Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Dreaded Yarn Monster

Siv is going better now. The cable is still mis-crossed, but I’m going to stitch it over Harlot Voodoo Style later. After a few drinks and a suitable period to forgive the project for being such a pest. Thanks, Moorecat! I remembered that post the instant you showed it to me again!

The word ‘pest’ brings me to the Subject of the Day: Yarn Monsters. I made a terrible, terrible mistake a couple days ago. I am writing about it in the desperate hope that, somewhere out there, another knitter who like me was ignorant of the guile shown by Yarn Monsters; that the devil hath indeed the power to assume a pleasing shape and all that.

For the as-of-yet uninfected, there is hope.

For me…eh, not so much. I suspect I am done for.

You see, there are things you do not, under any circumstances, want around your precious yarn. Moths spring to mind instantly, of course; and the lesser discussed but nasty carpet beetle. Being put into sealed bags with moisture present, likewise not good. Even dust! Dust can be damaging! Especially in the quantities which settle over the Den on a regular basis – I sometimes forget just how rural we really are. But then I open my upstairs bathroom window and gaze out on the horses running around and around and around their arena kicking up massive amounts of Delta dust (which is like talc powder in consistency, but sticky like clay because that’s what it was before it became dust and snuck into my house through openings no bigger than half a micron) and I say to myself, “Oh. Yeah. That whole ‘farmland’ thing…**sigh**…” and I get the duster and continue to attempt to turn the tide of battle.

Which is a lot like trying to keep the ocean tide from coming in using a beach towel and your cooler lid. Only without the ‘fun’ factor.

But I digress.

Another thing you do not want around your yarn is a Yarn Monster.

Yarn Monsters can be somewhat tricky to spot. Their identification can be made all the trickier by the fact that they are often extraordinarily cute. How cute?


Uh-huh. That’s right. THAT, people, is a Yarn Monster. Do not be fooled by the Ritz cracker, which might give you the impression that it is a crumbly snack monster. Or the PJs, which might make one think it is a ‘cuddly, slumbery’ kind of monster.

This…is a Yarn Monster. It is extremely active and also persistent, and its appetite for yarn is insatiable. Once it has acquired a taste for the stuff, it will begin the acquisition and hoarding processes, and will not be deterred. Except possibly, temporarily, by a snack of milk and cookies.

I allowed this one to get into my stash Monday, and now I will spend the rest of my life in a state of Constant! Vigilance!, lest my entire stash be ferreted away into dark corners of the toy box.

OK, so, I mentioned how he was getting into my stash Monday and bringing me all the red wool he could find? Well, it went on for quite a long time, and he brought me quite a few ball of yarn before I finally put an end to the game. It occurred to me somewhere between the 10th and 30th ball that landed on my desk (because I am quick-witted) that perhaps this ‘playing with mommy’s yarn’ game was not the best precedent I ever set.

Today, he was once again! clinging to me like a leech. Whither I go, there likewise goeth Himself. I mean, it’s getting better, he doesn’t hang on the bathroom door while I am attending to the Royal Business and scream as though someone is driving an ice pick into his skull anymore, and he did take himself upstairs to play with sisters earlier, so hey. Progress and all that.

But, overall, he wants to be where I am and no matter how boring I’m being he just brings his books or toys along and sits somewhere inconvenient (like, for example, pressed between my legs and the sofa) (yes, really, on the floor, BETWEEN my legs and the sofa) (adorable child, NO REALLY! And coming as he does with free overnight shipping and a month’s supply of Huggies, please – bid early, bid often!)

So I was sitting here earlier this afternoon reading some emails and catching up on my blog reading (we are a chatty group out here in Internetville, aren’t we?!) while he sits on my bed playing with trucks and perhaps I got just a little bit channeled into what I was reading, and then slowly two things entered my awareness at the same time: Captain Adventure is being awfully quiet, and, my wire yarn shelves are looking…kinda…bald-ish.

I almost got whiplash, I whirled around from the desk so fast.

My son, the Yarn Monster, was sitting on my bed, surrounded by carefully (re)sorted bundles of yarn. Similar colors were together, and a few things had been obviously hand-culled for “specialness” – like his mommy, the Yarn Monster appears to have a special affection for alpaca, and also earth tones.

He also had peeled the labels off several (dozen) balls, and laboriously unraveled two balls of mohair. (WAH! Of all the confounded balls to choose – WHY THE MOHAIR, MY SON?! Why couldn’t he have chosen…the kitchen cotton? It’s soft and pretty!! Or even the Atacama alpaca, which at least has skein-ties so I’d have a prayer of being able to get it back into some form of “put-up”?!)

When he saw his death in my eyes me looking at him he grinned at me, spread his arms wide in an expression clearly indicating that he had found his One True Love AND BEHOLD IT IS WOOL!!!!, and then fell over into his shameless contraband and proceeded to roll around in the tangled-up mohair, the now-unlabeled wool, the handspun alpaca, the sock yarn, the cotton.

Giggling madly the whole time.

