Join the Love Affair with Yarn
By: Betty Hectman
A lot of people are going to be celebrating I Love Yarn Day on October 11. According to the Craft Yarn Council there are over 50 million people of all ages who knit, crochet or otherwise work with yarn. And it’s no wonder. It’s not just the destination of getting a scarf or sweater; the journey is full of benefits. Knitting and crocheting are great anxiety busters, offer something productive to do while waiting and can be a social outlet when done with a group. Want to Join in?
It’s great if you have a friend or family member to teach you, but if not, there are other options. Check out your local yarn store. According to Lisa Garcia of the Close Knit Circle yarn shop in Tarzana California, for a nominal fee they will teach someone to knit or crochet. In addition with a yarn purchase comes the invitation to hang out at the group table in the store and get help on a project. Some of the craft stores like Michael’s or Jo-Ann’s offer group lessons. Try your local community college. Pierce College in Woodland Hills, California offers yarn craft classes as part of their extension program.
If you’re more of a do it yourselfer, it is possible to learn on your own. There are numerous books on the market, but Betty Hechtman, author of two yarn related mysteries series suggests doing what she did and trying a kids’ kit. “I found that the instructions were broken down into easy to follow steps with lots of illustrations. And if the instructions would work for a ten-year-old, I figured they would work for me. I learned how to crochet granny squares with a kit meant for kids and it changed my life.”
Don’t defeat yourself by choosing something too complicated for a first project. Also, it is best to stick with easy to work with yarn like basic worsted weight. A scarf is a great project to start with using either this free knitting pattern or this free crochet pattern. Both use only the most basic techniques.
The Beauty of Handmade
Every knit or crocheted item has its own story. The experience of picking the yarn, making the project and what was going on in your life are all woven into the stitches. Remember that what makes handmade items special is they look like real hands made them. That means there might be a wiggly stitch here and there, but just look at it as part of the tale.
About Betty Hechtman
Betty Hechtman is the author of “Yarn to Go,” the first book in the Berkley Prime Crime Yarn Retreat mystery series, as well as the author of the best-selling Berkley Prime Crime Crochet mystery series. The eighth book, “For Better or Worsted,” comes out in November. She has also written newspaper and magazine pieces, short stories and screenplays as well as a children’s culinary mystery. She has a bachelor of fine arts degree and has been active in handicrafts since she was a small child. Hechtman divides her time between Los Angeles and Chicago.