Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Yarn Paralysis, a new epidemic.

Today I am featuring a guest post of a sort from one of my favorite people on the planet. Her name is Courtney and she is a new knitter and a new mom. Words can't convey just how awesome she is, but HER words might just convince you. Visit her blog when you get the chance at Simple in'Stead. The following is an email I got from her, reproduced with her kind permission:

heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee... i have yarn paralysis!
(i'm also not going to capitalize anything in this email, since it's
easier to skip it when you're typing one-handed while nursing...)
what, you might ask, is yarn paralysis?

yarn pa⋅ral⋅y⋅sis  /j'ɑːʳn pər'æləsɪs/: (n) the state that results
when one who is accustomed to being poor suddenly has money to spend
on yarn, but not enough money to shop indiscriminately, which, coupled
with the rarity of this occurence, leads to the inability to make any
decision whatsoever concerning yarn purchases; often accompanied by
sweating, palpitations, insomnia and excessive consumption of gin and

i have some money i got for xmas and a gift certificate from a local
yarn shop, and there is so much that i want that i can't decide what
to buy - at all. i'm so obsessed with spending it wisely that i'm
having trouble spending it at all. ack. i already spent part of my
gift certificate last weekend on some malabrigo, and i braved slick
roads and shin-deep snow today to go back and spend the rest of it. i
had an hour, while robert and harper were running other errands, and i
about had a nervous breakdown. the easy part was grabbing a set of
dpns to finish the hat i've got going on a set of circs... but then,
the yarn. oh, the yarn. they had some cascade pastaza in teal that
was swoon-worthy, but i didn't want to buy it because i'm thinking of
ordering some berroco ultra alpaca light in essentially the same color
that i found a good price on. i want to make a lacy scarf with it,
and the cascade is too thick, and do i really need two teal yarns
right now? i could get a lot of bang for my buck with cascade 220 or
lamb's pride, but i keep gravitating towards the sexier stuff. like
noro silk garden sock weight. i l-o-v-e noro - that stuff is so
gorgeous, but one skein would pretty much gobble up my remaining gift
cert value, and what in heck would i do with one stinkin' skein
(besides pet it)? i could, of course, get more and pay the difference
with cash, but $20 a pop seems too outrageous to spend "real" money
on... they had a baby surprise jacket knitted up in the silk garden
sock and it was too beautiful... i've been wanting to make a bsj for
harper, but... *sigh* so then i get sucked into the zitron sock
yarns... trekking xxl? zomg... gorgeous. and also $20/skein. (i
have developed a fixation with sock yarn lately, but oddly i want to
make things other than socks with it. hmmmmmm.) lorna's laces
shepherd sock? zauberball? does any of this stuff NOT cost a small
fortune? i think it was about this point that i started
hyperventilating - only 15 minutes left until robert was set to pick
me up... i tried 5 minutes in the book section with my head between
my knees to recover since books always calm me down, but one step back
into the yarn and the twitching returned. then, robert called to say
he was waiting in the parking lot... so i grabbed 3 skeins of noro
kureyon and bolted. i'm sitting here now staring at it and thinking
that while it is undoubtedly breathtaking, it a) is pretty (too?)
similar to the malabrigo in color and texture and b) it isn't sock
yarn. i can exchange it, so it's not a done deal, but geez. i feel
like such a putz to be agonizing so much over... yarn? hello? one
word - haiti. this is yarn. yarn. *sigh.* thank goodness they
don't carry koigu - that might have pushed me over the edge.

Isn't that funny? I love it, and I know I have felt it before!! I have only one bit of advice for my friend: Yarn shopping list. Project shopping only!!

Love you, Courtney! Thanks for letting me share your way with words with my tens of readers!


simple sitter said...

I think I must tattoo your advice on my wrist or something.

Love you, too! xo

dharmakitties said...

Jennifer, Courtney is also one of MY favorite people on the planet, and so, by extension (or is it osmosis?) I feel certain you are too- we just haven't traveled the time/space continuum to establish in PRESENT time that I'm nuts about you too, but at some juncture I'll see to it that Courtney will "make it so," as Captain Picard said. (Why am I relying on lame Star Trek references- it's not like I'm a trekkie or anything!) ANYway- I've been to said yarn shop and seen Courtney in the throes of yarn paralysis, and I can confirm that it's both a medical AND a psychiatric disorder!! (Court, ask your mom- I think she'll back me up on this.) I need to write it up for submission to the DSM #?, so those poor unfortunates afflicted by it can have their in-patient rehab paid for by their insurance. (It's fair to "medicalize" the psychiatric- after all, many mental illnesses are the result of renegade genetic malfunctions. I wonder- Courtney, can you ask if the grandma who made your quilt experienced similar symptoms? She may have had yarn paralysis' first cousin- quilt paralysis. My family has both unipolar and bipolar depression- why shouldn't yarn paralysis and quilt paralysis be genetic kissin' cousins? If my synapses have lapses, so might yours- just different synapses with dissimilar lapses.

I think it's time to establish a 12step program for all you poor unfortunates afflicted by yarn and quilt paralysis. (And those TRULY poor unfortunates suffering from a dual diagnosis, victimized by all things "string." (Yarn qualifies, thus Yarn/Quilt Paralysis.)

Courtney, I wish I could offer to sponsor an intervention for you, but I'm in the unenviable position of being your enabler in chief!! (At least that's my intention.) I'll be peppering you with a gift certificate here or there, for say, Milarepa Day, Nyinthun, or Avalokiteshvara's birthday. (Buddhist inside baseball- sorry, folks.) You'll never see them coming. I will totally undermine any hopes of recovery, and will thoroughly enjoy doing it- it's worth a few bucks to see you swoon! ;-) xoxo & MWAH- Laurie