Monday, May 26, 2008


Hi, I’m Harriet, and I’m a fiberholic. I wasn’t always a fiberholic. I used to be able to knit socially, and spinning wasn’t even an option for me. Then, something happened. Somewhere I crossed that invisible line, and then, well…there was no going back.

Like many people, it started at home. When I was five or so, I would watch my grandmother knit and crochet. Then, one day, she put a crochet hook in my hand and taught me to chain. I chained, it was fun. Then, a few months later, she gave me knitting needles. That was okay, but since I didn’t know how to cast on, I was able to keep it under control…there always had to be a more experienced knitter around to get me started.

Then, I put the stuff down for a long time. I knit in college, on and off, strictly on weekends. I made a couple of scarves, nothing serious…nothing dangerous. I picked up crochet again, when I was in my 20’s and a lot of people around me starting having babies. I began crocheting baby afghans. Then…I got off the stuff for a decade or more.

Then, in 2001 I moved back to the northeast (from Florida). It was cold. We were both unemployed. I figured a little acrylic yarn and a crochet hok…and I could crochet a throw for the living room. A scarf and hat for my husband and the same for myself. It was acrylic! It was cheap. What harm could it do?


If I had known then what I know now, would I have ever picked the needles up again? I can’t honestly say. But I do know that my friends started to change. I started hanging around with fiber people. Slowly, I was convinced to put down the hook and pick up the needles. I moved from acrylic to wool blends…then to 100% wool, then to more exotic fibers and better quality wool.

I don’t have to tell you how it goes. We All know how where it goes from there

But honestly, I was holding it together. I was knitting up a storm, but I still felt like I could handle it. I wasn’t missing work, or important social engagements. I didn’t need to knit first thing in the morning. I was okay.

But, as it happens for a lot of us, a friend gave me a spinning wheel and some fiber. That was it, I knew the fight was over. From the first time I felt the buttery soft, slightly sheepy scent of freshly scoured fleece, I knew I was hooked. There was no going back for me.

I’ve progressed. No longer am I content to spin various grade, undyed blended roving on a rickety Ashford Traditional.

The first real indication that I was out of my depth was when I needed to upgrade the Traddy to a 3 speed flyer. I was content with that for a short time, but the progression was exponential at that point. In a few short weeks, I had to have a new Kromski Sonata. I went to a sheep and wool show and had to have hand dyed merino fiber.

Now, I almost only associate with fellow fiberholics. My family doesn’t understand me. They know something is different, but they can’t put a finger on it. If I let them into my house, and they could see the yarn and fiber stacked in the corners, the knitting needles on every flat surface, a spinning wheel upstairs and one downstairs….well, then they’d know…and I can’t let them know.

My husband is an enabler. Last week, at the Local Yarn Store, when I sat down at the Kromski and started spinning…I almost had enough self control to walk away..but..he looked at me with that special look and said, “Babe, you know you want it.”

What could I do???? How could I say no???

So, it’s true…I’m a fiberholic. I can’t control my fiberlust. For me, one skein is too many, and a thousand is never enough.

No comments: