess my point is this: no matter what your level of experience in knitting or crocheting is, enjoy your craft to its full potential, and no matter what you knit with or what tools you use to put it all together, take pride in what you've made.


Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

thanks for visiting my blog!

I had no idea that the same attitudes can be found with knitters. We have our share of scrapbooking snobs too. It's so funny, because it really doesn't matter. I guess it just makes them feel better about themselves.

ShanKaz said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. I do appreciate the support. I have decided not to cancel it after all. Please feel free to come back and comment anytime! Blessings!

kathleen said...

I have seen beautiful things crafted with all kinds of fiber, from kitchen cotton to yak fuzz. my personal preference is alpaca fiber, but you know what? It's got it's limits. I think the important thing is to be able to EXPRESS your creativity in whatever medium you choose. And to allw others to express their creativity in their chosen medium. I may be a fiber snob, because I prefer a more expensive yarn, I don't know.

knitphomaniac said...

kathleen ~ I completely agree with you, the important thing is to absolutely express your creativitiy in whatever medium you choose :)

I have my preferences, I've my favourite brands... so in that sense, if you want to call me a fiber snob, then I guess I am one. But I suppose 90% of my frustration with some is this little ittty bitty problem that some knitters have... the "OMG, you're knitting with ACRYLIC?!? eww!" kind of attitude ;)

kathleen said...

I've had my own experiences recently with the yarn snob thing...and I have my own rant that I put up on my blog. I wonder if it's the phase of the moon or something...the discussion of yarn snobbery seems to be everywhere lately.

Brianne said...

Thank you for stopping by my page!

I think you should just let those people be happy in their own miserable-ness! Don't let them get you upset. If they choose to be angry and snobby over something as trivial as another artist's preferences, then let em. You just focus on your work and what makes you happy. In the end, that's all that really matters.

knitphomaniac said...

Very true, brianne! :) And trust me, I'm not upset over it at all, just commenting on the fact! It actually makes me laugh, to be honest.

Stepho said...

You know who I think started fiber snobbery? Greedy retailers! It's brilliant, really. If it weren't for peer pressure, who would honestly think that spending $20 on a skien of yarn to make ONE sock that will wear through in a week is a good idea?

Sure, there's some yarn out there that is worth the price. Special purchase yarn. Once a year yarn. But who can really tell if I spent $15 at a specialty store or $2 at Smiley's Yarns? Not even the fiber snobs.

A good knitter can make gorgeous projects out of whatever is available, be it snipped up grocery bags or handpainted homespun.