Friday, September 25, 2009

Seduced by the Soft Side

I wrote the following yarn commentary a little over two years ago. Surprisingly, my opinions and obsessions haven’t changed much since then.

I have probably walked right past Red Heart brand Simply Soft yarn about a million times during countless quests for the perfect, inexpensive yarn in the color I need. For some reason I’ve mostly gravitated toward Lion Brand yarn and yarn accessories- they just seemed to always have what I was looking for. It isn’t always the most affordable yarn but in my loyalty to the brand, I am usually able to justify the price. Red Heart on the other hand, always seemed like the “cheap” brand to me and in my yarn snobbery, I usually didn’t even give it a chance but I recently had a knitting life-altering moment that changed my entire outlook.

I was conducting my usual search for something that I was starting to think didn’t actually exist and was about to bypass the Red Heart brand section, as usual, when a particular shade of red sitting next to a particular shade of goldish yellow caught my eye. Finally, the perfect colors for the “new and improved” Harry Potter scarf I wanted to start! I reached for a ball of the Red Heart Simply Soft yarn to examine the label for gauge and suggested needle size when suddenly my finger tips casually brushed the surface of the amazing luxurious texture. The whole world slowed down around me while I had “a moment” with the softest yarn ever. I pulled my hand away, startled by the intense softness but wanting more. Feeling a little guilty, I looked behind me at the neatly arranged rows of Lion brand yarn on the shelf just across the aisle. “It’s not what it looks like!” I wanted to explain. “It’s just that it’s so soft and inexpensive and…” I once again turned my gaze toward the Simply Soft, hypnotized by its magical powers of softness.

I glanced in either direction to make sure I was alone and then stuck my hand into the pile of smooth ecstasy. Wow! It was like it was made out of some perfect mixture of bunnies and kittens without any claws or teeth. I probably would have stood there all day but I was jerked off of the yarn cloud I was on and back to reality as an older woman turned the corner and made her way down the aisle. Afraid she had seen me fondling the yarn inappropriately; I quickly fumbled to regain my composure and picked up one of the balls of yarn, pretending to stoically examine the label as she got closer. “Don’t you just love this yarn?!” she said as she began filling her cart with a mountain of softness. The look in her eyes told me she had done her fair share of inappropriate yarn fondling and I just smiled awkwardly as she carted her new stash toward the register. I realized that I was not the first to be seduced by the soft side and that this could easily get out of hand.

I resisted the desire to buy at least fifteen balls of Simply Soft in every color available and limited my purchase to only the amounts and colors necessary for the Harry Potter scarf. As the girl behind the cash register was ringing up my purchase, I swear I caught her giving each ball of yarn an extra squeeze as she ran them past the scanner and placed them in the bag. I could feel myself breaking into a cold sweat as my eyes followed each ball across the counter. I felt a strange compulsion to dive into the bag after the yarn just to touch it again. The girl behind the counter looked up as she squeezed the last ball, dropped it in the bag and said, “I love knitting with this yarn, it’s the best.” I nodded and trying to remain calm and aloof, said, “Yeah, I’m really excited about it.” Before she hit the total button on the register, she asked the crucial question, “Will that be all for you today?” I started to shake and hesitated for a moment before finally blurting out in one hysterical breath, “No I think I’m going to need a few more balls of the Simply Soft because I’m just not sure if I’m going to have enough to last through the weekend what if I run out and I don’t have enough to finish my project what then? WHAT THEN?!” Calmly, she looked me in the eye and said, “I think you have enough. Now, I’ll just total up your purchase and you can go home and start knitting.” I nodded my head, trying to calm down, “You’re right. I’m sorry, I don’t know what came over me. It’s just that yarn it’s so….” I looked at her hands, they were inside the bag, “Hey, stop touching my yarn!” I yelled as I snatched the bag and my receipt from her and stormed out of the store. I’m glad I rescued my yarn from that freak!