He wailed and fussed when I was putting it all back on the shelves, and wanted to argue with me about where each one went, and when he realized that the shelf was now a “No Captain Adventure Zone” he sank to his knees, threw back his head, and wailed.

When I tried to give him a partial ball of Simply Soft to soothe his loss he looked at me with the exact expression I suspect a starving child would give a person who said, “Oh, here you go, sweetie!” and then handed him a bowl full of Kibbles ‘n Bits. He held it for a split second, then let it drop to the floor disdainfully before flinging himself full-length onto the floor, covering his face with his hands and sobbing as if Go, Diego, Go! had been permanently cancelled.

The despondency touched a nerve in my soul. And also, I was curious: was he just pissed off in general because I told him “no” (the NERVE of me! what do I think I am, his mother?!...oh…wait…), or was it really what it looked like: yarn snobbery in a two year old?!

So I placed a tiny skein of Lorna’s Laces Angel, a 70% angora / 30% lambswool confection in ‘Rainbow’ on the floor in front of him.

He lifted his tearful face from the floor and regarded my offering skeptically. Then he reached out and picked it up, squeezing it a few times and taking in the bright, variegated colors.

Sat up.

Sniffed loudly.

Looked up at me.

Looked back at the skein.


Clutched the skein to his bosom and made off with it.

It is official.

There is a Yarn Monster in the Den. It has no shame, plenty of guile, and a darned cute smile.

…I’m done for


HDW said...

OMG Too cute. You are totally done for! You might as well hand it all over now. I just tauht my daughter to knit......she says she doesn't like any of the yarn at walmat cause it is squeaky.....she can find all kinds of stuff at the LYS she likes though....even with a workers 25% discount I am nut sure we can supply her habit and mine!!! SHe is 7 for goodness sake!!

becky c. said...

Hee hee! You crack me up!

Jeanne said...

Just teach him to knit when he's old enough. :-) Sounds like he definitely carries your woolen DNA.

Kris said...

It could be worse - he is coveting it, not lighting it on fire.

Vicki said...

At least he only clutches it to his bosom. My puppy, (named Precious - what was I thinking?) takes off with the yarn in her mouth and can unroll a skein of Lorna's Laces faster than you can blink. Of course, she does the same thing with toilet paper. No discrimination in our house!! NoSiree.

Siercia said...

What a cute story!

That sounds like a very dangerous creature to keep in your house.

Kris said...

I too have a Yarn Monster and it's hard to tell you this, but it's all over with. Your best bet is to create a Yarn Monster Stash to keep him out of yours;)

Unknown said...

I have the same problem in my house, though they are not quite as nice to my yarn.

My cats eat it. BUT!!! Only finished products. They have no desire for the stuff on the skein.

Also, my boyfriend's kids (4 and 6) like to make off with a skein (mostly the alpaca and cashmere, of course) and rub their faces on it like a blankie while they're watching TV.

The 6 year old is fine, but the 4 year old has a nasal plumbing problem, and the faucet is always running, if you know what I mean. Not so much fun.

Anyhoo, so I bought some shortie filing cabinets, and plan (note I said PLAN, not HAVE DONE...*sigh*) on painting them in black with coloured pinstriping and will put the precious stash in there.

The soft acrylic I leave out, and they can (and do) molest it at will.

Funny enough? It's the ONLY thing they put away when they're done with it. (Sorry for the rambling, long comment!!)

Jen said...

This is hysterical! How many times have you heard adult knitters say they want to roll in their stashes? And he DID it! ROFL

You do realize you are raisng one very gifted son, don't you? Would he be satisfied with leftovers from finished projects?

Anonymous said...

TOO stinkin' funny! So far my kids have left the yarn stash alone, but I have to frequently beat them off the beads. They're like little jackdaws, if it's sparkly they want it. It would be awfully hard to resist that face looking up at you, that's for sure! Good luck and good stashing!

Jen said...

I have a present for you. Check my blog... :)

Amy Lane said...

That's absolutely hilarious!!!! And look at that face...I'd hand him a skein of LL too...
You're doomed...doomed, I tell you... I took Chicken to Stitches about four years back...told her she could buy a project's worth of yarn...did she pick the fun novelty yarn, that was selling for a few ducats a bag? No. She picked two balls of Cascade Superwash Merino at$10 a ball...they know what they're doing, and they do it with our pocketbooks...and they do it well...

Yarnhog said...

I just found your blog (through a circuitous route involving the Rockin' Girl Blogger thing), and I'm laughing so hard I have tears in my eyes! I have a yarn monster or two around my house, too. Oh, and Jeanne? Teaching him to knit does not solve the problem. Then he has an actual use for all the yarn he steals from the stash. Ask me how I know.

Anonymous said...

So funny! (I know it really isn't) I can't stop laughing (I know, not funny) I feel so blessed that I do not have any yarn monsters of my own! (Don't worry, I know I will be payed back when I have kids!)

Rabbitch said...

Oh man, that's pretty early to be starting on the hard stuff.

Anonymous said...

So. Funny. !!! Your blog is my favorite find of the day :-)